Overall leader Jonas Vingegaard (7/1 to win stage 20) is on the cusp of winning the 2022 Tour de France as Christophe Laporte sprinted to victory on stage 19 on Friday.
Laporte managed to battle past Jasper Philipsen and Alberto Dainese on the uphill sprint finish to win in Cahors for his first Tour stage win.
The 29-year-old was able to secure Jumbo Visma’s fifth stage win of this year’s tour, while he helped teammate Vingegaard tighten his grip on the yellow jersey.
The Dane is three minutes and 26 seconds ahead of defending champion Tadej Pogacar, with one day remaining before the peloton ride into Paris on Sunday.
Pogacar did his best to ignite the race when he launched an attack, but ultimately had to settle for fifth on Friday.
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Laporte’s win ensured France finally had its first stage winner of 2022, and he was delighted by the support of his team.
He told reporters: “It’s hard to realise, but I’m super happy. The team trusted me today. We first reached our goal to bring Jonas [Vingegaard] safely to the 3km to go mark.
“It’s more than a reward; it’s huge. I was already super happy with this Tour de France even though I got no result for myself.
“Now the team gave me the opportunity to go for a stage win; it’s exceptional to win after I came twice second in the past.”
Stage 20 is a 40.7km individual time trial, and it is classed as the final day of serious competition in the general classification.
Wout van Aert (10/11) is the favourite to get the job done on Saturday, while Filippo Ganna is priced at 9/4 to secure the victory.
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