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Live Reporting

By Chris Bevan

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    I promised you thrills and spills and, yet again, we got them! Here's the stage report from another exciting day of racing.

    That's me done and dusted for the day but hope to see you on Saturday for the time-trial that will decide the podium places for this year's Tour.

    Overall leader Vincenzo Nibali just needs to get round in order to wrap up his triumph.

  2. Post update

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    Jenni in Newtownards: Nibali was VERY fortunate to avoid crashing out late on in today's stage. Who knows what could have happened there if he had gone down. Injury is the only thing that can stop him from wearing yellow in Paris on Sunday evening.

    Andrew: Vincenzo Nibali could win the Tour de France on my old rusty bike I got for Christmas 10 years ago from this position. Utter dominance.

  3. Post update

    Saturday - stage 20

    Stage 20

    Before he can crack open the champagne on the celebratory ride into Paris on Sunday, Vincenzo Nibali has to survive one more day of racing - a 54km time trial from Bergerac to Perigueux on Saturday. Essentially, he just needs to stay on his bike and the Tour is his.

    Team Sky rider and BBC Sport columnist Geraint Thomas's tip for the stage victory? "Tony Martin is a four-time world time trial champion and will be given licence to go for the win."

  4. Post update

    General classification after stage 19

    Yellow Jersey

    Classification

    Vincenzo Nibali is still in yellow too, of course. Just two stages and 191.5km between the Tour de France's overall leader and the top of the podium in Paris.

    1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana) 85hrs 29mins 26secs

    2. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/FDJ.fr) +7mins 10secs

    3. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra/AG2R) +7mins 23secs

    4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +7mins 25secs

    5. Romain Bardet (Fra/AG2R) +9mins 27secs

  5. Post update

    Ramunas Navardauskas still looks soaking wet as he holds his bouquet of flowers aloft to celebrate his stage win. By the way, he was the man controversially selected ahead of Scotland's David Millar in the Garmin team.

  6. Post update

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    Danny Cunningham: Would rather be Sagan in green than Kittel with no jersey but three stage wins, as would most folks. He doesn't need sympathy!

  7. Post update

    France's Romain Bardet, who started the day fifth overall, was one of those caught in that crash. Unlike Peter Sagan, who was not hurt (just without a bike for a while), Bardet was on the floor when I saw him. Hopefully he was not badly hurt.

  8. Post update

    Just to make it clear, the riders held up by that crash will not lose any time, because it happened in the final 3km.

  9. Post update

    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Garmin really needed this. They have been chasing a stage win for a while. Interesting tactics, going out there and chasing down your team-mate is not something you normally do."

  10. Post update

    Results of stage 19

    1. Ramunas Navardauskas (Lit/Garmin-Sharp), 4hrs 43min 41sec

    2. John Degenkolb (Ger/Giant), +0.07

    3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor/Katusha) SAME TIME

    4. Mark Renshaw (Aus/OPQS) SAME TIME

    5. Daniele Bennati (Ita/Tinkoff) SAME TIME

  11. Post update

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    Matt Salisbury: Think Peter Sagan may need to accept this isn't his year - Green Jersey isn't a bad consolation though.

  12. Post update

    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "It was a brave attack by Ramunas Navardauskas. He was slightly lucky in that we had a big crash with a couple of kilometres to go and that took the sting out with teams looking round to see who they had left. Cannondale had nobody with Peter Sagan going down but you have to take advantage of the luck."

  13. Post update

    Race leader Vincenzo Nibali is safely over the line. The other riders are arriving in dribs and drabs, disrupted by that big crash inside the final 3km.

  14. Post update

    Ramunas Navardauskas wins stage 19

    A great effort by the Lithuanian, who takes a dramatic win in the rain.

  15. Post update

    Alexander Kristoff is one of the men massing behind Ramunas Navardauskas. But it is too little, too late.

  16. Post update

    Ramunas Navardauskas is going to win stage 19. Or at least I think he is. He's 500m from the finish.

  17. Post update

    That should help Ramunas Navardauskas. Omega Pharma are the only team who can stop him now. Just 1km to go. Poor old Peter Sagan though...

  18. Post update

    Peter Sagan is stood on the road, without a bike. About 30 riders hit the tarmac in total.

  19. Post update

    Some big names have gone down. Race leader Vincenzo Nibali had to take evasive action to stay out of trouble.

  20. OUCH!

    Peter Sagan crashes!

  21. Post update

    Ramunas Navardauskas is flying through the streets of Bergerac, inside 3km from glory. His lead is dropping, though. Just 16 seconds now...

  22. Post update

    Inside 4km now and Ramunas Navardauskas is still 24 seconds clear. His Garmin team-mate Jack Bauer is disrupting the chase by going to the front of the pursuing group and slowing everybody down. And the wet weather and winding roads are helping too.

  23. Post update

    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Jack Bauer is creating a block in the chasing group. He rides for Garmin and he is riding near the front and when it his turn to take up the pace he slows it down, trying to help his team-mate Navardauskas."

  24. Post update

    He's not just hanging on, he is increasing his lead. Ramunas Navardauskas (ah the wonders of cut and paste) is now 24 seconds clear, with 6.5km to go. Omega Pharma-QuickStep are the team leading the chase.

  25. Post update

    Ramunas Navardauskas glances behind him and cannot see anyone through the murk. He grimaces and pedals on through the driving rain. With 8km to go, his lead is 18 seconds. Can he hang on? Can he?

  26. Post update

    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "There's no real urgency from any of the sprinter teams. they are all spread out in the first 30 or so in the peloton. It needs a team to start working together."

  27. Post update

    Just over 10km to go. Overall leader Vincenzo Nibal is near the front of the main bunch but he will leave the racing to other people in the run-in to the finish.

    Garmin's Ramunas Navardauskas (never a name you want to type near the finish) has opened up a 12 second lead on the likes of Peter Sagan, who is in the chase group and in hot pursuit.

  28. Post update

    Tom Jelte Slagter is first over the top of Cote de Monbazillac but is caught moments later. Cannondale have got plenty of men up there to help Peter Sagan - the race to the finish starts here!

  29. Post update

    In the peloton

    So, no fourth stage win for Marcel Kittel by the looks of things. Jack Bauer could still get the glory today, though. He has got off the front of the bunch with a Garmin team-mate. Peter Sagan is going with them, though...

  30. Post update

    In the peloton

    The road has narrowed on the way up the Cote de Monbazillac - too narrow for Tom Dumouilin, who rides into a ditch. The men at the front of the pack are fighting for position. Marcel Kittel is towards the back and on the wrong end of a split - he has been dropped.

  31. Post update

    Traffic jam

    If pouring rain wasn't enough to contend with, it turns out there is a traffic jam at the finish line at Bergerac with the team buses queuing up in the gloom to get through the finish line. What with the weather and the traffic too, today's stage is reminding me a lot of my ride into work most days.

  32. Post update

    Have I mentioned it has rained a lot during today's stage? Well, it is still chucking it down. The riders are on their way to the bottom of Cote de Monbazilac, gradually reeling in poor old Tom Jelte Slagter.

  33. Post update

    In the break

    Tom Jelte Slagter is the only survivor of that five-man break that went out in the first 10km of today's 208.5km stage. With 19km to go, he is 15 seconds clear... but he won't be for much longer - the counter-attacks from the peloton are already starting.

  34. Post update

    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "If you're thinking about trying to go out in a breakaway you need to wear as many aerodynamic things as possible. If you're looking for performance, you need to make that conscious choice at the start of the stage."

    Stage leader Slagter is wearing a helmet with huge holes in, which is not particularly aerodynamic.

  35. Post update

    In the break

    With about 20km to go, including that little climb, Garmin's flying Dutchman Tom Jelte Slagter is now 22 seconds clear of his nearest rival, with the peloton another 30 seconds back and hoovering up the other members of that early break. Arnaud Gerard has just been caught.

  36. Post update

    Who will win stage 19?

    Ben in Windsor: I'm going to go for Marcel Kittel to get back to winning ways today. He looked unstoppable at the start and he's due another for me.

    Callum, Eastbourne: Sorry Chris! I've got a sneaky feeling Matteo Trentin could do something here, already a stage winner this tour and the climb towards the finish won't phase him.

    Stuart Findlay: It will definitely be Peter Sagan to win today. He'll be trying so hard, he will forget to do the wheelie.

  37. Post update

    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "It's about time the women had something going on on the Champs-Elysees. The women are getting more competitive with more money invested in women's professional cycling, the media attention is growing so I'm looking forward to seeing this."

  38. Post update

    Who will win stage 19?

    Re 15:21.

    John McEnerney: If Jack Bauer has anything left in those legs you'd love to see him win a stage after the cruel way his breakaway ended on stage 15!

    Tony Hunt: If the conditions remain bad, I'd go for Peter Sagan to win! The other sprinters may not be able to handle the wet roads. Too heavy.

    Ed Vickers: Would be great to see Sagan wrap up the green jersey with a win, he will have suffered less in the hills than Greipel & Kittel.

  39. Post update

    Rob Hatch

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentator

    "On Sunday we will have live commentary on the BBC Sport website of La Course - the women's one-day road race that will precede the men's finish in Paris. We will be on air at 12:45 BST with the final hour of the 91km race."

  40. Post update

    In the break

    One last desperate effort from someone in the break, to prevent the inevitable? Yep. Tom Jelte Slagter (Garmin) has leapt 10 seconds clear of the other escapees, with less than 30km to go. The main pack are about a minute further back, and it is still raining cats and dogs.

  41. Post update

    Who will win stage 19?

    Re 15.21

    Nathan, Dorset: Sagan!! Surely...Hopefully....Finally!?

    Andy Hawkins: Marcel Kitttel

  42. Post update

    In the peloton

    The sprinters' teams - Giant-Shimano (Marcel Kittel), Cannondale (Peter Sagan), Lotto-Belisol (Andre Greipel) and Katusha (Alexander Kristoff) have stretched the peloton right out now, with Greipel's mob the main men at the front at the moment.

    That increase has seen the gap to the escapees tumble down to under a minute, and they must know their number will soon be up.

  43. Post update

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    Right then, I've had a less than overwhelming response to my question at 15:11... so let's try again...

    I'm going for Andre Greipel to win today's stage. Who do you lot fancy to reign in the rain?

  44. Post update

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    Green Jersey

    Classification

    Michael Lowery: Re 14:30. Eric Vanderaden also won the green jersey in 1986 without winning a stage.

  45. Post update

    In the break, and in the rain

    With headlights of the team cars and race motorbikes twinkling in the gloom behind them, Peter Sagan's Cannondale team are still at the front of the peloton and leading the chase.

    The five escapees - Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Rein Taaramae (Cofidis), Martin Elmiger (IAM), Arnaud Gerard (Bretagne) and Tom Jelte Slagter (Garmin) - have held their advantage at the one minute and 50 second mark for a while now, but they still have 39km to go.

  46. Post update

    That climb which Magnus refers to is a fourth-category bump called Cote de Monbazillac, the top of which is 13km from the finish line.

    Together with the driving rain, that should make the end of this stage very interesting.

    Who is your money on - Marcel Kittel, Andre Greipel, Alexander Kristoff, Peter Sagan... or someone else?

  47. Post update

    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "There's a possibility that a few of the sprinters might get dropped on the climb before the finish. Maybe Kittel will be the only one of the sprinters who doesn't get over it with everyone. The rest should be fine but it's the third week of the race and that changes everything. How have you recovered from the mountains because you're legs don't work quite the same."

  48. Post update

    Another flat

    Thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening. This is not just rain, this is a full on on electric storm. And the conditions at the finish line at Bergerac - about 45km away - are apparently just as bad.

  49. Post update

    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "I hated these conditions slightly less than everyone else. When you wake up to rain like this in the third week of the Tour de France everyone wants to be in Paris or on their way home so if you can motivate yourself to get out and give it a go you can be in a good position to go and win a stage."

  50. Post update

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    David Bassett: Peter Sagan for the stage today. He'll make a break on the final climb.

  51. Post update

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    About 53km of the 208.5km to go. Rob Hatch and Magnus Backstedt are in the commentary box for the conclusion of today's stage. You can listen via the Live Coverage tab console at the top of the page.

  52. Post update

    il pleut, encore une fois

    Dark skies, heavy rain and a strong breeze. At least the wind is behind the riders at the moment.

  53. Post update

    Where's Wiggo?

    Bradley Wiggins

    Now then. You have (hopefully) noticed Sir Bradley Wiggins has been in Glasgow for the last few days, rather than in action across The Channel.

    Will we see him at the Tour de France again? Not according to Wiggo, who told BBC Sport yesterday that he is "done" with road racing.

    The end of an era? Possibly. But hang on a moment. Team Sky general manager Dave Brailsford says he might still have a place for the 34-year-old even if his focus is going to be on the track at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

    "That's what we are discussing at the moment, to try to see if we can find this ideal scenario for Rio," Brailsford told BBC Sport.

  54. Post update

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    Green Jersey

    Classification

    Luke Etheridge: Re 1430. Thor Hushovd did it in 2005 too.

    Dan, Wales: Hushovd did too, not that long ago.

  55. Post update

    In the break

    While I leave you lot to answer each other's questions, that gap to the five escapees continues to drop.

    Their lead has dipped under the two-minute mark with 66km of the 208.5km to go until we get to the finish line at Bergerac (the market town, not the Jersey detective or the French swordsman-poet). Cannondale are still doing most of the work at the front of the peloton.

  56. Post update

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    That was quick...

    John McEnerney: Re 1430. Sean Kelly won it in 83 & 85 without winning a stage!

  57. Post update

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    Hans Pinkard: Re 1413. Has the green jersey been won with zero stage wins before?

    I've got these (admittedly intermittent) updates to look after, so have not got time to check this out myself... can anybody help Hans with his question?

  58. Post update

    Who will win stage 19?

    Marcel Kittel

    According to his Twitter bio, Marcel Kittel likes speed, sprinting and hair... he doesn't say, but I'm pretty sure his dislikes include punctures.

    The German speedster, who will be looking to add to his tally of three stage wins at this year's Tour if we do get a bunch finish today (as expected), was one of several riders to get a flat in the wet conditions but is making his way way safely back towards the main pack.

    We will see more of him later, I think. Andre Greipel and Alexander Kristoff might dictate how much.

  59. Post update

    Job done for Tour's mountain man

    Polkadot Jersey

    Classification

    Poland's Rafal Majka

    And the King of the Mountains category has also been decided, with Poland's Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) 13 points clear of his nearest challenger, overall leader Vincenzo Nibali.

    There are only two more points up for grabs (one on the Côte de Monbazillac near the end of today's stage, and one on Sunday) so Majka will stay in his spots.

  60. Post update

    In the peloton

    Green Jersey

    Classification

    Peter Sagan, mathematical winner of the Tour de France's points category

    Leading the chase at the front of the peloton is another team without a stage win at this year's Tour - Cannondale.

    They do have one one prize already in the bag, however. Mathematically, Peter Sagan can no longer be caught in the points category, which means he will keep the green jersey all the way to Paris.

  61. Post update

    In the break

    Geraint was right with his prediction below, in that some riders went VERY early in an attempt to build a big enough break to stay out in front for the stage win.

    France's Cyril Gautier (Europcar) was the first to attack, inside the first 5km, and he has been joined by Rein Taaramae (Cofidis), Martin Elmiger (IAM), Arnaud Gerard (Bretagne) and Tom Jelte Slagter (Garmin)

    But the five escapees - who all ride for teams without a stage win this year - only ever managed a maximum advantage of three-and-a-half minutes and, with 90km of the 208.5km to go, that lead has dropped to around two-and-a-half minutes.

    Put it this way, it's not looking good for them...

  62. Post update

    Il pleut

    Riders in the pouring rain during stage 19

    Yes, the Tour has left the mountains, but don't you be thinking this is just another routine, flat, stage for Nibali to get through. The weather will make sure of that. It has been pouring with rain on the road all day.

    Expect more thrills and spills before, and very probably at, the finish around 16:00 BST... when a torrential downpour is forecast.

  63. Post update

    Welcome to stage 19

    Tour de France stage 19

    Vincenzo Nibali has already put a sizeable chunk into the 400km that stood between him and the finish line on the Champs Elysees at the start of the day. The 164 surviving riders rolled out of Mauburguet Pays du Val d'Adour a couple of hours ago and are just over half-way to the end of today's 208.5 stage in Bergerac.

    What should we expect? A fast finish, according to Team Sky rider and BBC Sport columnist Geraint Thomas.

    Thomas says: "After three tough days in the mountains, the sprinters will come back to the fore. There might be a few desperate guys, those who are yet to win a stage, who are willing to take a risk on the climb just before the finish to try and break clear but I expect a bunch sprint in Bergerac."

  64. Post update

    The battle for the podium

    Yellow Jersey

    Classification

    Yep, Vincenzo Nibali, who has won four of the Tour's 18 stages so far, is wearing the yellow jersey for the 16th day today, testimony to his utter domination of this race after more than 80 hours in the saddle.

    This is how things look behind him at the top of the general classification, with only the podium places up for grabs. They should get sorted out in Saturday's time trial.

    1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana) 80hrs 45mins 45secs

    2. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/FDJ.fr) +7mins 10secs

    3. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra/AG2R) +7mins 23secs

    4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +7mins 25secs

    5. Romain Bardet (Fra/AG2R) +9mins 27secs

  65. Post update

    Nibali's procession to Paris

    Tour de France leader Vincenzo Nibali

    He held his arms aloft as he celebrated another dominant stage victory at the top of Hautacam on Thursday and I think it is safe to say we can expect to see Vincenzo Nibali doing a lot more of the same before the weekend is out. He leads the 2014 Tour de France by seven minutes and 10 seconds, with three stages and 400km (250 miles) of the 3,664km (2,277 miles) to go.