Heavy hailstorm hit 19th stage of Tour de France on Friday to force the race into cancellation. Fans were visibly dissapointed after the race stopped 30km before the end. Tour de France organisers though did the right thing for riders’ safety.
The race was catching pace with cyclists pushing through French Alps when a hailstorm hit the mountains. Conditions worsened that lead to abandonment of play for the day. The Tour de France 2019 has 2 races left with finals on Sunday, July 28.
“Crazy weather” conditions interrupts Tour de France
The race track measuring 126.5 km was half covered with white hail. The clearance started well on course but it became apparent racers would not reach before the danger clears out. To ensure the safety of the riders, Tour se France officials took the right decision to disbandon the race.
— Le Tour de France UK (@letour_uk) July 26, 2019
The riders were yet to reach the stage’s tallest mountain, Col l’Iseran when hail fell. AccuWeather meteorologist reasoned Tour de France official’s correct decision.
The route of the race when the race has been stopped.
— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) July 26, 2019
“A hailstorm hit the Alps on Friday, blanketing part of the course that the riders had yet to reach,” Lada said. “The roads and mountainside turned white due to all the hail that fell. Crews did not have enough time to clear the course before the leaders arrived, so they decided to end the stage early.”
Saturday’s stage shortened but Friday decision controversial
Race officials took the weather forecast in mind and shortened Saturday’s stage. More hail and showers are forecasted on Saturday. Moreover, the stage might not be totally cleared because of shortage of time. So, the route will be 71km shorter than the original stage set.
Cyclists on Tour de France who had not pushed hard before the race got cancelled might feel hard done by the next decision though. The officials announced the points will be distributed based on the time the cyclists crossed the last stop before hail interrupted on Friday.
This resulted in huge outrage from fans of cyclists, Julian Alaphilippe in particular. The French cyclists conceeded the yellow jersey and pole position to Colombian Egan Bernal on Friday.
Bernal finds himself in a lucky push to be in a good position to win the race. Alaphilippe though would have to work hard to regain the yellow jersey after staying on top for 14 days.
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