Penultimate Tour de France stage shortened due to weather concerns

The penultimate stage of the Tour de France has been shortened to only 59 kilometres due to the forecast of "difficult weather conditions".

A hail storm and mudslides resulted in stage 19 being neutralised on the descent of the Col de l’Iseran, 30km from the scheduled finish on the 126.5km route from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Tignes on Friday.

Egan Bernal took the yellow jersey from Julian Alaphilippe after he was the first to the summit of the Col de l’Iseran, which proved to be decisive as that is where the new general classification standings were calculated.

The riders were due to take on another gruelling 139km stage from Albertville to Val Thorens on Saturday, but that has been significantly reduced on safety grounds.

Team INEOS rider Bernal will start the last competitive stage with a 48-second lead and over Frenchman Alaphilippe, who will now have much less time to try and claw that back.

A tweet sent from the official Tour de France account read: "Due to the difficult weather conditions expected tomorrow and landslides noticed, the course of the 20th stage of the Tour de France will be modified.

"After taking off from Albertville, the stage will go on the N90 road to head directly to Moutiers and then go on the initial end of stage at the N90 – D915 roundabout, 36kms from the finish.

"The start will be given in Albertville at 14:30 for a total distance of 59kms."

Defending champion Geraint Thomas is third in the GC standings, 76 seconds adrift of his team-mate and new leader Bernal.

Thibaut Pinot is one man who will not race on the final weekend after abandoning due to a thigh injury.

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