The 2011 Tour de France wraps up its annual run through the Alps with the yellow jersey very much up for grabs. Andy Schleck made a monster move during Stage 18 but was unable to overtake Thomas Voeckler. Nonetheless, Schleck placed himself firmly in second place, with only a 15 second deficit behind Voeckler. The question will now be whether Schleck used up too much energy in advance of the final 109.5 kilometers in the Alps.
This relatively short, explosive stage features three climbs including another summit finish. The peloton will begin the first climb at the 14k mark up to 1,566 meters over 12.5k. They then have a very quick, modest descent over 4k and then begin a 17.k climb up to 2,556 meters. The riders will then descend over 46 kilometers before wrapping up with a climb to 1,850 meters over 15 kilometers.
While Andy Schleck will be looking to build on his Thursday momentum, Cadel Evans will also be looking to make another move, or at least not lose ground before Saturday's individual time trial. Evans was passed by the Schleck brothers but did manage to gain six seconds on Voeckler, leaving him 1:12 back of the yellow jersey. A further gain on the yellow jersey would be nice for Evans, but at the very least, he's hoping to not lose time.
Stage nineteen begins at 5:00am pacific on VERSUS. NBCSports.com will continue to provide a live online stream via subscription service.
We'll be here for the entire race providing news updates and stage previews and recaps, particularly as they relate to Bay Area-based BMC Racing. For more in-depth discussion on the 2011 Tour De France, head over to Podium Cafe. For more general Tour coverage, head over to the SB Nation story stream.