July 27, 2019 / 11:24 AM / 4 months ago

Cycling - Tour de France stage 20 on after extreme weather threat

Cycling - Tour de France - The 59.5-km Stage 20 from Albertville to Val Thorens - July 27, 2019 - Wanty-Gobert Cycling Team rider Kevin Van Melsen of Belgium, EF Education First rider Alberto Bettiol of Italy, Bahrain-Merida rider Dylan Teuns of Belgium, Total Direct Energie rider Lilian Calmejane of France, Astana Pro Team rider Magnus Cort of Denmark and UAE Team Emirates rider Rui Costa of Portugal in action in the breakaway. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

VAL THORENS, France (Reuters) - The 20th stage of the Tour de France started on Saturday after heavy rain and thunderstorms threatened to force organisers to cancel the ride from Albertville.

Hailstorms and a landslide meant the race jury cut Friday’s stage short due to safety concerns and they had already decided to reduce the 20th stage from 130km to 59km.

However, the extreme weather continued overnight and the publicity caravan did not drive up to the finish because of the conditions and only drove a loop around Albertville, where the shortened stage eventually started as scheduled at 1230GMT.

Colombian Egan Bernal is the overall leader ahead of France’s Julian Alaphilippe and defending champion Geraint Thomas, who are second and third, respectively.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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