Stage 19 for sprinters has begun on Tour de France

Associated Press

July 25, 2014

The pack rides in pouring rain during the nineteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 208.5 kilometers (129.6 miles) with start in Maubourguet and finish in Bergerac, France, Friday, July 25, 2014.

MAUBOURGUET, France Tour de France riders are heading northward on a mostly flat Stage 19 that's likely to end in a bunch sprint.

The 208.5-kilometer trek from Maubourguet to Bergerac on Friday gives sprinters another chance to shine after slogging it through three days in the Pyrenees.

Vincenzo Nibali won Thursday's stage, his fourth of the Tour, to all but secure victory when the race ends on Sunday in Paris.

The remaining drama is mainly about who will join him on the winners' podium. He leads his closest rival by more than seven minutes.

The French riders in second and third, Thibaut Pinot and Jean-Christophe Peraud, and fourth-place Alejandro Valverde, are separated by only 15 seconds.