Costa wins Stage 19; Froome keeps overall lead at Tour de France

Le Grand-Bornand, France — Portugal’s Rui Alberto Costa won Stage 19 of the Tour de France on Friday, while Britain’s Chris Froome maintained the overall lead amid rainy conditions.

Costa claimed his second mountain stage at this year’s event with a solo breakaway on the final climb of Col de la Croix Fry. Costa, who was the first to reach the finish line in Gap on Tuesday, completed the 204.5-kilometer trek from Bourg d’Oisans to Le Grand-Bornand in five hours, 59 minutes and one second.

German Andreas Kloden was second, 48 seconds behind, and Belgian Jan Bakelants was 1:44 back in third. Froome and his main competitor, two-time Tour champion Alberto Contador, finished together roughly nine minutes behind Costa.

Froome kept his advantage of 5:11 over the Spaniard and is closing in on becoming the second British rider to win the race after Bradley Wiggins’ triumph last year.

Today’s 20th stage is another mountain journey before the traditional Sunday finish along the Champs Elysees in Paris.