French rider Pierre Rolland was on a good day but it all ended in a moment on the slippery roads from Albertville to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc.
23 Jul 2016 - 11:04 AM  UPDATED 23 Jul 2016 - 11:15 AM

Rolland took to Instagram to express his disappointment at the crash on Stage 19. The emotional message to his fans shows how important the Tour is for any French rider. 

So we fired up Google and brushed up on our rusty high school French to give you a sense of the depths of Rolland's despair at the day's outcome. It was quite poetic.

"The Tour de France, the most beautiful and biggest bike race in the world. It can be sublime, make you famous or destroy you ...

This tour of France that I prepared diligently for months with numerous rides in altitude, reconnaissance ... where you do the job 110 per cent, where you arrive sharp and ready to do battle ... and then comes a fall, a puncture at the wrong time, which sends your ambitions downwards.

You expect the best days, you are patient, you eat your bread, and you cling to the hope that it gets better.

Then, when everything seems to be operational again, you return to the front, and recommence the battle, and even so you are waiting again."

"Today I was having a very good day. I concealed my (earlier) disappointment and I wanted to shine again, take pleasure again, please the people who encourage me and support me.

I decided to attack with Rui Costa. And then a turn ... both wheels slip and it's over!

You go from high to low a few tenths of a second! I had a moment to recover my spirits (sitting) in cow dung! (Thanks to the spectators who helped me. I think that I was not very nice and I'm sorry ... But I was so out of it!).

I finished the race alone from that time until the line! Hope to hell. This sums up my day, it sums up my Tour de France ... Again thank you for the support on social networks and on the roads."

Bardet lights up Mont Blanc as Froome survives crash scare
In a crash marred Stage 19, Romain Bardet (AG2R) soloed to France's first Tour stage win this year and moved to second overall. Chris Froome (Sky) hit the tarmac on the final, slippery descent but fought to the finish and, amazingly, increased his lead.