After all the drama of the past three weeks it finally came down to this one stage.
Who would be the fastest in the "race of truth"?
IN the end it did live up to the hype with LEvi absolutely crushing the filed and almost taking 2nd place over Cadel coming up just 9 seconds shy.
Meanwhile Cadel slowly took chunks of time of of Contador but in the end it wasn't enough and Contador finished the day 23" ahead and essentially secured the overall victory and the white jersey as well.
The only thing left to be decided may be the green jersey in which it is conceivable that Robbie Hunter could get enough points to overtake Boonen, but it is highly unlikely.
This is definitely one for the record books whether we want it to be or not.
p.s. the rumor of a positive turned out to be just that. and can be blamed on the overactive imagination of the French media.
General classification after stage 19
1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 87.09.18
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto 0.23
3 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 0.31
4 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Team CSC 7.08
5 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 8.17
6 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 11.37
7 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile Team 12.18
8 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 12.30
9 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 14.14
10 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 14.25
1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep - Innergetic 234 pts
2 Robert Hunter (RSA) Barloworld 210
3 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram 206
4 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Française des Jeux 161
5 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole 156