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Final Alpine stage of Tour de France cut by more than half

Stage 19 of the Tour de France was stopped after mudslides, hail, and snow blocked the beginning of the fifth climb.

TIGNES, France -- The final Alpine stage of the Tour de France will be shortened to just 59 kilometers (37 miles) because of adverse weather conditions in the mountain range.

After Stage 19 was stopped because of hailstorms that caused a landslide on the route, race organizers said two of three climbs will be eliminated from Saturday’s stage.

“Due to difficult weather conditions expected ... and landslides noticed, the course of the 20th stage of the Tour de France will be modified,” they said in a statement.

The stage to the ski resort of Val Thorens, the last major difficulty before the race reaches Paris on Sunday, had an initial length of 130 kilometers (81 miles).