The undulating stage 19 saw the peloton stuck together for most of the day and with only a few breakaways during the day, including an early attack by Cadel Evans, there was a big set-up for the final sprint.
With just over 2km left in the race, Team Columbia-HTC took control of the peloton and caught up with the breakaway of UCI world champion Alessandro Ballan and Laurent Lefevre . This set up for the showdown between Mark Cavendish and green jersey holder, Cervelo Test Team's Thor Hushovd.
Columbia-HTC formed up their now signature train for Cavendish and after a lead-out by George Hincapie and Tony Martin, Cavendish started his sprint a bit early but was still able to hold off Hushovd on the uphill sprint.
Hushovd was able to hold on for second and maintain his points lead, now 260 to Cavendish's 235.
Lance Armstrong was the only rider on the top ten to finish with the same time as Cavendish and gained some more time on his rivals, Bradley Wiggens and Frank Schleck.