After the excitement of stage 13 the peloton wanted a less stressful day but it didn’t happen straight away with a lot of fighting to get in the break. Eventually a big group was allowed its head and as this group flew into Lyon it looked like Julien Simon was going to give France an early Bastille Day celebration but it wasn’t to be as an Italian had his eye on the main prize of the day. Two stages in a row for Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, this time one for Matteo Trentin in a burst of speed at the end of yet another exciting stage.
At the Start
Today’s course is all ups and downs from Saint Pourçain sur Sioule to Lyon over 191.4 kilometres. Five Cat 4 and two Cat 3 climb’s to mix things up a bit. Due to all the excitement yesterday; Saxo-Tinkoff team were wearing the yellow numbers of leading team and Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Mark Cavendish had the red number for his brilliant ride the previous day.
Tour De France 2013 Stage 14 Fly Through by globalcyclingnetwork:
Action from the Gun
After many attempts to get away, eventually the correct combination of 18 riders managed to extract themselves from the clinging peloton and after 70 kilometres they had just over 1 minute on the Euskaltel-Euskadi and Lampre-Merida led bunch who had both missed the move.
In the group were: Tejay van Garderen & Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Andrew Talansky & David Millar (Garmin-Sharp), Arthur Vichot (FDJ), Jens Voigt & Jan Bakelants (RadioShack Leopard), Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Lars Ytting Bak (Lotto Belisol), Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Pavel Brutt (Katusha), Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil & Imanol Erviti Ollo (Movistar), Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step), Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge), Julien Simon (Sojasun), Simon Geschke (Argos-Shimano) and Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Cofidis).
The highest placed rider in the break was Garmin-Sharp’s Andrew Talansky in 17th place at 13:10 down on Chris Froome.
Over the first climb of the day, the Côte de Marcigney (Cat 4), Simon Geschke (Argos-Shimano) was first. Euskaltel-Euskadi and Lampre-Merida were trying hard to make amends and had the leaders held at around the 1 minute mark.
100 K’s to Go
Vacansoleil-DCM started to lend a hand with the work in the bunch just before the feed zone in Mars with 97 kilometres to go which brought the lead down to 40 seconds. Then, for no apparent reason, the chase stopped and the Sky team took control and the lead suddenly jumped up to over 2 minutes within 5 kilometres.
The second climb of the Côte de la Croix Couverte (Cat 4) after 98 kilometres was won by Jan Bakelants, but no one was very interested. Next up was the intermediate sprint in Thizy les Bourgs and the only rider that was interested was José Rojas of Movistar. The French champion; Arthur Vichot (FDJ) led up the steep climb of the Côte de Thizy les Bourgs (Cat 3), but it was Blel Kadri who was first to cross the line 2:50 ahead of Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida) who had escaped the Sky led bunch at 3:30.
The peloton had lost interest and the lead had grown to over 4 minutes and not to be left out of the action; Euskaltel-Euskadi sent Juan José Oroz up the road after the already suicidal efforts of Hoogerland, Cunego and the leaders who were still well in front.
David Millar led the break up the longest climb of the day, the Col du Pilon (Cat 3), with 64.5 kilometres to go; Blel Kadri was first at the top ahead of Andrew Talansky. At 55 seconds was Johnny Hoogerland who had dropped Cunego who was at 1:25 then Oroz was still trying to stay away and the bunch was at 4 minutes.
On the long descent from the Pilon climb; Hoogerland waited for Cunego and Oroz gave up and waited for the peloton.
The Last 50 Kilometres to Lyon
The bunch were still not that interested in a concerted chase and the lead was getting near 5 minutes with Hoogerland/Cunego at 2:25 and looking like they would not be making the front.
Marcus Burghardt made a little attack on the 4th Cat climb of the Côte de Lozanne, but it wasn’t too serious and Jens Voigt took the 1 KOM point at the top. Cunego and Hoogerland were 3:27 back and the peloton at just over 6 minutes. Meanwhile the bunch looked happy just to ride the last 28 kilometres at a comfortable tempo.
The first attack came from Michael Albasini, that was brought back by Voigt and then Millar was the next to go but he too was caught and now the escape group riders started to really watch each other.
So Close for Simon
Up the Côte de la Duchére and Bakelants attacked putting his team mate Voigt out of the back, on a slight flat section and Van Garderen was next to put the pressure on and then it was Millar who cracked. Right after the climb Julien Simon jumped and pushed hard on the descent as Van Garderen stretched the group out in pursuit.
Blel Kadri rode away from the chasers at the start of the last climb of the day: the Côte de la Croix-Rousse as Simon forced his way through the throng of ecstatic French fans. Simon crested the summit with 24 seconds on Kadri with the others on his heels with 9 kilometres to go to the finish in Lyon.
Van Garderen had the bit between his teeth and was pulling hard to bring the others up to Simon who was taking every chance on the corners.
5 Nervous K’s
Everyone in the group was putting in a little attack or chase which played into the hands of Simon who was holding them at a handful of seconds. Van Garderen was the most consistent of the chase as the others started to look at each other on the wide, tree lined boulevards of Lyon.
3 kilometres out and Lars Ytting Bak, Bakelants and Gautier jumped as they could see Simon ahead. Simon died a hundred deaths into the last kilometre and it was Albasini first to reach him and then Trentin crossed to them and it was all together for the sprint.
Albasini lead out and the others fanned out across the road with Trentin coming through the middle. It could have been any of five riders; Albasini, Trentin, Talansky, Rojas or Garcia for the win but it was Trentin who had it in the can as the others had used everything in the chase to bring back Simon.
Not the usual Omega Pharma – Quick-Step rider over the line first, but the Italian; Matteo Trentin brought another exciting stage to its climax.
None of the jerseys changed hands, but the tension has been turned up a notch for the summit finish on Mont Ventoux tomorrow. Stay PEZ for Ed’s day Roadside and all the other Tour fun!
Tour de France Stage 14 Result:
1. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 4:15:11
2. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge
3. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp
4. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar
5. Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis
6. Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol
7. Simon Geschke (Ger) Argos-Shimano
8. Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ
9. Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha
10. Cyril Gautier (Fra) Europcar.
Tour de France Overall After Stage 14:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 55:22:58
2. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin at 2:28
3. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff at 2:45
4. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff at 2:48
5. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin at 3:01
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 4:39
7. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 4:44
8. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 5:18
9. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 5:39
10. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha at 5:48.