Stage 14: St-Pourcain-sur-Sioule to Lyon, 191km, rolling
This stage favours a strong breakaway – there are five cat 4 and two cat 3 climbs, mainly in the second half of the stage – yet it’s the last stage until Paris for the sprinters to have a glimmer of a chance so we might see some real activity in the last third of the stage.
With 242km and Mont Ventoux on the menu tomorrow, there will probably be no appetite amongst the GC teams – we say ‘probably’, but after yesterday’s echelon-based shenanigans, who can tell? – to chase so everyone will try to get a man in the break, especially those who have endured a barren Tour thus far. So, Cofidis, Sojasun, Vacansoleil, Lampre, FDJ, Tommy Voeckler, Philippe Gilbert, the list goes on and on …
The sprinters’ teams – OPQS, Argonauts and Lotto-Belisol – will have to decide if they are up to controlling the stage for a chance at launching their sprinters. I suspect the break will stay away – this stage has Sylvain Chavanel written all over it but it wouldn’t surprise me if Peter Sagan got into the break and bossed the finish, just to put a final stamp on a green jersey competition which is all but mathematically over.
Bit of trivia: In a lovely piece of symmetry, the last time the Tour finished in Lyon was in 2003 – the 100th anniversary of the very first Tour – with Alessandro Petacchi the stage victor. And today the 100th edition of the Tour finishes in Lyon. Neat, huh?!
Link: Official website
Header picture: Fontaine des Terreaux in Lyon