The recipe for stage 14 of the Tour de France was supposed to end in a delicious sprint finish and (after a looooong 208kms) it lived up to expectations as Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) earned his 4th Michelin Star. Oops, I mean TDF stage victory of 2016 – and his 30th career victory overall.
Rider of the RaceEmbed from Getty Images
The rider of the race has to be the Manx Missile, Mark Cavendish. Before coming into this year’s Tour, many thought Cav would struggle to win even one stage. Pre-race cycling pundits gave the nod to Marcel Kittel (Ettix Quickstep) and Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) but Cav has now beaten Kittel multiple times in head-to-head sprints and Greipel has barely been a factor.
Today Cav came off Kittel’s wheel to take victory by more than a bike length. The big German was frustrated by what he thought was Cav’s irregular line in the closing meters and submitted a protest, to no avail. The rest of the top 5 saw Alexander Kristoff come in second, followed by Peter Sagan (who picked up more green jersey points) with Giant’s John Degenkolb in fourth. So great to see the Mighty Degs back! Kittel ended in fifth, but surprisingly there was no birthday Gorilla in the top 5.
Unfortunately this stage was not immune to crashes. Matti Breschel (Cannonade) reportedly got tangled up with Daniel Navarro (Cofidis) at the back end of the peloton. The Danish strong man ended up severely cutting his leg and had to abandon the race. Matti thanked the fans for their support as he was lifted into the back of an ambulance. Matti is a VeloVoices favorite and we wish him a speedy recovery.
Breakfast served hot
I have to admit, this stage was a bit boring until the last 5kms. [A bit? It was duller than a dull thing from Dull Town! – Ed] While watching Jeremy Roy (FDJ) and Martin Elmiger (IAM) get slowly baked by the peloton, I had time to whip up a little breakfast – my special Tour de France omelet.
1 Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) 5:43:49
2 Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) s/t
3 Peter Sagan (Tinkof) s/t
4 John Degenkolb (Giant) s/t
5 Marcel Kittel (Etixx Quickstep) s/t
GC top 5
1 Chris Froome (Sky) 58:02:51
2 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) +1:47
3 Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) +2:45
4 Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +2:59
5 Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) +3:17
All the jerseys
Leader’s jersey: Chris Froome (Sky)
Points jersey: Peter Sagan (Tinkoff)
KOM jersey: Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal)
Best Young Rider: Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange)
For full stage review: cyclingnews
Header image: ©GETTY/Chris Graythen