Stage 14 of Tour de France 2020 presented perhaps the last opportunity for the sprinters before Paris and a dramatic showdown between Bora-hansgrohe and Deceuninck-Quickstep in the battle of the green jersey. The stage featured five categorised climbs over 194 kilometres, including two Category 4 climbs in the final 10 kilometres.
Executed by phenomenal teamwork, stage honours went to a solo Soren Kragh Andersen. Kragh Andersen attacked with 3km to go, and soloed to a fantabulous win. Back in the peloton, Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott) and Simone Consonni (Cofidis) rounded out the podium. The general classification remained unchanged, with Primoz Roglic retaining yellow.
The Green War
Bora went to work on behalf on Peter Sagan early in the stage, setting a fierce pace on the Col du Béal, and distancing green jersey leader Sam Bennett. The ultimate goal, of course, was to ensure Bennett would be unable to contest for points at the finish in Lyon. [Or tire him out so much he missed the time cut? If not this stage, then others? – Ed]
While Sagan and Bora were able to distance Bennett and the majority of other sprint contenders, they failed to deliver the golden egg: a stage victory.
Never not the gentleman of the peloton, Sam Bennett surrendered to today’s hills, and vowed to fight another day. Our favourite Irish tearjerker maintains the green jersey, leads Sagan by 43 points and will surely continue the good fight!
Once Bennett and the majority of the Deceuninck-Quickstep team were distanced, Bora and CCC continued to set tempo at the front of the race. With no real breakaway worth mentioning, the front group rode along as one. Things really heated up inside the final 15 kilometres, as roads narrowed and teams fought for positioning on the approach to the final two climbs.
The Sun of Our Heart’s Web
Phew. . . Sunweb have astounded me this Tour de France, and I remain shocked at how little praise they have received. In their first year without Big Tom, the riders are consistently demonstrating some of the best teamwork that I have ever witnessed!
Lest we forget the brilliant work Sunweb performed over the past week, including near-perfect leadouts for Cees Bol and Marc Hirschi‘s third-time lucky fan-favorite win on Stage 12. Two days later, they have pulled off something that many others have never been able to: the triple threat. Let’s take a look.
To kick things off, Tiesj Benoot lit the flame with a searing attack up the first Category 4 climb. (I’ll never not see Tiesj with his face caked in mud from when he won Strade Bianche in 2018.)
Next, Marc Hirschi was at it AGAIN! The old one-two punch in full effect!
But wait, that wasn’t all! Once the likes of Benoot, Hirschi, Alaphilippe, and Sagan were back in the peloton, Sunweb went a THIRD time! I’ll hand it over the Paris Wheels for the live summary:
Yes, that’s right!! It was Soren Kragh Andersen – SKA! This was the attack that stuck, leading to a glorious solo victory on a day that was supposed to be all about Peter Sagan. Sunweb pulled off the ever-elusive three-prong attack, and it worked! Maybe Netflix should do a documentary about this team – the flip side of that Movistar series!
The Fun Bits
Let’s be honest, not every moment of every stage can be eventful, no matter how much we would like it to be. Some kilometres are just boring. Luckily, there are things to entertain us. . . like the farm lands of France and the press rooms offered by ASO.
The Final Word(s)
It’s a golly hard job picking The Final Word. Sometimes, there’s just too much good tweeting to go around.
Stage 14 Top 5
1 Søren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb) 04:28:10
2 Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott) +0:15
3 Simone Consonni (It’s Pronounced Co-Fee-Dee) s.t.
4 Peter Sagan (Bora-WeDidTheWorkAndGotFourth) s.t.
5 Casper Phillip Pedersen (Team Sunweb) s.t.
GC Top 10
1 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 61:03:00
2 Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Emirates) +0:44
3 Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) +0:59
4 Rigoberto Uran (EF ProCycling) +1:10
5 Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) +1:12
6 Migel Angel Lopez (Astana) +1:31
7 Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +1:42
8 Mikel Landa (Bahrain McLaren) +1:55
9 Richie Porte (Trek Segafredo) +2:06
10 Enric Mas (Movistar) +2:54
All the jerseys
Leader’s jersey Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)
Points jersey Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick Step)
King of the Mountains Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R la Mondiale)
Best Young Rider Tadej Pogacar (UAE)
Most Combative of the Stage: Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ)
For full race reviews, go to cyclingnews.
Official race website: Le Tour
Header image: © GETTY/ Velo / Pool