Tour de France 2021: Stage 14 – Give Bauke Mollema an inch and he’ll take a stage victory

Tour de France 2021 has already seen so much action, it would be easy to forget that this race only began two weeks ago. Each stage has had a unique story: there have been crashes galore, emotions by the truckload, and yesterday even witnessed history being made. But finally Stage 14 from Carcassonne to Quillan provided us with a conventional (and slightly dull) day in the saddle – and it almost felt like a relief!

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) shrewdly claimed the stage victory after attacking his breakaway companions on the penultimate descent of the day and steadily building an insurmountable lead. Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Sergio Higuita (EF Education-Nippo) rounded out the day’s podium. There was also a small shuffle in the general classification as Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) moves up from eighth to second place overall. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) remains untouchable in the maillot jaune.

A Frantic Start

The early action in the day’s racing was hectic from the drop of Christian Prudhomme’s flag with little control at the front of the peloton. The pace was high and attacks were flying, the yellow jersey was covering moves, but no breakaway stuck until after 80km of racing had already been covered.

Not only did we get a breakaway, but we also got some great tips for WiFi passwords. Entertaining AND useful!

Finally a group got away, and stayed away, and so 10 riders went stage hunting…

Green jersey grupett and the grupetto behind the grupetto…

The super-high pace of the opening hour put some riders in difficulty very prematurely in the stage.

El Tractor, Tim Declercq (Deceuninck-QuickStep), still suffering after his crash on Stage 13, battled his way back to Mark Cavendish‘s grupetto.

We received this tweet with such relief.

And fortunately, no riders finished Stage 14 outside of the time-limit!

Belle France

With things settled for the time being in the breakaway and the peloton, the #couchpeloton and TV viewers were able to spend some time appreciating the stunning French scenery.

Woods and Wout Kings of the Mountain

The King of the Mountains classification had Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) starting the day in 3rd (8 points off 1st) and 4th (11 points off 1st) place, respectively.

With both Woods and Poels making the day’s breakaway, the battle to topple Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) and to take the polka dots was ON. Over three ascents, only two points separated Woods from Poels, even after the Dutchman took a flying victory for maximum points on Cote de Galinagues.

Twelve points to the Canadian on the day meant Woods will wear polka dots on Stage 15.

Is Rusty the first Canadian rider to ever wear the polka dots at the Tour de France?

No… that honour belongs to Alex Stieda, who led the competition in 1986!

Mollema’s Momentous Minute

Bauke Mollema astutely took a jump on his breakaway competitors on the penultimate descent of the day with more than 40km remaining, rather than waiting for the final climb.

He immediately opened a small gap while his rivals didn’t react, and some already knew that as soon as the gap was there, this stage could be Bauke’s for the taking.

Not a stranger to a breakaway or a Grand Tour win, Mollema has previously won a Tour stage in 2017 and also a Vuelta stage in 2013. In 2019, Mollema was also retrospectively awarded a podium place for 2011 Vuelta a Espana.

The Dutchman opened up a gap of just over 1 minute on his breakaway contenders, his diesel engine kept the legs turning over and his brave attack brought him a just reward with the stage victory.

A worthy winner!

The SRAM social media manager got a bit overcome with emotion – but not so overcome that they forgot to put in a few symbols to keep it clean.

Guillaume Martin Stakes a Claim on the GC

A possible lapse in judgement from teams with riders currently jockeying for GC podium positions allowed Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) to escape in the day’s breakaway and then allowed the breakaway to build quite an advantage as UAE saw no reason to chase. It took until quite late on in the stage for EF Education Nippo to realise their podium spot was at risk by the gap that had been formed.

If you have not read the Cofidis vampire conspiracy theory by Iain Treloar for CyclingTips then you must!

The group of GC contenders including Rigoberto Uran (EF Education Nippo) and Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) who started the day in second and third on GC, came in approximately 5:30 down on Guillaume Martin. Uran and Vingegaard drop a place (so the Jumbo-Visma rider is now off the podium) as, to the delight of the mighty Cofidis fans, the fighting Frenchman moves up to second on GC!

Finally a normal Tour de France stage. Tadej Pogacar keeping a tight hold on his maillot jaune for now! On to the Pyrenees we gooooo…

The Last Word

(loosely translated: A day at the grater, a day with your tongue hanging out on the bar tape, a day where you end up smoked like salmon, a day for Bauke Mollema, in short


Stage 14 Top 5

1 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) 4:16:16

2 Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) +1:04

3 Sergio Higuita (EF Education Nippo) s/t

4 Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck QuickStep) +1:06

5 Michael Woods (Israel Start-up Nation) +1:10

General Classification Top 10

1 Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 56:50:21

2 Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) +4:04

3 Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-Nippo) +5:18

4 Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +5:32

5 Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) +5:33

6 Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën Team)  +5:58

7 Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe)+6:16

8 Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech) +6:30

9 Enric Mas (Movistar Team) +7:11

10 Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck QuickStep) +9:48

All the jerseys

Leaders jersey: Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)

Points jersey: Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick Step)

KOM jersey: Michael Woods (Israel Start-up Nation)

Best young rider jersey : Tadej Pogacar (UAE Emirates)

For full stage review, go to cyclingnews

Official Tour de France website is here

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