Tour de France 2022 : Stage 14 – Matthews takes audacious stage win

Stage 14 of the Tour de France was a long (191km), hellishly hot stage that hardly had a flat bit – in fact, it had 4 cat 3 climbs and 1 cat 2 climbs … and a fair few of unclassified climbs that just added insult to injury to the riders’ legs. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t exciting. It was BikeExchange’s Michael Matthews who made a bold move off the front of the break with 50-some kilometres to go, which proved to be a stage winning move … but not without a lot of work in between. The sweat-drenched yellow jersey stayed with Jumbo’s Jonas Vingegaard, with Tadej Pogacar (UAE) and Geraint Thomas (Ineos) keeping their respective second and third positions.

Bling brings it home

It’s been five years since Michael Matthews took a stage at the Tour de France – and it seems like it’s been that long since we’ve seen the Australian rider at his best. He was on the cusp of victory twice already – stage 6, where he got Pogged, and Stage 8, where he got Wouted. I guess if you’re going to get beaten, might as well be by the best!

But he did not give up and today, he decided that today was going to be his day, dammit. A break of 23 got away (after a bit of Pogacar drama early in the race) and began their ride through what must have felt like the cauldron of France.

With a gap of 14min, give or take, the win was going to come from the break and even though there were teams that had multiple riders here (Trek-Segafredo, Bora-hansgrohe, Israel-Premier Tech and EF), they did a lot of looking around. So Matthews struck out on his own with around 45km to go to the finish.

Once the riders realised what had happened and that Matthews was ticking up the seconds, Luis Leon Sanchez (Bahrain Victorious), Felix Großschartner (Bora) and Andreas Kron (from Luckless Lotto) bridged to him and they kept ahead of a disorganised, then organised, then chaotic, then faffing chase group. Describing EF’s tactics at this point would warrant an entirely new post, let’s just suffice it to say, King Kelly was disgusted with what passed as teamwork between Alberto Bettiol and Rigoberto Uran.

But Bettiol found some tactics within himself and as the Matthews trio (poor Kron blew a tire and nearly ploughed into spectators) hit the final climb, Bettiol sprung into action. With 3.5km to go and on the gruesome gradients, Matthews dropped Sanchez and Groβschartner and looked to be on his way to victory. But what was that pink blur behind him … Bettiol. It looked as though Bettiol was going to get the better of Matthews, but the Aussie just kept grinding it out until they came to the false flat and he rode away from the Italian rider to take a well-deserved stage win.

A really heartfelt post-stage interview with Matthews – it’s easy to forget that these guys have families who sacrifice as much as they do.

Here are your stage 14 highlights

Pog makes everyone go ‘huh?’

The start of the stage was a strange one in that Tadej Pogacar decided to make his attack with a zillion kilometres to go to the finish.

As you can see by the following tweet, Wout van Aert was having none of this ‘attack from far out to regain the yellow jersey’ malarkey from Pogacar. He shut down every attack, totally neutralising Pog’s attack. Does Pogacar realise that the rider standing between him and the top step is actually WvA?

I don’t see any nerves from Vingegaard on this final climb, do you?

Geraint Thomas is still third, although he’s lost time today.

The last word


Stage 14 results 

1 Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco) 4:30:53

2 Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost) +0:15

3 Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +0:34

4 Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) +0:50

5 Patrick Konrad (Bora-hansgrohe) +0:58

GC Top 10 

1 Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 55:31:01

2 Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +2:22

3 Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) +2:43

4 Romain Bardet (Team DSM) +3:01

5 Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) +4:06

6 Nairo Quintana (Team Arkea-Samsic) +4:15

7 Louis Meintjes (Intermarche-Wanty-Goubert) +4:24

8 David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) +4:24

9 Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) +8:49

10 Enric Mas (Movistar) +9:58

All the jerseys 

Leader’s jersey : Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma)

Points jersey : Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)

King of the Mountains jersey : Simon Geschke (Cofidis)

Young Rider Jersey : Tadej Pogacar (UAE)

Most combative : Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco)

Team competition : INEOS Grenadiers

For the full stage review, go to cyclingnews

Go here for the official Tour de France website

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