Stage 14: St-Pourcain-sur-Sioule to Lyon, 191km
Predictions thus far in this Tour de France have more often than not turned out to be wrong, wrong, wrong. It was believed that today a breakaway would be allowed to go away and stay away. Today, friends, the stage went according to plan.
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.
Stage 14: Cervere to Bardonecchia, 180km
With TV images restricted to the final 400 metres of the concluding Jafferau climb, it was perhaps appropriate that the first figure to emerge from the mist was the flourescent hi-vis glow of the Vini Fantini-Selle Italia strip of Mauro Santambrogio, who led the equally bright maglia rosa of Vincenzo Nibali to the finish. Nibali did not challenge for the stage victory, settling instead for second place, but he was the day’s big winner as he put time into all his key rivals. Ag2r La Mondiale’s Carlos Betancur was nine seconds behind in third, his third top-three finish in the last six stages.