Slovenian race chief Primoz Roglic once more regarded in fabulous type as he survived a take a look at of nerves in Lyon on Saturday because the Tour de France heads right into a mouthwatering sequence of mountain levels over the following week. Denmark’s Soren Kragh Andersen of the Sunweb workforce soloed to victory on a stage 14 that noticed him produce a last-gasp break into France’s second metropolis and arrange one other thrilling finale.
“We pulled it off, it’s the kind of thing you dream of,” Andersen stated on the line, the place no followers had been allowed over the ultimate 100m attributable to coronavirus well being and security protocols.
The 158-strong peloton left a carnival environment in rugby-loving Clermont-Ferrand for a difficult run on a sizzling day, with Peter Sagan’s Bora workforce taking cost because the Slovak focused useful dash factors in Lyon by shaking off his personal rivals over the stage’s 5 hills.
With a dangerous inner-city end it was outsider Andersen, nonetheless, who sprung a lightning assault within the last kilometre to clinch a second win for his workforce this week after Marc Hirschi’s solo win on Thursday.
Sagan got here in fourth because the bunch sprinted wildly to the road.
But Ireland’s Sam Bennett stays barely forward of the seven-time Tour de France factors winner within the race for the inexperienced jersey.
With a contact of irony, Lyon’s Green mayor Gregory Doucet, who this week described the Tour as “macho and polluting”, handed Bennett his inexperienced jersey.
– Sprinters left behind –
Andersen summed up the nervy stage the place German outfit Bora modified the character of proceedings on a day the place a bunch dash had been a extra seemingly situation as an alternative of the elite clique of the robust one-day specialists and yellow jersey rivals that finally contested a frantic finale.
“Bora had a big impact on the race, because they almost made the peloton half its usual size. That made it much harder on the hills, but it changed everything because the sprinters were all left behind,” stated Andersen.
Race chief Roglic additionally mirrored on the quicker, extra aggressive than anticipated racing with Sunday’s stage looming massive within the minds of the favourites.
“That was high-level racing,” stated the previous ski jumper. “I though it would be easier today but as you see it wasn’t.”
The race will climb out of Lyon and into the mountains on Sunday’s stage 15: a 174km journey that includes 35km of climbing in what may very well be a decisive summit end on one of many Tour’s iconic finishes, at 1,501m of altitude atop Grand Colombier after a last, gruelling 17.4km ascent at a median 7.1% gradient.
“We’ll see how it goes tomorrow, as usual we will just try to survive,” stated Roglic, who leads fellow Slovene Tadej Pogacar by 44sec.
Defending champion Egan Bernal stands third, at 59sec, the 23-year-old Colombian working out of levels to ramp up the defence of his title.
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