Skip to main content

Pinot and Bardet left empty-handed at Mende

Image 1 of 5

Cummings is about to catch Pinot and Bardet.

Cummings is about to catch Pinot and Bardet.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 2 of 5

French President Francois Hollande smiles from an official car as he attends stage 14 of the Tour de France.

French President Francois Hollande smiles from an official car as he attends stage 14 of the Tour de France.
Image 3 of 5

French President Francois Hollande claps as the peloton passes during stage 14 of the Tour de France.

French President Francois Hollande claps as the peloton passes during stage 14 of the Tour de France.
Image 4 of 5

Romain Bardet rides through the spectators during stage 14 of the 2015 Tour de France.

Romain Bardet rides through the spectators during stage 14 of the 2015 Tour de France.
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
Image 5 of 5

Thibaut Pinot in the stage 14 breakaway.

Thibaut Pinot in the stage 14 breakaway.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Stranger things have happened when the French president has visited the Tour de France in years past, though the thought will be of little consolation to Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) after they contrived to allow victory slip through their fingers in Mende on stage 14.

In 1960, for instance, the peloton stopped at Colombey-les-deux-Église to pay its respects to Charles De Gaulle, which allowed Pierre Beuffeuil, delayed by a puncture, to make up three minutes and then slip away to snare a cheeky stage victory in Troyes.

On Saturday afternoon, before the visiting President François Hollande, Stephen Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka) sprang a surprise of another kind when he caught Pinot and Bardet as the road flattened out with a little over a kilometre to go, and then blew right by them to win the stage.