Stage 13 of the Tour de France brought the much-anticipated climbing in the Massif Central that was sure to shake, rattle and roll the general classification. There were seven classified climbs on the 191.5km day, including a first-time mountaintop finish at the Pas de Peyrol on Puy Mary that saw EF Pro Cycling and Bora-Hansgrohe fight for the top prize.
Two riders from Arkéa-Samsic – Nairo Quintana and Winner Anacona – experienced some tough rattles as they were involved in crashes, with Quintana mixed in a fall with other GC contenders, coming away with lots of contusions and losing time in the overall race for the yellow jersey.
The leader of Israel Start-Up Nation, Dan Martin, suffered a fractured sacrum last month at the Critérium du Dauphiné, but is working his way back to the top, finishing 11th place on the stage – a small victory.
A team that keeps rolling along in a solid way at this year's Tour is EF Pro Cycling. Along with the stage win on Friday at Puy Mary, taken by Dani Martínez, the team saw leader Rigoberto Urán move up to fourth overall, just 11 seconds behind Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) in third. The squad is now leading the teams classification.
'Crazy days' lie ahead, with more mountains on the weekend – five categorised climbs on stage 14 and the stage 15 summit finish at the Grand Colombier.
Read on for the Tour de France stage 13 news shorts.
Quintana bruised but continues in fifth on GC
Most of stage 13 was all about climbing, but some of the drama involved some big names hitting the ground. With 86km to go in the stage, a crash in the peloton took down Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic). Mollema was forced to abandon, and after the stage Bardet was deemed unable to start on Saturday.
Quintana escaped with bruises to his knees and elbows, as the team noted on social media, and is expected to continue his Tour. His Colombian teammate Winner Anacona came down, too, and also suffered multiple contusions and scrapes. Both finished the stage, with Quintana crossing the finish line at Puy Mary behind Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) in 21st position, both 6:45 after the stage winner. Anacona finished another 15 minutes later.
While Quintana still sits fifth in the general classification, he lost 40 seconds to GC leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), and is now 1:12 in arrears. He said he was still in the fight for a podium finish.
Bulletin médical Nairo QuintanaContusions sur les deux genoux, ainsi que sur les deux coudes suite à sa chute survenue sur cette 13e étape du Tour de France Winner AnaconaContusions sur la fesse, la main et le genou gauche📸:@bettiniphoto pic.twitter.com/Btr8CxF0YuSeptember 11, 2020
Dan Martin positive about Puy Mary finish
It was a month ago that Dan Martin of Israel Start-Up Nation was forced to abandon the Critérium du Dauphiné after he crashed hard during the high-speed run-in to the Col de la Porte on stage 2 of the race. Martin landed hard on his lower back, but got up and finished the stage. However, he was later diagnosed with a non-dislocated sacral fracture.
"It's a shame, as I felt I was in great shape, but I'm a fast healer and I have reason to remain optimistic," the Irishman said after the stage that day in August.
Now in September, he has been getting stronger and looking for opportunities on individual stages, rather than a focus on the overall title, as he is more than an hour out of contention for the yellow jersey.
On stage 14, Martin crossed the finish by himself in 11th place, 4:31 behind the stage winner, Dani Martínez (EF Pro Cycling). However, he was over a minute ahead of race leader Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) on the stage, having been part of the breakaway.
"I am treating today as a victory, as I felt like myself again," Martin said in a team statement after the finish on Friday. "Four weeks ago, I could hardly walk, and really didn't think I would make it to the start-line, but the team believed in me and gave me the chance to be here. The first two weeks have been difficult mentally, but today for the first time I really felt like my back was not holding me back.
"We were fully committed for the first 50km of racing, and I think we all paid for it in the end. I really believed we could go to the finish, but the strong group came from behind after having a much easier ride than us, and by the last climb, I had nothing left. As a racer, I'm disappointed with the result, but to feel like myself again is a relief, and we will keep working to get that stage victory for the team."
He gave us everything he had, our Irishman @DanMartin86. And although it wasn’t enough to win, we could not ask for more. Dan: ”I am treating today as a victory in itself as I felt like me again.”. Welcome back, Dan. @LeTour #TDF2020 #BelikeMoti pic.twitter.com/Qft0YGHioNSeptember 11, 2020
Taking today as a personal victory. The result wasn’t what our ambition wanted but 4 weeks ago I could barely walk after fracturing my sacrum. Today I finally felt like I could push again. Hope to get the right break again soon.September 11, 2020
EF Pro Cycling top teams classification
With a stage victory from Dani Martínez on Friday, and three teammates in the top 20 at Puy Mary, EF Pro Cycling moved to the top of the team standings on Friday. The team had three riders in the breakaway – Hugh Carthy, Neilson Powless and Martínez – with Carthy finishing ninth on the stage. Powless lost a bit of punch in his third breakaway of the week, but finished 17th, two spots in front of team leader Rigoberto Urán, who moved up to fourth place in the overall standings.
"We're obviously delighted for Dani and the whole team. The guys rode great today, putting three of them in the move from the start. It was a really difficult start and we got the right guys in there," said sports director Tom Southam.
"It was going to be a bit tricky with the composition of the break, but a lot of them were pretty tired, so it just kind of came down to who was the best, even when Dani was in a bit of a tight spot with the two Bora guys.
"You could see as soon as Lennard Kämna tried attacking him at the bottom of the climb, when they still had 20 seconds to Max Schachmann, that Dani was the best. He closed the gap so easily and reeled in Schachmann bit by bit and made sure Kämna couldn't get a jump on him, which he did perfectly. We knew he was always going to win the sprint," he said.
"Today was a good day. And made ever better since we are now back in the lead of the teams classification."
Roller coaster of climbs on tap for weekend
The total elevation gain on Friday was 4,400m – the most climbing of all 21 stages in the Tour this year. There are two more days of climbing before the riders can rest on Monday.
Saturday's stage is complicated on the front end with some tough climbs, and leads to a very punchy finish. There are three categorised climbs in the first 93 kilometres, and then the final two come with just 12.5km to go. The finale will put off the sprinters, so expect a break to win.
Sunday features the second Alpine summit finish of the 2020 Tour on the Col du Grand Colombier. This is a decisive stage in the Alps, with two other climbs in the final 70km of the stage, and then the 17.4km haul to the hors-catégorie finish at the Grand Colombier, so look for more shake-ups in the GC.
"OK, so it has started," tweeted Ineos Grenadiers' Michał Kwiatkowski on Friday after team leader Egan Bernal lost time on stage 13. "Some crazy days ahead at the 2020 Tour de France."
OK, so it has started 😅 Some crazy days ahead at #TDF2020 Not the kind of result we wanted... but we’ll keep on fighting like today 💪🏻 @INEOSGrenadiers @LeTour pic.twitter.com/83Dfft3hkwSeptember 11, 2020
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