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Tour de France 2013: Stage 14

 Bonjour and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 14 of the Tour de France. The hilly 191km stage is from Saint-Pourcain-sur-Sioule to Lyon.

 Following the fireworks of Friday's stage, many riders will be hoping for a quieter day in the hills before Sunday's showdown on the slopes of Mont Ventoux. 

However the tension is high  at the start, with riders warming up on the rollers ready for a high-speed start.

Riders will be fighting to get into the break of the day. If it contains riders who are not an overall threat, Team Sky will almost certainly let it go clear. However Peter Sagan (Cannondale) will be chasing points for the green jersey competition and so will also want to be in the action.

 

The riders have left the start area and are now in the neutralised section. When the flag drops the first attacks will begin.

Following the aggressive racing and Movistar's bad day, Saxo-Tinkoff has now taken the lead in the team classification. They will wear yellow race numbers.

The Omega Pharma-Quick Step won the most combative award for their ride in stage 13. Mark Cavendish ears a red number today in recognition of their award.

And they're off!

The flag has dropped and stage 14 is officially underway.

Race radio has confirmed that 181 riders started the stage today.

Today's stage includes seven categorised climbs but dozens of others that will make for a hard day in the saddle.

The attacks gave begun! Three riders are trying to get away. 

As expected, the speed is super fast in the early kilometres, touching close to 50km/h.

The three breakaways could form a super group of attackers.

They are: Lars Bak (Lotto Belisol), Jens Voigt (Radioshack-Leopard) and Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale).

All three have major races with solo attacks and long days in the breakaway.

The trio have 20 seconds but the peloton doesn't want to let them go.

The gap is up to 30 seconds now. Will they be allowed to get away?

 

Orica-GreenEdge is just of several teams who have missed the move. The Australian team is out to win another stage today and were spotted warming up on the rollers before the start.

Two other riders are trying to jump across to the trio. The two are: Christophe Le Mevel (Cofidis) and French national champion Arthur Vichot (FDJ.fr).

More riders are trying to get across to the break: Jean Marc Marino (Sojasun) and Canada's David Veilleux (Team Europcar) are also trying their hand.

This could become a significant move.

Christophe Le Mevel (Cofidis) and Arthur Vichot (FDJ.fr) have made it. There are now five riders at the front of the race.

170km remaining from 191km

Ouch! The average speed is still 48km/h. 

166km remaining from 191km

The bid by Marino and Veilleux has been caught, leaving the five riders up the road at 40 seconds.

Will the peloton let them go?

 

 

Here comes the peloton. The gap has dropped to 25 seconds.

Le Mevel has now dropped back to the peloton.

158km remaining from 191km

The gap is now 35 seconds. This is a battle of strength and nerve between the four breakaways and the peloton.

156km remaining from 191km

The four are trying hard but the peloton is just 15 seconds behind now. Expect more attacks if the quartet is caught.

Another twist in the race: 14 riders have joined the four up front.

The 18 have 30 seconds but the Argos-Shimano team is not in the move and is leading the chase.

139km remaining from 191km

The 18 riders have more than a minute now. In there are David Millar and Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp). Talansky is best placed rider overall and so could move up from 17th of the break is allowed to go clear.  

Tejay van Garderen (BMC) is also in the move with teammate Andreas Burghardt.

131km remaining from 191km

After 60km of intense racing, the average speed is still a leg-burning 48km/h.

Lampre-Merida and Euskaltel-Euskad have missed the move and are leading the chase behind.

Simon Geschke (Argos-Shimano) was the first to the top of the first categorised climb as the breakaway riders work hard together.

The peloton refuses to give up with Euskaltel leading the chase.

Vacansoleil-DCM’s Thomas de Gendt was still rubbing the sleep out of his eyes when he came out to say hello to his girlfriend at this morning’s stage start in Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule.

“I’m very tired at this moment,” said the Belgian. “I was sleeping in the bus and I think everybody’s tired.”

The fatigue was general – it’s normal after 13 days, he said.

But despite the weariness, the versatile rider anticipated an aggressive day’s racing from Vacansoleil-DCM. He predicted a tension between the break and Cannondale who would be keen to set up the stage for Peter Sagan in Lyon.

“I think everybody in the Vacansoleil team could go in the break so we will try from the beginning and see how it goes.

“Sagan will maybe want to have a sprint but there will be a lot of people who will want to go in the break.

“It’s gonna to be a fight to get in the break and then it’s gonna be fight to try to stay in the front. We will have to see how it goes in the race how much wind there is and then we have to act to that.”
 

Team Sky is also close to the front, keeping Chris Froome out of trouble and any possible splits.

The gap is falling. It is just 35 seconds now.

Marcus Burghardt and Tejay van Garderen are in the break for BMC as one of the biggest budget teams in the WorldTour tries to save something from what has so far been a very disappointing Tour de France.

Susan jumping in for a spell. The gap is really yo-yoing around here, from 30 to 56 seconds. Currently at 49.

It looks now as if the peloton has decided to settle back and let the group go at last.

Things will be busy in the next 30 km or so, roughly in the middle of the stage. We have feed zone, the intermediate sprint and three ranked climbs, all quite close together.

And the gap has indeed stretched out, now at 1:20.

 

Alberto Contador (Saxo--Tinkoff) picked up a minute on the yellow jersey yesterday, but knows that he still has to attack, attack, attack -- especially in the Alps.

96km remaining from 191km

With 96km to go, it is obvious that the peloton decided to let this group go. The gap is now 2:11.

Sky leaves the way through the feed zone.

There are two climbs near the end of the stage, which are rather short, nasty ones. And they could be decisive to the outcome.

Lots and lots of fans lining the road today. And why not -- it is the weekend and lovely summer weather!

Jan Bakelants (RadioShack) got the mountain point at the second climb of the day.

There are seven ranked climbs today, but you could hardly call this a climbing stage. It is more like a Belgian Classic.

85km remaining from 191km

With 85 km to go the gap is now over three minutes. 3:05, to be exact.

We are approaching the day's intermediate sprint, but it won't have any effect on the points ranking today.

Movistar's Rojas took the top points at the sprint. The field now crosses over, with a 3:22 gap.

Coincidentally, it was former Sky rider Mick Rogers who was the inspiration for the late Saxo-Tinkoff attack yesterday.

Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil) and Damiano Cunego (Lampre) jump from the peloton.

Biel Kadri, who formerly wore the KOM jersey, has taken the top points at the most recent climb.

Hoogerland and Cunego are slowly pulling away. They are 2:50 down, with the peloton at 3:30.

190km remaining from 191km

With 71 km to go, the gap is now at 4:00.

Thibaut Pinot of FDJ is visiting the race doctor. A

Oroz of Euskaltel has also jumped from the field to give chase.

The Sky train leads today. They are seemingly determined not to be caught out again.

The entire Vacansoleil team missed the breaks yesterday. As you might imagine, team management was not really happy about this.

Steve is back, so I will hand it off to him again.

70km remaining from 191km

There just less than 70km to race today. All is quiet for now but the final two climbs will split the breakaway.

Alasdair Fotheringham drove over the final two climbs earlier and wrote this description.

We soon will find out if he is right.

Hoogerland has dropped Cunego and is chasing alone over the top of the climb. He is only 55 seconds behind the break.

The crowds are huge on the col de Pilon. They will no doubt head to Mont Ventoux tonight for another day watching the Tour de France.

Hoogerland is chasing hard behind but the speed is fast up front after Marcus Burghardt (BMC) opened a gap.

Hoogerland has eased up and realised he;s not going to get across to the break. He's taken on fresh bidons and is eating some food, while waiting for the peloton.

53km remaining from 191km

In fact Hoogerland has waited for Cunego and now the two are still trying to get across the gap.

Team Sky is still riding on the front, setting a steady tempo.

Pierre Rolland is staying well hidden in the peloton, despite the hills of the stage offering some points for the climber's competition. He is saving himself for the big Alpine stages and Sunday's Mont Ventoux finish.

You can't miss Rolland in his polka-dot clothing.

Sunday's is Bastille Day, with fireworks set to fill the night skies after to celebrate the French national holiday. Fireworks are also expected during stage 15 to the summit of Mont Ventoux.

It is the 15th time the Tour de France climbs the Geant of Provence and the ninth finish at the summit. 

Cycling history has often been made on the Ventoux. Check out this special Cyclingnews feature and photo gallery about Mont Ventoux by Pete Hymas.

 

If the break retains this five minute lead, Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) will rise from 17th to 13th. It was a smart move to put him and Millar in the break.

Millar won stage 12 of Tour de France on this day last year. Can he repeat his success on the anniversary of the death of Tommy Simpson?

The break is on the Côte de Lozanne, with Burghardt again trying to sneak away from the breakaway.

Hoogerland and Cunego are still out front but they are fading and dropping gradually backwards towards the peloton.

The peloton crosses the summit of the Côte de Lozanne 6:03 behind the breakaway.

25km remaining from 191km

The breakaway riders are getting frisky upfront. Albasini had a dig and so did Millar. Both were quickly caught.

The riders are watching each other now. The smooth work of a double line has stopped. The riders know they will fight it out for the stage victory.

The two last climbs begin very soon, with t!e Côte de la Duchère.

Bakelants is the first to attack!

And he spits teammate Jens Voigt out of the back.

Bakelants goes again, taking four other riders away. But Millar drags up the others.

Now van Garderen goes for it as Millar is dropped.

Millar makes a gesture to say "I'm cooked!"

Julien Simon is off the front after the leaders cross the top of the first climb. It's a fast descent to the river and then the final climb begins with several hairpins.

13km remaining from 191km

Van Garderen is leading the chase behind Simon.

Simon looks back and can see the chasers. Trentin accelerates away in pursuit of Simon.

However Trentin is caught and Simon is only a hundred metres clear.  

Simon is on the hairpin section. Who will jump across from behind?

Blel Kadri (AG2R La Mondiale) is the first to try.

The crowds are huge!

Simon has 22 seconds now and is close to the top. They will have to move quickly behind if they want to fight for victory.

10km remaining from 191km

Simon has a 24-sec lead on Kadri. Van Garderen, Pichot and others are just behind. The descent will be decisive.

Van Garderen seems strong today. A stage victory would make up for a disappointing Tour de France.

However the talented young American could be working to help Burghardt.

Simon has a 15-second lead but faces a 6.5km ride along the riverbank.

Riders keep trying to attack to get across but they are quickly chased down. Albasini tries again but is pulled back.

5km remaining from 191km

Now Kadri and van Garderen have jumped away in pursuit of Simon.

Simon looks around but still has a gap.

Van Garderen is dragging the break across to Simon.

Now Burghardt accelerates but he is followed  by everyone else.

Van Garderen has been dropped after his huge turn on the front.

3km remaining from 191km

Simon has 14 seconds but Bak has jumped after him. Bakelants and Gautier are there too.

Simon is digging deep to try and stay clear.

Simon is in the 2km long finishing straight.

Burghardt is going after Simon. He looks strong.

Albasini is trying to get up to Burghardt and helps with the chase. He passes him and catches Simon.

1km remaining from 191km

But other riders are coming back up. It's going to be a sprint of ten or so riders.

Bakelants leads out.

Albasini tries to come past him but Trentin comes up from far back and uses his speed to win by half a wheel.

Italy finally gets a stage win after a three-year drought.

Trentin also gives Omega Pharma-Quick Step its second consecutive stage win.

Van Garderen finishes with his hands on is hips. The American rode well and will be encouraged by his day in the break.

The peloton has yet to finish but Team Sky is bringing them home.

Millar and Voigt finish together, 4 and half minutes behind.

The peloton is 1km from the finish.

The peloton finishes 7:17 That means Andrew Talansky will move up to 12th in the GC.

 It is Trentin's first win as a professional and his teammates rightly invaded the  TV area to hug him and celebrate together.

Chris Froome (Team Sky) smiles shyly on the podium. Today was a quiet day for the yellow jersey. Tomorrow on Mont Ventoux will be very different. 

 

That's it for today's Cyclingnews live coverage.

Checkout Cyclingnews.com for a full report, a huge photo gallery, exclusive video content, news and interviews. 

 

Join us tomorrow for full coverage of stage 15 of the Tour de France to the summit of Mont Ventoux. It is going to be a special Bastille Day on the 100th edition of the Tour de France, 

 

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