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Tour de France 2015: Stage 14

Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the 102nd Tour de France. Stage 14 sees the riders travel 178.5km from Rodez to Mende.

Tour de France Stage 13 report
The Cyclingnews Tour de France Podcast episode 15
Tour de France 2015 stage 14 forum
Tour de France 2015 preview
Tour de France 2015 start list

It's another fine day at the Tour de France. After finishing yesterday's stage in Rodez, the riders were able to stay there overnight and that is where we start this morning.

Jean-Chrisophe Péraud est souffrant mais soutenu / still suffering but getting great support! #TDF2015 https://t.co/GFIZokj5jv

@letour Sat, 18th Jul 2015 10:05:31

If you were following yesterday's stage, you'll be aware that Jean Christophe Peraud took a serious fall yesterday. He managed to make it to the finish and a trip to the medical unit showed no broken bones. Last year's second place finisher says he's determined to carry on though.

Yesterday's uphill finish was a tough one but Greg Van Avermaet came through victorious, with Peter Sagan having to accept yet another second place at the Tour. The GC favourites were distanced by the pair but came through together. You can read yesterday's full report here, but here is a quick look at the top 10 from yesterday's stage.

 

1 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 4:43:42
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo
3 Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:03
4 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:07
5 Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
6 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
7 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team
8 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo
9 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
10 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team

The MTN-Qhubeka team will be wearing special helmets for today's stage to honour Mandela Day. Twitter user Owen Hannie posted this shot of Daniel Teklehaimanot this morning.

 

The neutralised start is less than 10 minutes away, here is what the riders face today. That last uphill ramp is expected to cause some problems.

 

Alberto Contador is just over four minutes down in the overall classification at the moment but he's been showing signs of improvement int he last couple of days. He says that he's getting better but he needs time. Read what the former champion has to say here.

The last ramp into the finish might only but 3km but with an average gradient of just over 10 percent we could see some of the overall favourites losing a little bit of time. This is how the general classification looks today.

 

1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 51:34:21
2 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:02:52
3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:09
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:58
5 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:04:03
6 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:04:04
7 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:05:32
8 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 0:07:32
9 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:07:47
10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:08:02

As the riders near the start proper, news has come through this morning that Vincenzo Nibali's room was broken into with 500 euros stolen. Probably not an amount he'll worry too much about but a worrying moment for the Astana rider and it won't help his mind-set going into today.

If you haven't already, listen to the latest episode of our Tour de France podcast as we discuss yesterday's scorcher into Rodez and the history of GC upsets in Mende our finish town for today. Subscribe on iTunes to get each episode as soon as it's available.

The flag has dropped for the riders and we've already got attacks coming off the front of the bunch. Nothing successful thus far though.

173km remaining from 178km

There has been a crash in the bunch and it has split the peloton. It seems like Robert Gesink has been involved.

Thibaut Pinot and his teammate Steve Morabito were involved also, with Morabito abandoning. Pinot is back on his bike as is Gesink.

Abandon de @steve_morabito :( #TDF2015 http://t.co/vT3gxcMWSx

@EquipeFDJ Sat, 18th Jul 2015 11:01:47

We've got our first serious break attempt this afternoon with two riders out front. Cyril Gautier, who was on the attack yesterday, initiated the move, with Ruben Plaza of Lampre-Merida jumping the gap to join him.

Robert Millar blog: They think it's all over. Well, it isn't just yet http://t.co/ueUdDAdql1 http://t.co/LSx609qY4U

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sat, 18th Jul 2015 11:05:08

161km remaining from 178km

There are a number of riders trying to bridge across to our leading duo, who only have 12 seconds on the main peloton. With the road going up immediately, combined with the early crash, riders such as Andre Greipel and Arnaud Demare have been distanced by the bunch.

Riders are slowly making their way back to the bunch following that crash. It looks like Jean Christophe Peraud was involved or at least held up by it. He's already without a lot of his skin after that huge crash yesterday, which he says happened because he was looking behind him for a teammate.

Our two plucky escapees have been brought back by the bunch and all of the stragglers have rejoined from the rear so it's gruppo compatto after 20km of racing.

Green jersey Peter Sagan has gone on the attack, he's been pretty aggressive in the opening kilometres and is obviously on the hunt for the points at the intermediate sprint. He's got Warren Barguil, Giampaolo Caruso, Bartoz Hursarski and Pieter Weening with him.

The Sagan group now have 22 seconds on the bunch with Pierre Rolland and Bob Jungles chasing at 10 seconds back. Sagan's attack had forced a split in the bunch again with Porte and Kennaugh missing the cut.

Porte, Kennaugh and the other stragglers have re-joined the peloton while the leading group has grown to 24 riders with a 1:05 advantage. Riders out front include Peter Sagan, Ryder Hesjedal, Andrew Talansky, Rigoberto Uran and Warren Barguil.

Behind the 24 leaders there are two more chasers. Mickael Cherel and Benoit Vaugrenard are about 18 seconds behind and look like they'll make it over, while the peloton are 1:20 back now.

Here we have it, the full list of the 24 out front: Andriy Grivko (Astana), Matthieu Ladagnous (FDJ), Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), Adriano Malori (Movistar), Warren Barguil and Koen de Kort (Giant-Alpecin), Giampaolo Caruso and Alberto Losada (Katusha), Pieter Weening and Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEdge), Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-QuickStep), Pierre Rolland and Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Bob Jungels (Trek Factory Racing), Ruben Plaza and Rafael Valls (Lampre-Merida), Andrew Talansky and Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale-Garmin), Luis Angel Maté (Cofidis), Jarlinson Pantano (IAM CYcling), Bartosz Huzarski and Paul Voss (Bora-Argon 18), Pierre-Luc Périchon (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) and Stephen Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka)

The two chasers got very close but they have been brought back by the peloton. The gap is just 1:10 and with so many strong riders out front the peloton will be reluctant to let this go too far up the roac.

Sagan extended his lead in the points classification yesterday but he had to settle for second behind Greg Van Avermaet in the sprint for the finish line. The Tinkoff-Saxo rider says he made an error in sitting up when he caught Van Avermaet's wheel.

Despite having a rider in the break it is IAM Cycling that is pulling the peloton along. The gap briefly goes under the minute mark before rising again to 1:05.

After he was involved in a crash, @RGUpdate is feeling well and is back in the peloton. #TDF2015

@LottoJumbo_road Sat, 18th Jul 2015 11:43:49

Chris Froome remained comfortably in the lead yesterday as most of the GC favourites rolled across the line together. However, the team Sky rider is expecting the attacks to fly later today as the riders head into Mende. Read what he said here.

134km remaining from 178km

The riders have been climbing almost since the start of this stage but they're about to peak the unclassified Col de Vernhette. Around 30 riders have been dropped, including Greipel who was distanced earlier on. He'll have to chase hard on the descent if he wants to take points at the intermediate sprint. The peloton are just 48 seconds behind the leading group.

1 034 - the height riders will be descending from at the 44km mark. #TDF2015

@letourdata Sat, 18th Jul 2015 11:50:05

With the peloton edging ever closer five riders have decided to strike out from the leading group. Grivko, Ladagnous, Uran, Plaza and Talansky have gone off the front. IAM cycling still doing the chasing behind.

Despite climbing for most of opening kilometres, the riders have averaged 41.8kph in the first hour of racing.

The riders are currently enjoying temperatures of over 30 degrees again today but there is a storm predicted for the finish. While most won't be looking forward to it, perhaps the likes of Pinot and Thomas will be after already stating their preferences for the colder wetter weather.

119km remaining from 178km

With that descent done and dusted the leaders are on the flat but they've only got 22 seconds on the peloton.

The front group has been whittled down to just eight riders and we now have Jan Bakelants and Jonathan Castroviejo trying to join them.

#TDF2015 8 leaders as Jungels, Pantano and Sagan caught up with Grivko, Ladagnous, Plaza, Talansky and Urán. Peloton at 30".

@Lotto_Soudal Sat, 18th Jul 2015 12:09:05

There's an almighty bagarre going on at the Tour. Break can't break the elastic to the chasing peloton.

@EdwardPickering Sat, 18th Jul 2015 12:12:03

111km remaining from 178km

Andrew Talansky suffers a puncture and has been caught by the peloton. We still have that 7-man group out front and they are: Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling), Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-QuickStep), Bob Jungels (Trek Factory Racing), Ruben Plaza (Lampre-Merida), Andrey Grivko (Astana), Matthieu Ladagnous (FDJ)

We've finally got a proper check on the peloton, who are 4:40 back on the leading group. There is a group of 12 riders trying to catch the 7 leaders and they are: Bakelants, Castroviejo, Golas, Gautier, Cummings, Van Avermaet, S. Yates, Pinot, Roy, De Kort, Koren, Périchon, Maté.

Andrew Talansky looks bitterly disappointed about missing out on the break due to an untimely puncture. He gets some sympathy from his teammates.

The peloton have really turned off the afterburners and the gap has grown very quickly to 7 minutes. The chasers behind are just 22 seconds back through.

Sagan strikes out and easily takes the full points at the intermediate sprint. With no Greipel in the group that will give him a very comfortable lead in the points classification.

Just 17 seconds separate the leaders and the chasers. Here's a reminder who is in that chasing group. Romain Bardet and Jan Bakelants (AG2R-La Mondiale), Thibaut Pinot and Jérémy Roy (FDJ), Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar), Greg van Avermaet (BMC), Koen de Kort (Giant-Alpecin), Simon Yate (Orica-GreenEdge), Michal Golas (Etixx-Quick Step), Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Kristjian Koren (Cannondale-Garmin), Pierre-Luc Périchon (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) and Stephen Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka).

Luis Angel Maté is having a very lonely day of it at the moment. The Spaniard who rides for Cofidis is five minutes behind the leaders but he's 2:45 ahead of the peloton.

Up front, the two leading groups have come together but Ruben Plaza has decided to have a go on his own. He finished second in the intermediate sprint and seems to have just carried on. He's got 15 seconds on the 19-man group behind.

Plaza has been caught by the other escapees so we have a 20-rider group out front. Behind, Maté is closing in on the leaders but he's still got 4 minutes to make up.

#TDF2015 correction: 20 riders in the breakaway with @bobjungels. This move could likely succeed to end today with no threats to GC in move.

@TrekFactory Sat, 18th Jul 2015 12:46:55

88km remaining from 178km

The riders have passed the halfway mark and the 20 escapees have a 7:50 advantage on the peloton. Maté still pursuing valiantly but he doesn't seem to be making ground any more.

Ian Stannard is doing the work on the front of the bunch at the moment. As the action seems to have calmed down a touch, why not take the time to listen to the latest episode of our Tour de France podcast.

It's meals on wheels as the peloton pass through the feed zone. It is here that Maté has also given up his chase of the 20 leaders and gone back to the peloton.

78km remaining from 178km

Team Sky look like they want to keep this escape group reasonably close and they've taken the advantage down to just over seven minutes. The break will need more than that if they want to go all the way.

With questions being asked of Froome again, even more so since the surfacing of supposed data from his Mont Ventoux ride in 2013, the team Sky rider said that he would submit himself to independent testing. Cyclingnews editor Daniel Benson spoke to a number of experts to see how independent testing could work for Froome and what the challenges where. You can read the very interesting feature here.

No close up of the Gorges as no permission to fly lower than 300m. Boo! Hiss! Give me by scenery porn!

@fmk_RoI Sat, 18th Jul 2015 13:08:34

65km remaining from 178km

The Sky-led peloton keep bringing the gap down ever so slightly and the 20 escapees have 6:46 on the bunch.

It's not just Sky that will be keen to make sure that this break doesn't stay away for the whole day. Joaquim Rodríguez could be on for his third stage win today if they can bring the escapees back. Alejandro Valverde is another contender for the victory.

Proportion of time riders have led the breakaway from the 80-100km mark. #TDFdata #TDF2015 http://t.co/8u0QOCocRE

@letourdata Sat, 18th Jul 2015 13:26:33

Vincenzo Nibali has had a very challenging Tour de France defense. He's still clinging onto a top 10 position though and he says that he will continue to fight on through the remainder of the Tour.

Confirmation has come through that Steve Morabito has suffered a broken collarbone as a result of the earlier crash. Another rider that abandoned today is Ramon Sinkledam, due to illness.

#TDF2015 56km to go and peloton at 6'06"

@PelotonWatch Sat, 18th Jul 2015 13:35:21

With almost three minutes separating first and second place in the overall classification, many are saying that the fight for the victory is over. Former rider Robert Millar says not though and you can read his thoughts in his latest blog for Cyclingnews.

46km remaining from 178km

The road is going up ever so slightly, a very small indication as to what is to come. The riders face three classified climbs in the final 40 kilometres. Two have been given second category status - the Cot de Sauveterre and the Cote de la Croix Nueve - while one has third category - the Cote de Chabris.

Speaking ahead of the stage Alberto Contador spoke to the media. Here is what he had to say.

 

“It's too early to predict what will happen between the GC contenders in Mende. I know this climb. I have good memories there [stage wins at Paris-Nice in 2007 and 2010]. I feel good. Today we might learn something more about the favorites. The heat has made this Tour very hard for everyone and some riders can pay for it today. If it rains at the end, it can change something on GC. I'll be very attentive. I'm not yet in the situation to tell what my goal is for this Tour de France. It's still very open. Anything can happen in the Alps.”

Two races for the price of one on the Tour today. 50% discount.

@nedboulting Sat, 18th Jul 2015 13:47:50

42km remaining from 178km

Ian Stannard continues to work on the front, he's been doing the pace setting for almost all of this flat traverse. We can expect him to pull off when the road really goes up. He's keeping the gap around 6:30 at the moment.

In the breakaway it is FDJ setting the pace, will we see Pinot try and go for a solo attack? We hope that Marc Madiot's heart can hold out if he does.

The leaders are onto the Cote de Sauveterre and the group will begin whittling down. There are plenty of strong riders in this group. We mentioned Pinot but there's Bardet, Pantano, Uran and Simon Yates also up there.

The French president Francois Hollande has made an appearance. Christian Prudhomme's car stops and the president gets in. Will the French be able to deliver him a stage win?

As predicted, Stannard peels off the front as the peloton hits the climb. Richie Porte takes up the pace setting. The gap is still 6:05. It's looking ever more likely for the escapees but anything can happen at the Tour.

Instead of drawing a bike on the banner let’s just hold a bike in front of it.

@nyvelocity Sat, 18th Jul 2015 14:03:46

There are riders losing touch with the peloton. Greipel and Farrar have been distanced. Greipel was involved in the crash in the opening five kilometres.

36km remaining from 178km

The escape group is in one long line as they try to hold off the peloton. The gap has dipped under seven minutes with 36km to go.

There's plenty of climbing in this finale but even more so next week. We took a look at some of the best climbers' bikes out there in the peloton, including a BMC, a Pinarello and a Canyon. See which bikes made the list here.

Trentin, Kwiatkowski riding at their own tempo off the back. #TDF2015

@Etixx_QuickStep Sat, 18th Jul 2015 14:09:28

33km remaining from 178km

All the major GC contenders look comfortable in the front of this group as the came continues to ebb away. The 20 leaders have just 5:32, how long before we see an attack?

Bakelants is also climbing very well in this leading group. He's just behind Ladagnous and Pinot and could be key for Bardet when it comes to the crunch.

Sagan sitting on the back of the leading group. The finishing ramp may be a bit too difficult for him but he's ensured a few more days in the green jersey by winning the intermediate sprint.

The escape group have passed through the KOM marker on this climb. They've got a few little ups and downs before they reach the descent proper though. Will someone be brave enough to go there. Surely it's too early.

It's a hot day and the riders are drinking a lot. Things nearly go awry for a Europcar rider when he tries to take a bidon from a member of his team and he veers across the road.

26km remaining from 178km

A few attacks coming off the group of escapees. Golas has made a bid for glory but FDJ continue to set a steady pace to bring him back.

There are 13 seconds between Golas and the second group on the road, while the peloton are still 5:28 behind.

In the peloton it is now Luke Rowe who is taking the peloton down this descent. This is Rowe's debut at the Tour.

22km remaining from 178km

Castroviejo is finding it difficult to keep in touch with the escape group on this descent and he's having to chase hard just to stay on.

So far we haven't seen any of the expected rain. It's still hot out there, as it has been for the past week. The heat is really taking its toll on the riders with many unable to sleep properly. It was already going to be a hard night for Jean Christophe Peraud but to add insult to injury he had no air conditioning in his hotel last night. He's still in this peloton though, fighting on.

Kristijan Koren tries to chase down Golas on his own. He's brought back by Pinot and Bakelants and the injection in pace splits up the group.

17km remaining from 178km

The main escape group is back together but Golas is still out there with a 25 second gap.

There are still two climbs to negotiate before the finish in Mende so it will be hard for Golas to hold the chasers off.

Between the break and the peloton the gap is 5:46 with Sky still on the front of the bunch. Aside from some early work from IAM Cycling, Team Sky have been on the front from near enough the start.

14km remaining from 178km

Koren has another go off the front and the others are slower to react this time. They're riding through Barjac at the moment

Koren can see Golas up the road. Can he catch him?

Richie Porte doing bidon ferrying duty and he gets a little shove from Mark Cavendish to help him back into the peloton. Normally riders can't take on bidons inside 20km to go but with it being so hot they have disregarded the rules today.

11km remaining from 178km

Porte doesn't actually make it to the front with the bottles though as he suffers a puncture. He's going to have a hard job getting back on with that delay and his teammates are going to be going thirsty.

Koren catches Golas but their advantage is slim. Ladagnous is on the front of the chasing pack with Roy and Pinot in his wheel.

Did Cav just give Richie Porte a little nudge with the bottles - nice touch #tdf15

@Jono_HB Sat, 18th Jul 2015 14:46:33

Simon Yates lying in wait behind the FDJ train in the escape group. This is his second Tour after making his debut last year. He's got a good punchy finish, what can he do today?

Richie Porte pushes away an over-exuberant fan away. Porte told reporters yesterday that he was punched by a fan on one of the climbs.

Nicolas Edet attacks out of the peloton. It's a strange move from the Cofidis rider with a 5:53 gap between themselves and the escapees.

8km remaining from 178km

The escape group is breaking up a bit as they try to play a few mind games. The leading pair forge on and they've got about 15 seconds over the chasers.

Jean Christophe Peraud is off the back with Svein Tuft. He's battling with some horrible injuries after a big crash yesterday.

Rodríguez has been distanced by the peloton. Has he cracked or is he just saving his legs for another day? He's well off the GC now so he doesn't have to worry about that.

Eight years on, Michael Rasmussen returns to Tour de France as journalist | http://t.co/vLECkK1goU http://t.co/jbXzZXx6QX

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sat, 18th Jul 2015 14:59:54

4km remaining from 178km

We're about to hit the final climb. It's only 3km long but at an average of over 10 per cent it is the steepest of the entire Tour.

3km remaining from 178km

The escape group has split in two with Pinot, Cummings and Sagan all dropped.

Bardet is leading the second group on the road. Gautier tries to attack but he's no match for Bardet who looks in strong form. Only Yates can stay with him.

Pinot is leading the second group of chasers with Uran in his wheel. There's about 10 bike lengths between the two groups.

Bardet attacks with 3km to go

Yates can respond this time and he's about to get passed by Pinot. There's still two other riders out front though.

Sorry, Bardet is the first rider on the road. He's got 2.7km to go.

Uran and Pinot are doing the chasing with the Colombian on the front for now. Both had numerical advantage in the escape but they can't match Bardet for now.

Bardet is out of the saddle and he's driving home. We don't have a time gap for him just yet.

Quintana has attacked out of the peloton.

Nibali and Valverde go with the Colombian as Froome continues to set his own pace. He's got no teammates with him though.

Valverde is no longer with Quintana, the Colombian only has Nibali for company.

Pinot is closing on Bardet, he's dropped Uran. This is going to be close with just 2km to go.

Behind, Froome continues to grind away and he's bringing back Quintana and Nibali.

Pinot catches Bardet. It looks lie it's going to be a French win.

Pinot and Bardet riding together and they're about to go under the flamme rouge.

Cumming is chasing the pair down and he catches them with 1.3 to go as the road flattens out.

Nibali has been dropped by Quintana behind and Froome passes him also.

Cummings is drivcing for the line the two Frenchmen are trying to chase but they cant get him.

150 to go and Cummings still has a gap

Cummings wins for MTN-Qhubeka on Mandela day.

Pinot took second and Bardet claimed third. Wow what a finish.

Quintana attacks again and Froome is unable to react. Lots of riders have been distanced, including Valverde, Contador, van Garderen and Nibali.

A few words pass between Froome and Quintana. Will they work together?

Discussions also going on between Contador and Valverde, the Movistar rider then attacks Contador who is unable to respond.

Van Garderen is in a world of pain and he looks like he's losing second place int he GC.

Quintana and Froome riding to the line together with Froome on Quintana's wheel.

Quintana leads Froome to the line but the Sky rider gets the jump in the sprint.

We're not getting time checks for the contenders coming in but we'll bring you the gaps as soon as we have them.

Here is the top 10 on the stage however.

 

1 Stephen Cummings (GBr) MTN - Qhubeka 4:23:43
2 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:00:02
3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:00
4 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:20
5 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:29
6 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar 0:00:32
7 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Lampre-Merida 0:00:32
8 Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:32
9 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:32
10 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge 0:00:33

Froome now holds a 3:10 lead in the yellow jersey with Nairo Quintana moving into second. Tejay van Garderen moves down to third place.

Here is full confirmation of the GC top 10 after that exciting finish.

 

1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 56:02:19
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:10
3 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:03:32
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:02
5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:04:23
6 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:04:54
7 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:06:23
8 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:08:17
9 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 0:08:23
10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:08:53

Few, I don't know about you but I need a lie down after watching that finish. It's a big day for MTN-Qhubeka, taking their first Grand Tour win on Mandela Day. It also proved to be a big day for the GC riders with Van Garderen, Contador and Nibali struggling again.

Congratulations @StevoCummings and @TeamMTNQhubeka! Stage win in the @letour✌️.

@SongezoJim Sat, 18th Jul 2015 15:24:49

Stephen Cummings says he threw caution to the wind in that final. "I knew I wasn’t the strongest climber, I knew there were better climbers and that it was going to be difficult to win. I was always waiting in the last 10 kilometres for an opportunity but it was clear that FDJ were going to try and control it for Pinot so I took advantage of that I waited and waited. At the Tour de France there’s a lot of people and maybe people go bananas at the bottom of the climb. I kept my calm and UI just time trialled up it and on the downhill bit I managed to have a little carrot and chase them back. I saw Pinot was behind me. He’s cautious in the corners so I threw caution to the wind and I got a little gap. I’m pretty confident with those climbers that if I can get a little gap on the flat or down hill then it’s difficult to catch me."

As he has done in many races, Froome showing that every second counts as he sprinted to gain a few more on Nairo Quintana. You never know what can happen in the mountains so getting a big a buffer as possible is important.

Yates: "I went into the red chasing Bardet, and that was it—pretty much going backward from there"

@Cyclocosm Sat, 18th Jul 2015 15:36:33

Here is Stephen Cummings celebrating his victory today. The celebration a hint towards the Qhuebka charity and giving African's a hand up.

 

Thibaut Pinot came so very close to another stage win at the Tour but it wasn't to be. He was obviously frustrated and disappointed at the finish.

 

"I managed to see Bardet but I didn’t see Cummings coming at all and when he appeared he was coming really fast. I was feeling really good today so it’s hugely disappointing. Finishing second after the way we worked today, it’s a failure.

"On the Tour you don’t get massive opportunities so to miss this one is a huge disappointment."
 

Crazy stuff going on in the Tour de France: someone threw urine at Froome and Nibali had €500 and his sunglasses stolen from his hotel room.

@Laura_Weislo Sat, 18th Jul 2015 15:55:23

Froome spoke to the press after the stage and this is what he had to say about the urine incident.

 

"“They threw it into my face and said dopee, like that” he said. "It’s extremely wrong an on so many different levels and I’m extremely disappointed about that. It’s not in the name of sport.


"I think a lot of the reporting on the race has been very irresponsible and I blame those individuals for that. Those individuals know who they are. Having said that we’ve had fantastic support. We’ve had a great number of fans out on the road and I want to thank them and the media, a lot of them have been fantastic around this race, in just wanting to talk about the race. That’s what people want to see. Unfortunately some people ruin it for everyone else."

Romain Bardet: "On a fait une faute tactique" http://t.co/Sqy0wRktHk #TDF2015

@radiotour_fr Sat, 18th Jul 2015 16:11:03

A reminder of the GC after that stage.

 

1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 56:02:19
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:10
3 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:03:32
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:02
5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:04:23
6 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:04:54
7 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:06:23
8 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:08:17
9 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 0:08:23
10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:08:53

As well as Froome, a number of other riders have reported abuse by some spectators. Luke Rowe says someone spat at him while Rohan Dennis took to twitter to say he'd been hit by someone. In 2013 Mark Cavendish was subjected to the same thing Froome endured today.

 

It's a shame to see some taking things much too far.

Cycling is unique in how close the riders are to the fans, both on and off the bike. I hope the actions of an idiot do not change that

@TheRaceRadio Sat, 18th Jul 2015 16:25:39

Here is the Froome story and you can also read our report on the day's action here.

That's all from us today come back tomorrow for coverage of stage 15.

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