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Tour de France 2018: Stage 14 preview

In the wake of the parliamentary revelations in 2013 that the first Tour de France stage winner in Mende on Bastille Day in 1995 wasn't exactly an exemplary sportsman in his glory days, the 3km ascent at 10% to the airport runway isn't called Montée Laurent Jalabert anymore.

Because of this uphill finish, sprinters can't have missed out on the previous day in Valence. Stage 14 is a crucial day for the green jersey though.

Peter Sagan and Michael Matthews can target the victory in Mende - or at least a worthy top 10 - to make it up for the points possibly lost to the specialists of the flat finishes.

The punchy finale is one of the most spectacular on the route. Whether it's for the stage win or the GC, it guarantees something special like the first Tour de France success for Joaquim Rodriguez (in 2010) and Stephen Cummings (who scored the first-ever stage win for an African team on Mandela Day, July 18, in 2015).

The wind on top of the hill is also an important factor besides the usual heat in this southern part of France in summer.


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