Tour de France: Mollema escapes breakaway to win stage 14

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) claimed the second Tour de France stage win of his career on Saturday, celebrating in Quillan after a 40-kilometre solo.

The victory bore resemblance to the Dutchman’s other stage success from the 2017 Tour as he made the breakaway on a medium mountain day before going clear from range on a descent and proving impossible to claw back.

Four climbs had been ticked off by the time Mollema made his move on the sinuous roads through the Gorges de Saint George, and he bolstered a one-minute advantage on the final one, the category-2 Col de Saint Louis.

From there, it was largely downhill, and he made no mistake in holding off a select chase group of Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation), Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe), and Sergio Higuita (EF Education-Nippo).

Konrad won the sprint for second place, pipping Higuita 1:10 after Mollema had crossed the line.

“It’s amazing. I’m super happy,” said Mollema. “I was feeling good so I thought let’s go from far.

“I had the confidence I could ride alone and keep going for a long time. Normally I can pace myself really well. When I got to the top of the last climb with 50 seconds I knew I could make it.”

There was little direct GC hostility as the breakaway – which took nearly 100km to form – had its day en route to the Pyrenees – but there was significant movement as Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) slipped into the breakaway and vaulted up to second overall.  

The Frenchman started the day ninth overall at 9:29 but finished in the second main breakaway group, 1:25 behind Mollema but more than five minutes ahead of the reduced peloton. With the exception of a brief effort from Rigoberto Urán’s (EF Education-Nippo), who had a rider in the break, none of the GC contenders teams’ showed any real desire to chase, with race leader Tadej Pogačar’s UAE Team Emirates casually leading the bunch over the line.

In the overall standings, Pogačar is still streets ahead but, in scenes similar to Ben O’Connor’s leap in the Alps last week, his closest challenger has changed again. Martin had already gained some time from the break in that very stage to Tignes but here he took a huge chunk to reduce Pogačar’s lead to 4:04.

Urán drops to third overall at 5:18, with Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) third at 5:32.

How it unfolded

The peloton rolled out of Carcassone two riders light as Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) and Søren Kragh Andersen (Team DSM) decided not to start due to injuries sustained in the stage 13 crash that had already taken out three other riders.

There was always going to be interest in the breakaway on a moderately hilly day ahead of the Pyrenees, and it proved worth fighting for, even if it was an almighty fight.

There were constant attacks – too many to list – on the draggy roads in the opening hour, with Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) a particularly active presence. He was away in a trio but was brought back and spent the rest of the day towards the back of the bunch.

After 25km, there was a breakaway of sorts, as Kristian Sbaragli (Alpecin-Fenix) went up the road, followed by Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) and Maxime Chevalier (B&B Hotels p/b KTM), and then by Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) and Jonas Rickaert (Alpecin-Fenix).

Those riders eventually joined forces to make a group of five, but despite a brief respite, the attacks started to rain down again from the peloton. They took a lead of 30 seconds over the first climb, the category-3 Col du Bac – 3.1km at 5.3 per cent – but it was pretty much back together at the intermediate sprint 25km later.

Dries Devenyns (Deceuninck-QuickStep) jumped to take second place behind Rickaert and sweep some points away from Mark Cavendish’s green jersey rivals, and the pair continued on together for a couple of kilometres before the bunch reformed.

Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) and Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) were active on the drag towards the category-2 Col de Montségur – 4.2km at 8.7 per cent – but it was only on the climb, after almost 90km that the first decisive attacks were made.

Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) was the first to jump, going clear with Cattaneo before Woods countered and bridged across. Esteban Chaves (Team BikeExchange) launched the next move and formed a group with Martin, Higuita, Konrad, Omar Fraile (Astana-PremierTech), and Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert). Mollema was a bit of a latecomer but set about making it across to that chase group by the top, where Poels and Woods dropped Cattaneo in sprinting for the mountains points.

Cattaneo caught back on the descent and there was a further swelling when the chase group made contact soon after. The third climb was the second-category Col de la Croix des Morts – 6.8km at 5.7 per cent – where there were yet more attacks from the bunch. With the gap at two minutes, the B&B Hotels duo of Pierre Rolland and Quentin Pacher attacked together and were soon joined by Elie Gesbert (Arkéa-Samsic) and Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ). The four Frenchmen managed to cross the gap and make it 14 in the break on the subsequent plateau.

At the top of the fourth climb, the category-3 Côte de Galinagues – 2.2km at 9.3 per cent – Woods and Poels once again fought for the mountains points. Poels got there first, but Woods’ one point moved him ahead of Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) into the virtual polka-dot jersey.

Woods’ stage then took a turn for the worse as he slipped out on a left-hand bend on the descent through the gorge, although he was able to regain contact after chasing for several kilometres.

With just over 40km remaining, Mollema made his move, ripping clear with a big acceleration and going all-in for the stage win. He quickly opened a handsome gap and, even when the riders behind started cooperating well, he managed to consolidate his advantage, taking a lead of 1:15 onto the final climb of the day, the Col de Saint-Louis – 4.7km at 7.4 per cent.

Head bobbing, body moving, the Dutchman climbed strongly and started to look good for the stage. Cattaneo applied pressure behind, splitting the rest of the break to four, with Higuita, Konrad, and Woods, but Mollema still had just under a minute by the time he crested.

From there, the 17 largely downhill kilometres were not fertile terrain for a chase, and Mollema had no problem in maintaining and even extending his advantage. The second chase group nearly came back to the first in the closing kilometres but could quite make it, although Martin will have been delighted by his time gains either way.

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Full results
PlaceRider (Country) TeamResult
1Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo04:16:16
2Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe00:01:04
3Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo00:01:04
4Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep00:01:06
5Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation00:01:10
6Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech00:01:25
7Elie Gesbert (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic00:01:25
8Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM00:01:25
9Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux00:01:26
10Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange00:01:28
11Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis00:01:28
12Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:03:32
13Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious00:03:32
14Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM00:06:23
15Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates00:06:53
16Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates00:06:53
17Rafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates00:06:53
18Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates00:06:53
19Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers00:06:53
20Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers00:06:53
21Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers00:06:53
22Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers00:06:53
23Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo00:06:53
24Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo00:06:53
25Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team00:06:53
26Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo00:06:53
27Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team00:06:53
28Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe00:06:53
29Mark Donovan (GBr) Team DSM00:06:53
30Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe00:06:53
31Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo00:06:53
32Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious00:06:53
33Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma00:06:53
34Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux00:06:53
35Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma00:06:53
36Cyril Gautier (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM00:06:53
37Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma00:06:53
38Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech00:06:53
39Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux00:06:53
40Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) TotalEnergies00:06:53
41Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo00:06:53
42Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech00:06:53
43Ben O'Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën Team00:06:53
44David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:06:53
45Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team00:06:53
46Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo00:06:53
47Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious00:06:53
48Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers00:06:53
49Sergio Henao Montoya (Col) Qhubeka-NextHash00:06:53
50Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates00:06:53
51Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo00:09:15
52Michael Schär (Swi) AG2R Citroën Team00:09:52
53Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers00:09:52
54Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team00:09:52
55Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar Team00:09:52
56Hugo Houle (Can) Astana-Premier Tech00:09:52
57Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation00:09:52
58Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux00:09:52
59Nils Politt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe00:09:52
60Christopher Juul-Jensen (Den) Team BikeExchange00:09:52
61Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech00:12:57
62Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep00:13:15
63Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis00:13:15
64Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-Nippo00:13:15
65Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic00:13:15
66Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis00:13:15
67Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious00:13:15
68Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech00:13:15
69Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team00:13:15
70Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ00:13:15
71Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep00:13:15
72Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma00:13:15
73Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM00:13:15
74Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates00:13:15
75Simon Geschke (Ger) Cofidis00:13:15
76Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe00:13:15
77Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo00:13:15
78Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers00:13:15
79Jonas Rutsch (Ger) EF Education-Nippo00:16:47
80Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo00:16:47
81Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange00:17:04
82Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team BikeExchange00:17:04
83Luke Durbridge (Aus) Team BikeExchange00:17:04
84Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates00:17:04
85Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:17:42
86Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix00:17:42
87André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation00:17:42
88Maxime Chevalier (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM00:17:42
89Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma00:17:42
90Rick Zabel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation00:17:42
91Simon Clarke (Aus) Qhubeka-NextHash00:17:42
92Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team00:17:42
93Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe00:17:42
94Chris Froome (GBr) Israel Start-up Nation00:17:42
95Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis00:17:42
96Silvan Dillier (Swi) Alpecin-Fenix00:17:42
97Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation00:17:42
98Connor Swift (GBr) Team Arkea-Samsic00:17:42
99Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM00:17:42
100Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix00:17:42
101Fred Wright (GBr) Bahrain Victorious00:17:42
102Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix00:17:42
103Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team00:17:42
104Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech00:17:42
105Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:17:42
106Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux00:17:42
107Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fra) Cofidis00:17:42
108Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:17:42
109Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies00:17:42
110Harry Sweeny (Aus) Lotto Soudal00:17:42
111Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious00:17:42
112Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar Team00:17:42
113Fabien Doubey (Fra) TotalEnergies00:17:42
114Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe00:17:42
115Marco Haller (Aut) Bahrain Victorious00:17:42
116Jelle Wallays (Bel) Cofidis00:17:42
117Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team00:17:42
118Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team00:17:42
119Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Start-up Nation00:17:42
120Boy van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux00:17:42
121Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates00:17:42
122Petr Vakoc (Cze) Alpecin-Fenix00:17:42
123Sean Bennett (USA) Qhubeka-NextHash00:17:42
124Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:17:42
125Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team00:17:42
126Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis00:17:42
127Jeremy Cabot (Fra) TotalEnergies00:17:42
128Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep00:25:34
129Casper Pedersen (Den) Team DSM00:25:34
130Nils Eekhoff (Ned) Team DSM00:25:34
131Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Israel Start-up Nation00:25:34
132Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies00:25:34
133Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep00:25:34
134Anthony Turgis (Fra) TotalEnergies00:25:34
135Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep00:25:34
136Julien Simon (Fra) TotalEnergies00:25:34
137Tim Declercq (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep00:25:34
138Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo00:25:34
139Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Qhubeka-NextHash00:25:34
140Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Team DSM00:25:34
141Victor de la Parte (Spa) TotalEnergies00:25:34
142Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo00:25:34
143Carlos Barbero (Spa) Qhubeka-NextHash00:25:34
144Mark Cavendish (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep00:25:34
145Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo00:25:34
146Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix00:25:34
147Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic00:36:46
148Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Team BikeExchange00:36:46
149Cees Bol (Ned) Team DSM00:36:46
DNSWarren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
DNSSøren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team DSM
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Sprint 1 - Lavelanet km. 76.7
PlaceRider (Country) TeamResult
1Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix20
2Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep17
3Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo15
4Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix13
5Maxime Chevalier (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM11
6Anthony Turgis (Fra) TotalEnergies10
7Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange9
8Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious8
9Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo7
10Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team6
11Cyril Gautier (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM5
12Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo4
13Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix3
14Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux2
15Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar Team1
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Sprint 2 - Quillan km. 183.7
PlaceRider (Country) TeamResult
1Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo30
2Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe25
3Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo22
4Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep19
5Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation17
6Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech15
7Elie Gesbert (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic13
8Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM11
9Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux9
10Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange7
11Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis6
12Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ5
13Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious4
14Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM3
15