Friday July 17th, 2015

Stage 13Muret / Rodez

Start 12h40 (Local time)

Key moments





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Stage 13 looked set in the stone for Peter Sagan to win atop the hill of the avenue de Saint-Pierre in Rodez. It was a spectacular finish but the Slovakian champion who hasn't claimed a stage of the Tour de France since two years ago was second again as he lost the final sprint to Greg van Avermaet (BMC). The Belgian, third of the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix this year, is also known for often making the top three but seldom winning. He finally took a well deserved victory.

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This victory means a lot to me. It's a big one. Finally I've made it after missing out on several occasions, especially at the classics. I came to the Tour to win a stage. I targeted the first week. Then I survived the Pyrenees with today's stage in mind and I've succeeded. At 200 metres to go, I felt someone was on my wheel but I didn't know who it was. When I realized it was Peter Sagan, I was hoping that he wouldn't come around me. The last one hundred metres was very long but I'm happy...

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It could have been an easier day but it was a mad dash in the last 40km as sprinters' teams panicked when they realized they might not catch the breakaway. I've seen very tired legs in the bunch, given the last three stages we've just done. Many people were hoping for an easy day but it didn't happen. The heat was close to 40°. We were asking for bidons and there wasn't enough. In a day like this, I'd like to feel safe at the 3km to go mark and then give way to the sprinters but in the...

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I was waiting for too long! It's my mistake. I have to thank my team for the good job done before the sprint but my mistake was to sit down behind him [Greg van Avermaet] instead of passing him straight away and continue my effort till the finishing line. I've increased my lead in the green jersey classification but that wasn't my priority today. I also want victories.

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AG2R team manager Vincent Lavenu paid homage to Jean-Christophe Peraud, who crashed heavily during the stage.

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Frenchman Cyril Gautier (EUC), who launched the day's break, believed in his chances until the very finale when he was overtaken by Greg Van Avermaet.

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Questioned this morning by, Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) said: “I've had better days in my career. I haven't had an easy start of the Tour. I crashed in the Netherlands and in Brittany. Since the rest day, I have kind of a bronchitis but I hope that I have recovered my level for breaking away today. I expect a fierce battle at the very beginning of the race. The stage is open but complicated. It's probably too hard for sprinters, except one, Peter Sagan, but his Tinkoff-Saxo team has...

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Perrig Quémeneur has already covered 433 kilometres in breakaways since the start in Utrecht, so he leads the attackers' classification made by sports daily newspaper L'Equipe. “I'm racing with fewer strength than at the beginning of the Tour so I've ridden slower in the Pyrenees but the form will come back. It would be good if it was today because I want to stay in the lead of this classification and moreover race for the stage win today. I get to know this morning that the only stage...

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Last year's epic stage winner Ramunas Navardauskas from Cannondale-Garmin is sometimes tipped as a favorite today since it's a stage for attackers like him. “For sure we'll try”, he informed via sms prior to the start in Muret. “But fatigue is big. I think the whole peloton feels the same. Today it's going to be very hard at the beginning. It all depends about other teams' tactics, if they want to let a breakaway go or if they want a bunch sprint finish for the green jersey....

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Sporting stakes16.07.2015

A day for attackers

At the beginning of the Tour de France in Utrecht, the Netherlands, sprinters debate over stage 13 from Muret to Rodez on whether they should consider it a day for them or not. Mark Cavendish made it clear that it wouldn't be the case and he'd had to wait for either stage 15 to Valence or stage 21 to Paris to get a second opportunity to win after Fougères. There are two reasons for that. Firstly, the last third of the course is undulated. A hard racing would put the pure sprinters into...

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