Saturday July 18th, 2015

Stage 14Rodez / Mende

Start 12h45 (Local time)

Key moments

video18.07.2015

Summary

video18/07/2015 

Summary

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As MTN-Qhubeka, the first African trade team to participate to the Tour de France, celebrated the Mandela Day with orange helmets, Britain's Stephen Cummings came across French duelists Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet who had escaped in the uphill finale. He deprived the host country of the victory on the day French Republic president François Hollande was on site. To add to British domination on French roads, Chris Froome increased his lead in the overall ranking.

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I feel better. Today I've wanted to see how the rivals were and I've realized that as a team we can continue fighting for our yellow dream. It's encouraging because this short climb suited me much less than those of the Alps who are longer and more demanding. We've done some damage today. Contador and Van Garderen have lost a bit but they're still there. We can take on Froome in the Alps. Our goal remains the first position on GC. If Valverde can be on the podium with me in Paris, it'll be...

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It's a relief to cross the line as a winner. I did what I was supposed to do. We entered this stage with a huge motivation. It's fantastic for the team to win at the Tour de France and it's even better on Mandela Day. We had a special meeting about that this morning and we wore a special helmet but I didn't think we could win. That was a long shot. For now, I don't realize that I've won a stage at the Tour de France. The Tour de France is a dream. The first time I took part in it, it was...

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This is a happy Mandela Day! It's a great victory for Africa and for Great-Britain. My congratulations go to MTN-Qhubeka. It's a massive victory for a wild-card team. It's also a good day for us. My team-mates have done an impeccable job until the foot of the last climb. Nairo Quintana was very strong. I was happy to ride my own tempo. I knew I'd catch up before the top of the climb. At this stage, he's my biggest threat. Every little second will count so I've tried to gain something on him...

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Thibaut Pinot, second in the stage, admitted he had slowed down too much to battle it out with Romain Bardet, leaving Stephen Cummings the chance to return for victory.

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It's been very hard. A final climb at 10% isn't exactly my forte but I did my best. I went in the breakaway for the intermediate sprint and as I was there so I wanted to win the stage as well. But fifth is a good result. I went full gas. I was confident that I could do well even though there were Rigoberto Uran, Jan Bakelants and a lot of climbers with us. I'm happy with my racing today. For the green jersey, it's never over. There are another seven stages to go and you have to be careful...

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Emmanuel Hubert, general manager of team Bretagne-Seche, told letour.fr how his leader Eduardo Sepulveda had been ruled out of the race.

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Romain Bardet, third on the line in Mende, admitted he and Thibaut Pinot had misjudged the finale leaving the door open for Stephen Cummings to win stage 15.

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Team Katusha's directeur sportif Jose Azevedo spoke to letour.com this morning. “Obviously it's a stage that suits Joaquim”, the Portuguese admitted. “Since he won in Mende in 2010, everyone knows that. But in the same time, we're not going to control the race for him today. If there's a breakaway, he won't go in it but if we're all together at the bottom of the climb and he has an opportunity, he will take it for sure. We're not going to control the race for Joaquim because our main...

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Sporting stakes17.07.2015

Good things come in threes

With the spectacular Gorges du Tarn (canyon), the Millau viaduct and the green mountainous Lozère, stage 14 looks like an appealing touristic brochure. But the bike riders might too busy to enjoy the breathtaking landscapes. Five years ago, Alberto Contador counted one more mountain finish than the race organizers because he included the 3-km long uphill leading to the small aerodrome of Mende. In 2007 and 2010, he won up there… during Paris-Nice, so he knows what he's talking about but...

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