Set to substitute his arch-rival Peter Sagan who outclassed him on stage 3 in the first uphill sprint finish, Michael Matthews beat Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet in Rodez where the Belgian found the confidence by outsprinting Sagan two years ago. The Australian gave Sunweb a second straight victory after Warren Barguil made it in Foix. The steep finish favoured Chris Froome to move back into the yellow jersey.read more
“It's fantastic again! Michael won, it's very important for the team. We had a marker on this stage for a long time. It's the fruit of a great team work. Yesterday, Michael and some other riders were instructed to save energy for today. That was needed for coming across to Thomas De Gendt who rode really well.”read more
“I wanted to have a big chance for the stage victory. To break away is my only way to win. I also knew the teams of Matthews and Van Avermaet were going to control the race. Being only five guys at the front with only two minutes advantage, we were aware that it would be difficult. I'll attack again because there's still one week of racing. The Tour de France is my main goal of the year.”read more
I'm happy now even if I was a little frustrated during the stage, but I was just not good enough. I did my share of the turns, we rode a great ride. You must be fair play too, I was not the strongest in the breakaway and the peloton played it right. I believed we could make it. Attempts like this, after two weeks in the Tour, you never know. Some riders can be tired and Thomas De Gendt is a rider who is better in the second part of the Tour. So yes, I believed we could make it.read more
“It did help to know finish from two years ago, but I'm back in yellow because the team kept me at the front. Without their job, there's no way I could keep my position. In the last 500m, I heard shouting in radio, ‘push, push, push'… It's amazing to hear that. Every second here is worth fighting for. It is still so close.”read more
“It went as expected. We rode all day. We kept the breakaway so close, I knew I'd very few team mates at the end, but still I had 2-3 guys with me in the final. It's a sweet day. Last time here, two years ago, I had four broken ribs. It was the stage I targeted before I crashed. To come back and win is a dream come true.”read more
A stage from Blagnac to Rodez has been done before but on a very different course. Back in 1984, it was also a Tour of glory for French riders. Pierre-Henri Menthéour delivered the sixth stage victory for the Renault team that was also going to win the Tour with Laurent Fignon. Tony Gallopin is the kind of Frenchman expected to shine in Rodez but it'll be hard for the whole bunch to keep Lilian Calmejane calm! The winner of stage 8 is the enfant du pays as he'll pass very near his hometown...read more
Newsflashes (Local time)
|17:49||Froome back in the yellow jersey|
1. Chris Froome
2. Fabio Aru, 0.19
3. Romain Bardet, 0.23
4. Rigoberto Uran, 0.29
5. Mikel Landa, 1.17
1. Michael Matthews
2. Greg Van Avermaet
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen
4. Philippe Gilbert
5. Jay McCarthy
Matthews beats Van Avermaet
|17:43||1km to go|
Dimension Data leads with 1km to go
|17:41||3km to go|
All together. Quick Step leads the pack
Lammertink refused to surrender.
It's all together again with 5km to go
|17:35||Team Sky leads the pack|
With 9km to go, Team Sky leads the pack behind Caruso, Lammertink, Arndt and Périchon. Only Lammertink and Périchon pull at the front.
|17:33||De Gendt the most aggressive|
Thomas De Gendt has been awarded the most aggressive rider price of the day. It's his first one for this Tour.
|17:32||Lammertink speeds up|
Maurits Lammertink (Katusha) accelerates with 11km to go, followed by Caruso (BMC), Arndt (Sunweb) and Périchon (Fortuneo).
|17:28||De Gendt brought back|
With 12km to go, Thomas De Gendt is reeled in by the peloton led by Miki Schär for BMC and Tony Martin.
|17:24||15km to go|
35 seconds difference with 15km to go
|17:21||Still BMC and Sunweb in the chase|
The same two teams are chasing De Gendt down: BMC and Sunweb.
De Gendt doesn't give up but the peloton comes closer to him: 50 seconds with 20km to go
|17:15||25km, one minute|
With 25km to go, the advantage of De Gendt is reduced to one minute. The Belgian doesn't surrender.
|17:08||Voeckler back in the pack|
Only De Gendt remains in the lead with 28km to go. Peloton at 1.30.
|17:06||Riders off the back|
The peloton speeds up. Many riders get dropped like Kittel earlier: Greipel, Simon, Arashiro...
|17:04||De Gendt alone in the lead|
De Gendt goes solo with 32km to go
|16:59||Two more KOM points for De Gendt|
Thomas De Gendt scores two KOM points at côte de Centrès and Thomas Voeckler one. De Gendt is second in the KOM competition with 36 points behind Warren Barguil who has 94 points.
|16:56||Two Thomas in the lead|
In the côte de Contrès, two riders are left at the front: Thomas De Gendt and Thomas Voeckler. Peloton at 1.30. Kittel at 2.30
|16:53||De Gendt becomes the number 1 breakaway rider|
Atop the côte de Contrès, Thomas De Gendt will become the rider with the highest presence in breakaways, compiling a total of 566km and passing his compatriot Frederik Backaert in this counting.
|16:46||Sabatini waits for Kittel|
Fabio Sabatini waits for Kittel. The rest of the Quick-Step Floors team has stage win ambitions with Philippe Gilbert.
|16:44||The golden path of Greg Van Avermaet|
After he became the Olympic champion for road racing in Rio last year, the village of Greg Van Avermaet in Belgium was renamed by the inhabitants: Grembergen became “Gregbergen”. A street was renamed as well: Groeneweg (the green path in Flemish language) became “Goudenweg” (the golden path).
|16:42||Kittel in trouble|
Marcel Kittel is dropped by the peloton on a lumpy terrain. Sunweb speeds up at the head of the peloton with 45km to go.
|16:37||Two more points for De Gendt|
Thomas De Gendt scores two KOM points and Thomas Voeckler one.
|16:35||Roosen back to the front|
Timo Roosen is back in the front group after his puncture. Five leading riders again with 2 minutes advantage
|16:33||In the first categorized climb|
The breakaway riders are in the 3rd category climb of the viaduct of Viaur
|16:31||The extraordinary sporting history of the Van Avermaet family|
Van Avermaet's family history in sport is very rich! The Olympic champion is the grand-son of two professional cyclists: Kamiel Buysse who rode the 1959 Tour de France and Aimé Van Avermaet who was a domestique of Fausto Coppi in his Carpano team in 1957. He's the son of Ronald Van Avermaet who took part in the Olympic road race in Moscow in 1980 and was a pro from 1982 to 1985. His mother Bernadette was an athlete who set Belgian national records for juniors in the 800m and 1500m in track...
|16:30||Roosen has a flat tyre|
Timo Roosen has a flat tyre. Four riders left in the lead with 52km to go.
|16:20||1.50 with 60km to go|
Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Reto Hollenstein (Katusha-Alpecin) and Maxime Bouet (Fortuneo-Oscaro) maintain 1.50 lead with 60km to go
|16:17||Greg Van Avermaet: "Rodez made a big change in my life"|
Today's hot favourite Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) also spoke to letour.com to explain how his first victory at the Tour two years ago was a breakthrough in his career. He did it again last year at Le Lioran and wore the yellow jersey for three days before becoming the Olympic champion for road racing and winning his first monument with Paris-Roubaix this year. “Rodez was a special moment in my career”, Van Avermaet said. “Before that win, I had high expectations, I was always close. But...
|16:10||Time gap down to 1.45|
It seems like the five breakaway riders are keeping some energy for later. Time gap on the down for now: 1.45 with 67km to go.
|16:07||A special crash in Rodez seven years ago…|
Rodez also hosted the start of a Tour de France stage seven years ago. It remained in the history because Lance Armstrong crashed in the neutral zone that day, Saturday 17 July 2010, riding his last Tour de France for RadioShack. Chasing the peloton as he was late on the start line, the American went down on the roundabout of the Monastère and made the crowd laugh loud…
|16:04||Two minutes with 70km to go|
The time difference between Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Reto Hollenstein (Katusha-Alpecin) and Maxime Bouet (Fortuneo-Oscaro) and the peloton is two minutes with 70km to go.
|15:58||Remember Pierre-Henri Menthéour|
Before Greg Van Avermaet's victory ahead of Peter Sagan two years ago, Rodez hosted only one Tour de France stage finish. Frenchman Pierre-Henri Menthéour won a three-man sprint in 1984 and one of the nine stage victories of his Renault-Gitane team that also claimed the overall title with Laurent Fignon. 33 year ago, the finale was in the town centre near the Notre-Dame de Rodez cathedral while today it's in the district of Bourran at top of the hilly avenue de Saint-Pierre, like two years...
|15:57||Bakelants also has memories in Carmaux|
Not only André Greipel... Jan Bakelants (AG2R) also has memories in Carmaux where the race is now. He won a stage of the 2008 Tour de l'Avenir in Carmaux - and the overall classification as well.
|15:50||80km to go|
With 80km to go, the gap is back up to two minutes. The conditions are windy and the terrain is lumpy.
|15:48||Fabio Felline quits|
Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) pulls out of the Tour de France
|15:46||The Aveyron, at the origins of two Tour de France winners|
The Tour is now in the Tarn province but the last 50km of the race will be contested in the Aveyron. Only one professional cyclist hails from Rodez but Alexandre Geniez (AG2R-La Mondiale) isn't riding the Tour this year at the difference of two years ago when he made the breakaway of the day on the way to his hometown. Two of the first Tour de France winners hailed from the Aveyron: Louis Trousselier (1905), and Gustave Garrigou (1911). The eight others participants from the Aveyron were:...
|15:42||Time gap down to 1.25|
In the feed zone, the deficit of the peloton led by Sunweb, Bahrain and BMC is 1.25
|15:40||Greipel soon at Carmaux, where it all started|
After the feed zone, the peloton will pass Carmaux, the town of French socialist leader Jean Jaurès before World War I. It's also where André Greipel took his first Tour de France stage win in 2011. The German has won at least one stage in each Grand Tour he took part in. He's yet to do it this year. Last year he waited for Paris...
|15:34||Luke Roberts (Sunweb): "It's one for Matthews"|
Australia's Luke Roberts who is a sport director for Sunweb spoke to letour.com about the chances of his compatriot Michael Matthews: "Obviosuly it's one for Michael", he said. "We didn't actually do a recon of it but five of the guys in the team did it two years ago and controlled the race almost until the finale so they know exactly what to expect. Michael's main rival is Sonny Colbrelli, I think. Not Philippe Gilbert so much as he was in a break yesterday and could be a little tired."
|15:31||Calmejane studied in Rodez|
Lilian Calmejane doesn't only know the roads around Albi at perfection. He's very familiar with Rodez too. That's where he was a student. For his business degree, he also spent a few months in Nottingham, Great-Britain.
|15:29||41.4km/h so far|
40.2km have been covered in the second hour of racing. Average speed so far: 41.4km/h.
|15:27||Calmejane on home soil|
The race is very close to Albi, the native town of Jean-François de Galaup de La Pérouse, the French explorer who discovered Australia [but never returned to Europe at the difference of Captain Cook]. It's also the hometown of the revelation of this Tour de France: Lilian Calmejane, the winner of stage 8. He's not in the breakaway today. It's his team-mate Thomas Voeckler who is doing his last Tour de France - and his last race. Calmejane probably waits for a harder stage tomorrow in...
|15:18||100km to go|
With 100km to go, Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Reto Hollenstein (Katusha-Alpecin) and Maxime Bouet (Fortuneo-Oscaro) keep cruising with an advantage of two minutes.
|15:12||John Degenkolb: "BMC is stong enough to control"|
An underdog for today is John Degenkolb who is yet to win his first Tour de France stage. He told letour.com this morning: "We have to make sure that it's small group in the beginning and not to strong. It's not easy. The day is always up and down with quite difficult climbs approaching the finale. BMC and others should be strong enough to control the break and I hope I arrive in perfect conditions to the final climb and hope for the best."
|15:05||Still two minutes|
In Gaillac (km 72), the deficit of the peloton is still two minutes
|14:51||Sonny Colbrelli: "|
Bahrain-Merida is one of the teams pulling the bunch along with BMC and Sunweb. Their sprinter Sonny Colbrelli told letour.com this morning: "I know that my name is often cited for this stage and it is true that it is a finale that suits me perfectly. But it also suits other riders like Greg Van Avermaet or Michael Matthews. We did a recon with Philippe Mauduit and I think I now the finale pretty well. The form is pretty good. We'll see."
|14:46||Ten more points for Kittel|
Result of the intermediate sprint at Rabastens (km 55.5)
1. Thomas De Gendt, 20 pts
2. Maxime Bouet, 17 pts
3. Thomas Voeckler, 15 pts
4. Reto Hollenstein, 13 pts
5. Timo Roosen, 11 pts
6. Marcel Kittel, 10 pts
7. Michael Matthews, 9 pts
8. Fabio Sabatini, 8 pts
9. André Greipel, 7 pts
10. Sonny Colbrelli, 6 pts
11. Jack Bauer, 5 pts
12. Roy Curvers, 4 pts
|14:43||De Gendt again|
Like two years ago in the equivalent stage, Thomas De Gendt wins the intermediate sprint, ahead of a Fortuneo rider, Maxime Bouet this time instead of Pierre-Luc Périchon...
|14:33||Diego Ulissi: "It's my turn"|
Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) turns 28 today. He's also a candidate for the stage win as he's got a pedigree of six victories at the Giro d'Italia, almost all collected in uphill finishes, before he tackled the Tour de France for the first time this year. “Yesterday we pulled hard for Louis [Meintjes] because his position on GC was threatened by riders like Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana who were close to him in the overall ranking”, the Tuscan declared at the start this morning....
|14:31||50km, 2 minutes difference|
After 50km of racing, the deficit of the peloton is 2 minutes.
|14:24||42.6km in the first hour|
Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Reto Hollenstein (Katusha-Alpecin) and Maxime Bouet (Fortuneo-Oscaro) have covered 42.6km in the first hour of racing.
|14:23||Orica-Scott has changed its style|
Interestingly, two years ago, the Orica-GreenEdge team [now called Orica-Scott] was very active in the equivalent stage to Rodez as sport director Matt White believed two of his riders were able to win atop the côte de Saint-Pierre: Adam Yates and Michael Matthews. It didn't happen but since then, Matthews took his first stage win for Orica last year in Revel and Yates, the best young rider of the 2016 Tour de France, has been substituted in the same role by his twin brother Simon,...
|14:05||2.30 after 30km|
Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Reto Hollenstein (Katusha-Alpecin) and Maxime Bouet (Fortuneo-Oscaro) have 2.30 lead over the peloton at km 30.
|14:02||Denis Leproux: "We agreed on waiting for Hollenstein"|
Questioned by FranceTelevision, Fortuneo-Oscaro's sport director Denis Leproux explained how Reto Hollenstein was welcome to make it across to the leading group. “It's better to have him with us, he's a super rouleur”, the Frenchman declared. “I told Maxime Bouet to wait for him and to not take any turn as long as the other riders wouldn't wait for Hollenstein. Luckily, all four have agreed on waiting for him. Considering what's happening at the head of the peloton, the breakaway is...
|13:56||25km, 3 minutes|
After 25km of racing, the gap is stabilized at 3 minutes by Sunweb, BMC and Bahrain-Merida at the head of the peloton. It's also a finish that suits Sonny Colbrelli of Bahrain-Merida.
|13:54||Michael Matthews: “This kind of race is nice for the crowd and the riders”|
Michael Matthews (Sunweb), the other hot favourite of the day, declared to letour.com this morning: “Hopefully. It has the potential to be a classic race. These races are nice for the crowd and the riders. We need more stages like this. The legs are good. It's been ice so far I did not waste too much energy on doing silly things; The Tour has not been so hard. We had long flat stages and many of them. A few teams should be controlling today because there are a few guys the stage suits...
|13:44||Five in the lead|
Reto Hollenstein rejoins Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Maxime Bouet (Fortuneo-Oscaro) at km 14. Peloton led by BMC and Sunweb at 2.30.
|13:40||Greg Van Avermaet: "Hopefully I can write the same script"|
Speaking to reporters outside the BMC bus this morning, Greg Van Avermaet declared: “Without Richie [Porte], our main objective now is stage wins. Today is my big chance. I have the support of the whole team to keep the peloton together. Hopefully I can write the same script as two years ago. But the competition is high with Matthews, Degenkolb, Gilbert, Boasson Hagen and maybe a few GC guys in the mix as well. But I'm ready for it. I feel a lot pressure. I'd prefer to be here helping...
|13:37||BMC at the head of the peloton|
At km 10, BMC and Sunweb seize the reins of the peloton. No suprise! Greg Van Avermaet and Michael Matthews are the two hottest favourites today.
|13:34||Hollenstein in between|
After 8km of racing, Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Maxime Bouet (Fortuneo-Oscaro) have 1.30 lead over Hollenstein and 2.45 over the peloton.
|13:32||De Gendt, used to attack on the way to Rodez|
Today's finale is the same last 30km leading to Rodez as two years ago when Greg Van Avermaet beat Peter Sagan to claim his first Tour de France stage. Thomas De Gendt was already a breakaway member along with Pierre-Luc Périchon, Nathan Haas, Wilco Kelderman, Alexandre Geniez and Cyril Gautier... but it was an uphill sprint finish at the end.
|13:29||Reto Hollenstein counters|
After 5km, Reto Hollenstein (Katusha) attacks from the bunch while the four leading riders are 1.45 ahead. Again, no reaction from the peloton.
|13:25||4 in the lead|
Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Maxime Bouet (Fortuneo-Oscaro) form the breakaway. No reaction from the peloton.
|13:22||The race is on|
The start proper of stage 14 has been given to 177 riders at 13.22. Voeckler attacks from the gun.
|13:17||28° at the start|
It's a nice and sunny day at the Tour de France with 28°C in the outskirts of Toulouse.
|13:11||Team Sky with yellow bibs and helmets|
Team Sky leads the teams' classification. AG2R-La Mondiale is at 19.18 and Movistar is 1h1.00.
|13:08||Simon Yates in white|
Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) is the best young rider ahead of Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates) who is 2.47 adrift and Pierre Latour (AG2R-La Mondiale) who is at 8.29. The Brit increased his lead yesterday.
|13:07||Warren Barguil with the polka dot jersey|
Yesterday's stage winner Warren Barguil (Sunweb) wears the polka dot jersey for the fifth time. He has 94 points. Runner up Mikel Landa (Sky) has 33 points. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) follows with 32 points. There are 4 KOM points up for grabs today with two category 3 climbs on the menu: Côte du viaduc de Viaur (km 131, 2.3km at 7%) and Côte de Centrès (km 145, 2.3km at 7.7%).
|13:06||Marcel Kittel in the green jersey|
Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) leads the points classification with 363 points ahead of Michael Matthews (Sunweb) who has 235 and André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), 180. 50 points are up for grabs today with a maximum of 20 at the intermediate sprint in Rabastens (km 55.5) and 30 on the finishing line in Rodez.
|13:06||The 212th yellow jersey for Italy|
Fabio Aru is in the yellow jersey, a symbol highly praised by Italian fans and media. Since World War II, it's the 156th day for an Italian rider in the lead of the Tour de France. In the whole history, it's the 214th day of racing with an Italian on top of the classification but the 212th yellow jersey (since 1919 when it was created).
|13:02||Fabio Aru in the yellow jersey|
Fabio Aru (Astana) is in the yellow jersey for the second time, with an advantage of 6 seconds over Chris Froome (Sky), 25 seconds over Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), 35 seconds over Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac) and 1.09 over Mikel Landa (Sky).
|13:01||Riders on the move|
The peloton is leaving Blagnac to reach the start proper 11km further.
Welcome to the live coverage of stage 14 in the 104th Tour de France, 181.5km from Blagnac to Rodez. Start scheduled at 13.00.
jersey wearers after the stage 18
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