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A palette of colours …

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Chris Froome, the go-between

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Last sprint for Groenewegen, Froome wins his fourth Tour

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Michael Matthews dethrones the Olympic champion

Stage summary15.07.2017Stage 14- Blagnac / Rodez

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.

Five in the lead

 

177 riders started stage 14 in Blagnac. Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie) attacked from the gun. He was quickly rejoined by Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Maxime Bouet (Fortuneo-Oscaro) while Reto Hollenstein (Katusha-Alpecin) reinforced the leading group at km 14. Their maximum advantage was three minutes at km 25 as teams BMC and Sunweb of hot favourites Greg Van Avermaet and Michael Matthews prepared for an uphill finish from very far out. With the help of Jani Brajkovic (Bahrain-Merida), they maintained the time difference for two minutes for most of the stage. De Gendt won the intermediate sprint and crested the two categorized climbs in first position ahead of Voeckler.

 

De Gendt ahead until 12km to go

 

The leading quintet split in the côte de Contrès with 38km to go. De Gendt and Voeckler forged on while their former breakaway companions were brought back by the peloton. With 32km to go, De Gendt rode Voeckler off. The Lotto-Soudal rider stayed one minute ahead with 20km to go. He was reeled in with 12km to go after 170km in the lead. Maurits Lammertink (Katusha-Alpecin) counter attacked straight away. Damiano Caruso (BMC), Nikias Arndt (Sunweb) and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fortuneo-Oscaro) accompanied the Dutchman at the front but it was all together again with 4km to go.

 

Matthews wins, Froome back in yellow

 

After Belgian champion Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale) disturbed the lead out trains, Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) launched the uphill sprint in Rodez from far out but it was a duel at the top of the climb between the two riders everyone expected. Matthews proved to be a bit stronger than Van Avermaet. The Australian claimed his second stage win at the Tour de France one year after he did it in Revel. Splits in the peloton put Chris Froome back in the lead of the overall ranking with an advantage of 19 seconds over Fabio Aru and 23 over Romain Bardet.

  • Michael Matthews dethrones the Olympic champion

    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.

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Stage 14 Blagnac / Rodez

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