2013 Tour de France: Stage 14 Live updates, blog

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    2013 Tour de France (Image: Chungkong)

    Stage 14 of the 2013 Tour de France is a rolling transition stage that promises plenty of attacking riding, and could present an opportunity for the big sprinters’ teams to be caught out of position. Join us for live updates from 9.30pm AEST.

    After the unexpected mayhem of stage 13, with the field split apart thanks to crosswinds and the hard work of first Omega Pharma-Quickstep, and then Saxo-Tinkoff, it’s worth exercising some caution when it comes to making predictions.

    Team Sky’s evident vulnerability has their rivals sniffing blood in the water, and it’s likely that the racing will be aggressive once again. Many of the main contenders may wish to save their legs for Sunday’s epic stage on Mont Ventoux, but there are enough teams who will see this stage as an opportunity to further soften up Sky’s depleted squad before the race battles the ‘Giant of Provence’.

    Race leader Chris Froome lost 1:09 to his rivals Alberto Contador, Roman Kreuziger, Bauke Mollema, Laurens Ten Dam, and Jakob Fuglsang yesterday.

    Fortunately for Froome, the hapless Alejandro Valverde fared even worse, dropping over 9 minutes and plummeting down the general classification after suffering a mechanical incident just as the hammer was dropped.

    Of course, a rolling stage with five category 4 and two category 3 climbs presents a golden opportunity for teams with no overall hopes.

    Look out for Orica-GreenEDGE to put a man in the break (Matt White hinted earlier in the week that he had something big planned for Cameron Meyer), and I wouldn’t be surprised if Garmin-Sharp had another dig with Ryder Hesjedal or Andrew Talansky.

    The ever-present Europcar may also fancy some more TV time, and putting a rider in a break to mop up the king of the mountains points scattered throughout the stage would help protect Pierre Rolland’s polka dot jersey.

    Of course, the finish is dead flat, perfect for those few ‘sprinters who can climb’ if they can keep things together over the three small hills placed in the last 30km.

    Can Peter Sagan double his collection of stage wins? Can Argos-Shimano’s John Degenkolb continue his team’s great Tour? Is Philippe Gilbert finally ready to show some form? Can Matt Goss finally get something to go his way?

    The stage takes us through wine country tonight, so pour yourself something nice, and join us for live updates from 10.00pm AEST.

    Tim Renowden has been following professional cycling closely since Indurain won his first Tour. An ex-runner, now a club grade bike racer, Tim tweets about sport at @megabicicleta.

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    • Columnist

      Tim Renowden said | 1:08am | ! Report

      That’s all for tonight’s blog. Thanks for reading, and come back tomorrow for analysis of this stage, and of course for tomorrow night’s live blog of the monster stage finishing on the hardest climb of the Tour, Mont Ventoux.

    • Columnist

      Tim Renowden said | 1:06am | ! Report

      The peloton eventually finished 7’17” behind the winner.

      Top 10 on the stage:

      1. Trentin (OPQS)
      2. Albasini (OGE)
      3. Talansky (Garmin)
      4. JJ ROjas (Mov)
      5. Garcia (Cof)
      6. Bak (Lot)
      7. Geschke (Arg)
      8. Vichot (FDJ)
      9. Brutt (Kat)
      10: Gautier (Eur)

    • Columnist

      Tim Renowden said | 1:01am | ! Report

      Andrew Talansky is the other big winner of the day, gaining over 6 minutes and moving a few places up the general classification.

      Otherwise, no major changes to the overall race, with most of the main favourites keeping their powder dry for tomorrow’s climb of Mont Ventoux.

    • Roar Guru

      Matthew Boulden said | 1:01am | ! Report

      We shall have to see how Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) recovers for Stage 15 tomorrow, but that is some risk giving someone of his quality that much time back.

      • Roar Guru

        Matthew Boulden said | 1:06am | ! Report

        Massive gain for Andrew Talansky in the Best Young Rider competition too. He is now just 1’10” behind current leader Michal Kwiatkowski.

        • Columnist

          Tim Renowden said | 1:07am | ! Report

          Yep. Depends how much work he did on the front, but the pace wasn’t super hard once the peloton sat up.

    • Columnist

      Tim Renowden said | 12:59am | ! Report

      The peloton is still arriving. There isn’t much urgency there.

    • Columnist

      Tim Renowden said | 12:57am | ! Report

      That was Matteo Trentin’s first Tour de France stage win.

      It was a great effort from Albasini, who looked like he had it sewn up, but Trentin was absolutely flying and came past on the line.

      Trentin played it smart and cool, and didn’t waste energy attacking the breakaway, saving his legs for the sprint. It’s another stage win for Mark Cavendish’s OPQS team, but not in the way we usually expect.

    • Columnist

      Tim Renowden said | 12:54am | ! Report

      Trentin of OPQS wins the sprint, from Albasini and Talansky.

      Superb work from that big breakaway.

      Van Garderen limps in, stretching as he goes.

    • Columnist

      Tim Renowden said | 12:53am | ! Report

      Matteo Trentin wins!

      Albasini led all the way to the line but died in the final metres!

    • Columnist

      Tim Renowden said | 12:52am | ! Report

      Burghardt and Albasini have virtually caught Simon.

      1km to go, Albasini is in the lead

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