TOUR’22 Stage 14: Magnificent Matthews in Mende · Vingegaard Holds Yellow

Tour Stage 14 Report: After a crazy start to stage 14, where Tadej Pogačar was in the early break, the actual ‘break of the day’ took a big lead over the GC peloton. Michael Matthews split the break and then launched an attack on the final climb. Alberto Bettiol managed to hold the Australian until he put in his winning move. Thibaut Pinot was third. The battle for yellow went to Pogačar, but Jonas Vingegaard finished on his wheel.

*** Full ‘PEZ Stage Report’ very soon. ****

The last kilometer of stage 14

A hard fought for stage win for Michael Matthews

Michael Matthews won the thirteenth stage of the Tour de France. The Australian was the first over the line in Mende after more than 192 kilometers. The BikeExchange-Jayco rider jumped with a sizeable escape group in the opening part of the stage and fought a duel with Alberto Bettiol on the final climb. Among the GC men, Tadej Pogačar tried to get rid of Jonas Vingegaard, but the Slovenian didn’t succeed.

A hot day ahead

tour boss, Christian Prudhomme: “The route never climbs very high, but the physical demands on the riders will be almost unceasing as they race from Saint-Étienne to Mende. This trek through the departments of Loire, Haute-Loire and Lozère will push the most robust riders into action. Then, on the Jalabert Montée de la Croix Neuve leading up to the airfield above Mende, there’s likely to be two battles: the first between the breakaway riders and the second for the overall favorites.”

Stage 14 route

Saturday’s stage of the Tour de France was not a big mountain stage, but the fourteenth stage was far from easy. It went up and down all day. In total, there were five categorized climbs: the Côte de Saint-Just-Malmont, the Côte de Châtaignier, the Côte de Grandrieu, the Côte de la Fage and the Côte de la Croix Neuve-Montée Jalabert, the well-known climb to Mende. The final decision would come on that last climb.

Not much chance of any of the jerseys changing

EF Education-EasyPost wanted to be in the early break as there was chaos behind

Those who thought they could take it easy until that final climb were disappointed. Before the first hill we saw a lot of riders trying to escape. And on the Côte de Saint-Just-Malmont it really turned into a race when Tadej Pogacar – behind a leading group of eighteen – jumped away from the peloton. Thanks to Wout van Aert, the yellow jersey was able to rectify the situation. Later Sepp Kuss also came to the rescue.

‘Vive le Tour!’

Bahrain Victorious also wanted to be part of the day’s break

Due to the fast pace, there were consequences. At the front, the original escapes were captured, while at the back many riders lost their hold on to the peloton. Among them there were some big names, including Primoz Roglič. The Slovenian eventually returned. Not so for Caleb Ewan, the first and biggest victim of the action at the front. The Australian sprinter was on his own behind the group and started a long day, supported by some of his Lotto Soudal teammates. Frederic Frison, Tim Wellens and Reinardt Janse van Rensburgh were waiting for him.

Yes, it was hot!

After the peloton got back together after the early split, things were fast but calm

Out of the peloton, due to the chaos, Christopher Juul Jensen and Neilson Powless escaped first. They were unsuccessful, but Powless was there, when the final leading group was formed soon after. 23 riders joined forces: Powless, Bauke Mollema, Andreas Kron, Jakob Fuglsang, Benoît Cosnefroy, Thibaut Pinot, Franck Bonnamour, Quinn Simmons, Michael Matthews, Krists Neilands, Felix Großschartner, Gregor Mühlberger, Patrick Konrad, Michael Woods Soller, Albert Bettiol, Daniel Felipe Martínez, Rigoberto Urán, Stefan Küng, Simon Geschke, Lennard Kämna, Luis León Sánchez and Louis Meintjes. The South African was best placed GC rider in 13th place, just under 16 minutes behind Vingegaard.

The break had 10 minutes which went up to over 14 at one point

Louis Meintjes in the break again, best on overall at 15 minutes

Although the co-operation was not always good, Fuglsang tried to split the group, the lead of the break quickly increased. At 100 kilometers from the finish they had a lead of almost 10 minutes. Behind; the peloton was led by the Jumbo-Visma men.

Jumbo-Visma in control of the peloton

The fans were out in the villages on a hot Saturday afternoon

For a long time nothing happened in the big leading group, but at the top of the Côte de Châtaignier there was some action. After KOM leader, Geschke, took the full points at the summit, Simmons continued the move on a false flat. The American, who had previously snatched a KOM point from Geschke, did not get away. There was some unrest in the group. Michael Matthews tried to take advantage of this chaotic situation: he attacked solo.

INEOS had Daniel Martinez in the break

A day for the French? Probably not

The Tour is still as popular as ever

Matthews attacked the big break

Matthews had Kron, Sanchez and Großschartner for company, but Kron punctured

Matthews wanted the stage win, big time

Matthews went solo on the final climb, but Bettiol had other ideas

Bettiol came from behind to catch Matthews and attack him, but it wasn’t enough

An magnificent effort from Michael Matthews

stage winner, Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco): “This victory is pretty much the story of my career, with so many roller coasters, ups and downs… my wife and my four year old daughter kept believing in me. Many times I got smashed down but I always got back up. I wanted to show my daughter what I do. With my wife, they make my dream come true. Yesterday was a big opportunity missed in a stage that was really good for me. The team rode too late to bring Dylan [Groenewegen] back for the sprint. We had a block from yesterday to tomorrow, it was the aim of the team to win at least one of those three stages. After I’ve finished second twice, I was running out of chances in this Tour de France. But I’ve showed everyone that I can ride like I did today.”

More than happy!

Pogačar couldn’t get rid of Vingegaard

# All the Tour news in EUROTRASH and the ‘Rest Day Round Up’ on Monday. #

Tour de France Stage 14 Results:
1. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco at 4:30:53
2. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:15
3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:34
4. Marc Soler (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 0:50
5. Patrick Konrad (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe 0:58
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Israel-Premier Tech
7. Felix Großschartner (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:06
8. Lennard Kämna (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:12
9. Simon Geschke (Ger) Cofidis
10. Louis Meintjes (SA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 14:
1. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 55:31:01
2. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 2:22
3. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:43
4. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 3:03
5. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 4:06
6. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa Samsic at 4:15
7. Louis Meintjes (SA) Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux at 4:24
8. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
9. Thomas Pidcock (Gb) INEOS Grenadiers at 8:49
10. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 10:00.

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