15/07/17 - 1:20 PM
Blagnac - Rodez
Tour de France • Stage14

Blagnac - Rodez
Tour de France - 15 July 2017

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That's all we've got time for on the live blog today, but we'll be back tomorrow with live coverage of stage 15, which is a 189.5km medium-mountain stage from Laissac-Sévérac l'Église to Le Puy-en-Velay. See you then.


Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana were also both caught out by the split and each lost 21 seconds to Froome.


It looks like the peloton split on the final climb, and Aru was caught on the wrong side. Dan Martin and Rigoberto Uran finished alongside Froome, but Romain Bardet lost 4sec to the Briton.


Here's the new general classification:


Just getting confirmation that Froome is back in the race lead, now 19 seconds in front of Fabio Aru, who lost 25 seconds on the day.


Here's the stage 14 result:


Third on the day was Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data).


Looks like Fabio Aru has surrendered the yellow jersey to Chris Froome. There looked to be about 20sec between the two at the finish after Froome followed the stage contenders.


2nd Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing).


Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) wins stage 14 of the Tour de France.


They're on the final climb...


Now Dimension Data hit the front and lead them under the flamme rouge.


Trek-Segafredo and Dimension Data move forward, Sky move back.


Lammertink has been reeled back in, so we're all together. Quick-Step leading them towards the final climb.


Lammertink still 4sec clear of the Quick-Step-led peloton. Sky still prominent at the front.


Lammertink is the only rider still in front of the peloton, but his lead is slender. Quick-Step leading the chase.


Lammertink attacks again, but the peloton is now only two or three seconds back.


Perichon still driving the pace on the front of the lead quartet but the gaps continues to fall and the catch is imminent.


Movistar have now moved alongside Sky at the front of the bunch, which is now only 6sec down on the four leaders. Looks like this will come back together again.


The Fortuneo rider in the lead quartet is Pierre-Luc Perichon, and he's just attacked, which has triggered responses from the other three. The lead is back up to 11sec.


The gap falls to 10sec. AG2R La Mondiale have now joined Sky on the front of the peloton.


The quartet up front still have 15sec and Sky continue to lead the chase, but they're not drilling it just yet.


Lammertink kicks again. Caruso follows instantly, but Arndt and the Fortuneo rider take a little longer to respond. This quartet has 14sec over the peloton, which is now being led by Team Sky.


Great tactics from Katusha here. Their rider is Maurits Lammertink. He's been joined by Damiano Caruso (BMC) and Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb). There's also a Fortuneo-Oscaro rider there.


Now another Katusha rider attacks, and this time he's chased immediately by a BMC rider.


Sunweb reel Martin back in, but that hurt.


Martin is trying to wear down Team Sunweb here on behalf of his own team-mate Alexander Kristoff. This isn't a bid for glory, and it's working because the Sunweb riders are grimacing.


De Gendt is caught, so the race is back together. That will be enough to bag him the award for the most combative rider of the day. Interestingly, Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) has attacked of the front of the peloton.


The gap falls to 14 seconds and the peloton now have De Gendt in sight.


It looks increasingly like the peloton have timed this chase to perfection, because De Gendt's lead is now down to just 35sec and the catch is imminent.


This is the profile of the final 5km:


De Gendt's lead is now down to 59sec as Team Sunweb and BMC Racing take turns on the front to reel him back in.


De Gendt's lead is now starting to be whittled down and stands at just 1min 7sec. This is still a fine ride by the Belgian.


All of the breakaway riders except De Gendt have now been reeled in by the peloton.


De Gendt has now dropped Voeckler and is leading solo. He has 1min 28sec over the peloton, which continues to be led by Team Sunweb.


Just a quick reminder of today's profile and what the finish looks like:


The breakaway and peloton have now gone over the summit of the Côte de Centrès. De Gendt was once again first man to the summit.


Crosswinds would definitely spice things up a bit:


Scratch that. Breakaway now down to two riders after Roosen falls away.


Bout has also been dropped, so the breakaway is now down to just De Gendt, Voeckler and Roosen. Their lead over the peloton is 1min 31sec.


The riders are now on the day's second climb, the category-three, Côte de Centrès, and the breakaway is back down to four after Hollenstein was dropped. Back down the road, Kittel's group made it back to the peloton in time for the climb, but the German has just been dropped again. He has a team-mate with him.


Kittel has not made it back to the peloton, but he is now in a group of six also containing one team-mate and Steve Cummings (Team Dimension Data), so he's not alone and has a few people to draft. They're 400m behind the bunch.


That last climb proved a bit too feisty for Marcel Kittel, who has been dropped by the peloton and is now riding on his own. The road is flattening back out and he's within sight of the peloton, so he should tag back on, but there's another category-three climb coming in about 10km, so he'll be likely dropped again.


The breakaway reaches the summit of the Côte du viaduc du Viaur and it was De Gendt who was first over the line. Roosen was dropped just before the top, but he should be able to catch back up.


Roosen has made it back to the other four breakaway riders. Fair play to him because De Gendt was really kicking on there, so much so that the gap to the peloton has crept back up to 2min 00sec.


The breakaway is now down to four riders because Timo Roosen has just punctured. He's chasing back to the other four escapees, but it's a tough task because they're on the first categorised climb and De Gendt is setting a strong pace.


More on Felline's illness:


This is what the front of the peloton has looked like pretty much all day:


Greg Van Avermaet is many people's favourite to repeat his victory in Rodez two years ago. Here's what the reigning Olympic road race champion had to say before the stage: "Rodez was a special moment in my career. Before that win, I had high expectations, I was always close. But Rodez made a big change in my life. It was the launchpad for other big victories. I'm happy the Tour de France put it in again. I'm always smiling when I hear Rodez, for it's a really good memory.”


Here's the reason Felline had to withdraw:


The breakaway riders have stretched their lead back out to 2min 15sec, but you get the impression it's only a temporary reprieve. They've shortly got two category-three climbs to tackle and they could lose a lot of time there. The first is Côte du viaduc du Viaur with 50km to go, which is 2.3km long and averages seven per cent in gradient. The second is the Côte de Centrès with 36km to go, which is also 2.3km long and averages 7.7 per cent.


Trek-Segafredo's Fabio Felline has just quit the race. Not sure what was wrong with the Italian yet, but that's a blow for Alberto Contador. We're now down to 176 riders left in the Tour out of the initial 198.


The riders are now starting to get to the lumpier part of today's route and the breakaway's is already starting to fall. It's down to 1min 39sec, so BMC, Sunweb and Bahrain-Merida may have to knock the pace off slightly on the front of the bunch.


Still no sign of Quick-Step Floors chipping in at the front of the bunch. Either Philippe Gilbert is on an off-day, or they're going to let BMC and Sunweb do all the work and then try to steal the glory at the end.


John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) is another potential winner today. Here's what he had to say before the stage: "We have to make sure that it's small group in the beginning and not too 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."


Colbrelli is indeed the man Bahrain-Merida are working for. Here he was speaking before the stage: "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."


The breakaway's lead is now 2min 20sec. It dropped briefly to about 1min 50sec, but BMC Racing and Team Sunweb knocked off the pace to let it swell again. They're getting help on the front from Bahrain-Merida. Not quite sure who they are working for, but my guess would be Sonny Colbrelli.


Here was the result of the intermediate sprint:

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

At 2.05:

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

13. Zdenek Stybar, 3 pts

14. Amaël Moinard, 2 pts

15. Danilo Wyss, 1 pt


The peloton now come through the sprint, with Kittel taking sixth place (behind the five breakaway riders) and Matthews having to settle for seventh. So Kittel extends his lead of the points classification.


The breakaway have just gone through the intermediate sprint, with De Gendt taking maximum points ahead of Bouet and then Voeckler.


One man to keep an eye on today is UAE Team Emirates' Diego Ulissi, who could be a decent outside bet for the win. Here's what he had to say before the stage started: "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. It helped me understand that my condition is good ahead of a few stages that suit my characteristics.”


The riders are now approaching the day's intermediate sprint. If Michael Matthews is going to keep his hopes of the green jersey alive, he has to bag a big haul of points today. Here are the current standings in the points classification:


Today's stage finish is an exact replica of stage 13 of the 2015 Tour, which was won by Greg Van Avermaet, just ahead of Peter Sagan. Those two finished three seconds ahead of third-placed Jan Bakelants and seven seconds ahead of the main body of the peloton. That's why, with Sagan already out of this year's race, Van Avermaet is being looked at as the man to beat today.


It seems waiting for Hollenstein was futile for the breakaway, because their lead has been cut to 2min 20sec. This is turning into a nice, steady day for the general classification teams, who are all tucked deep inside the peloton getting plenty of shelter.


It seems the decision was taken in the breakaway to wait for Hollenstein, which may have been part of the reason the gap held at 2min 45sec for so long. Here's Fortuneo-Oscaro sport director Denis Leproux to explain: "It's better to have him with us; he's a super rouleur. 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 destined to fail again, but whoever doesn't try has no chance to succeed.”


The breakaway's lead is still being held at under three minutes by a combination of BMC Racing and Team Sunweb. Philippe Gilbert is another big favourite for today, but so far his Quick-Step Floors team haven't shown their noses at the front, which will be a relief for them given the colossal amount of work they've done on the sprint stages.


Here's Hollenstein joining the breakaway.


Hollenstein has now made it across to the leaders, so the breakaway is up to five. That's a fine effort from the Swiss and he'll need a bit of a rest for a few kilometres now.


Here is what Van Avermaet has to say at the start line a little earlier: "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 [Michael] Matthews, [John] Degenkolb, [Philippe] Gilbert, [Edvald] 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 Richie instead. It's been a hard Tour for me so far because I couldn't show my real good legs. The only big chance I had before today was [stage three in] Longwy. It hasn't been a Tour for attackers so far so I prefer to play my cards from a sprint finish today as well.”


Team Sunweb and BMC Racing are sharing pace-setting duties on the front of the peloton and are now holding the breakaway's lead at between 2min 40sec and 2min 45sec. Sunweb are trying to set up Michael Matthews for the win and BMC are working for Greg Van Avermaet, so it's now looking very unlikely that the breakaway will be allowed to stay away.


Hollenstein is currently 1min 20sec behind the front four and 1min 20sec ahead of the peloton, so he is exactly halfway to making it across the gap. Still a lot of work for him to do and this is a big, big effort he's putting in.


Team Sunweb have been prominent on the front of the peloton already, so you already get the impression they will want to bring this break back and later in the day and sent up a bunch finish for Matthews.


The Katusha-Alpecin rider is Reto Hollenstein. This could be a bit too late because the breakaway quartet are now 1min 42sec up the road.


The breakaway's lead has immediately ballooned to 1min 20sec, so this is definitely the escape of the day. But as I write, a Katusha-Alpecin rider attacks off the front and seems intent on joining the leaders.


Timo Roosen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) and Maxime Bouet (Fortuneo-Oscaro) have joined Voeckler and De Gendt in the break, and it looks like they will be allowed to go clear because a couple of teams have blocked off the front of the peloton and the gap is now growing steadily.


The flag drops and racing is underway. Four riders have attacked in the hope of forming a breakaway, but they only have a small lead over the peloton at the moment. They include Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal).


Today's stage ends with a 570m climb to the finish line averaging 9.6 per cent in gradient. Van Avermaet is many people's favourite, but Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Dimension Data) are also among the favourites.


The stage has just got underway and the riders are now making their way through the neutral zone. Racing proper is expected to start at 12.20pm.


Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) is one of the favourites to win today's stage. Here he was at the start line in Blagnac a little earlier.


Here's how the general classification looks coming into today's stage. There is unlikely to be too much movement today given the lack of climbs on the route.


Here's the profile of today' stage.


Hello and welcome along to our live coverage of stage 14 of the Tour de France. Today's route takes the riders 181.5km from Blagnac to Rodez and rolls gently for much of the day, so it should be won by an all-rounder, and possibly out of the breakaway.