Wednesday, 23 July 2014

2014 Tour de France Stage 17 Report

Saint Gaudens - Saint-Lary Pla d'Adet 124.5km

Like stage 16 there were two non-starters, Simon Gerrans and Reto Hollenstein. There was 8 men in the breakaway including Jens Voigt and Cyril Gautier. Simon Spilak abandoned from the Tour. Blel Kadri took €1500 at the intermediate sprint beating Martin Elmiger and Sergio Paulinho. The race then briefly entered Spain. On the Col du Portillon, TJ Slagter was dropped by the breakaway and several riders including Joaquim Rodriguez, Bauke Mollema and Rafal Majka bridged the gap to the breakaway. Mollema was only 11 minutes back and tried to get himself back in contention Six men broke clear of the breakaway, they were: Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Bauke Mollema (Belkin), Nico Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff), David Lopez (Sky), Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) and Kristijan Durasek (Lampre-Merida). Rodriguez took 10 points at the Portillion in Spain, and became the virtual King of the Mountains leader. Meanwhile in the peloton, Luke Durbridge was taken out by a Movistar Soigner.

On the descent the breakaway caught the 6 riders up front to make a group of 22. Kiryienka attacked from the breakaway on the descent, he had a lead of one minute over the break after leading for 10 minutes. Roche and Herrada attacked on the Peyresourde to go 30 secs clear of the Mollema group. Kiryienka took 10 points on the Col de Peyresourde from Roche with 8 and Herrada with 6; Rodriguez beat Majka in the sprint for fourth and as many points. The AG2R/ led peloton lowered the gap between the peloton and the Mollema group to three minutes and the gap to Kiryienka was a minute more. Kiryienka was caught 500m from the summit of the Col de Val Louron-Azet and Joaquim Rodriguez beat Majka by a hair to take 10 points and extend his lead in KOM competition to 11 points. Jurgen Van den Broeck was dropped on the climb but caught back 20 seconds on the descent to rejoin the breakaway.

Romain Bardet attacked the peloton on the descent as he knew that Pinot was vulnerable on the descent. He exploited it and took a 30 seconds lead. In the basement, each of the escapees were constantly attacking each other before they got to the climb. Four riders broke clear of the Mollema Group, they were Nico Roche, Pierre Rolland, Giovanni Visconti and Amaél Moinard. The two French riders were dropped with 9km to go. Visconti unhitched Roche with 7.5km to go. The other three escapees were caught by Majka but not Rodriguez and the two Tinkoff riders decided to chase Visconti. Majka attacked from the chasing group. Meanwhile, Valverde was dropped by the yellow jersey group. Bardet was caught with 5km to go  and swiftly afterwards JC Peraud attacked and was joined by Nibali. Majka joined Visconti with 4km to go, two make two leaders at the head of the race.  Nibali attacked with 3km to go but Peraud joined him. At the front, with 2000m left Majka attacked in an attempt to keep his polka-dot jersey. Rafal Majka held on to win his second stage of this years' tour but he keeps his polka-dot jersey.

Stage 17 Result:

1.POLMAJKA Rafal34TINKOFF-SAXO03h 35' 23'' 
2.ITAVISCONTI Giovanni19MOVISTAR TEAM03h 35' 52''+ 00' 29''
3.ITANIBALI Vincenzo41ASTANA PRO TEAM03h 36' 09''+ 00' 46''
4.FRAPÉRAUD Jean-Christophe81AG2R LA MONDIALE03h 36' 09''+ 00' 46''
5.ITADE MARCHI Alessandro53CANNONDALE03h 36' 12''+ 00' 49''
6.FRAROLLAND Pierre151TEAM EUROPCAR03h 36' 15''+ 00' 52''
7.LUXSCHLECK Frank161TREK FACTORY RACING03h 36' 35''+ 01' 12''
8.NEDMOLLEMA Bauke61BELKIN PRO CYCLING03h 36' 35''+ 01' 12''
9.IRLROCHE Nicolas37TINKOFF-SAXO03h 36' 48''+ 01' 25''
10.ESPVALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro11MOVISTAR TEAM03h 36' 58''+ 01' 35''
11.FRAPINOT Thibaut127FDJ.FR03h 37' 03''+ 01' 40''
12.FRABARDET Romain82AG2R LA MONDIALE03h 37' 03''+ 01' 40''
13.USAVAN GARDEREN Tejay141BMC RACING TEAM03h 37' 03''+ 01' 40''
14.NEDTEN DAM Laurens67BELKIN PRO CYCLING03h 37' 13''+ 01' 50''

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