Tour de France: Stage 14 – Sanchez

Luis Leon Sanchez of Rabobank has won the 14th stage of the Tour de France after a solo attack from the break with eleven kilometres to go on a stage that will be remembered for the tacks thrown onto the road.

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Yellow Jersey: Bradley Wiggins | White jersey: Tejay van Garderen |
| KoM Jersey:  Kessiakoff | Green Jersey: Peter Sagan | Team: Radioshack Nissan


The victory by Sanchez ended a stage where the finale was full of incident. At the front, the break was in a constant state of flux as riders such as Sandy Casar tried to get rid of Peter Sagan on the final climb only for the Green jersey to come back to them prior to the attack of Sanchez.

More intriguing was the goings on in the peloton. Punctures started to occur at the top of the final 1st cat climb and pretty soon they were taking out some GC contenders. Cadel Evans was left stranded at the top of the climb, wheel in hand and no help forthcoming. Multiple wheel changes from a teammate and then another and then the team car followed and he wasn’t the only one to suffer. The race leader Wiggins is also reported to have punctured and there are reports that tacks were thrown on to the road and as many as 30 punctures.

Initially the peloton stayed calm with Sky realising what was happening while Evans waited for help which wasn’t coming very quickly from his team but then Rolland attacked on the descent before the likes of Liquigas started to ride full gas at the front of the peloton as Evans and his BMC teammates chased to get back to the yellow jersey group. It was utter chaos and whilst all this unfolded, Luis Leon Sanchez crossed the line 47 seconds ahead of Peter Sagan who took second from Sandy Casar. Fourth was Philippe Gilbert.

There was a long wait for the peloton though and for Cadel Evans there was relief at getting back to the peloton as they raced to the line, crossing the finish over eighteen minutes down on Sanchez. Luis Mardones (12th) of Cofidis led the peloton in with Wiggins in 15th, Evans 16th and Nibali 17th. Now that’s a stage with drama in it similar to the situation last year between Andy Schleck and his dropped chain and Alberto Contador. What next we wonder …

Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) “Since the start of the Tour, I have never given up on the idea of being in breakaways in the hope of winning stage. I was injured during the first week, but I persisted. Not everything worked out in our favour at first but I knew that this stage was made for me; I really wanted to do something today.”

“Of course, when I saw that Sagan and Gilbert were also in the break, I thought it would be almost impossible to beat them, and my only option was to attack from a long way out. This is why we accelerated with my team-mate [Kruiswijk] at the top of the Mur de Péguère, and then I attacked solo near the finish.”

“I intend to keep trying to go in the breakaways and, why not, pick up another stage win. I also think about the Olympics, because I’m doing better and better right now and my wrist does not hurt anymore. I’d like to go to do something.”

“I always have had trouble with very high mountains, and that is why it complicates things to aim for overall victory in a Grand Tour. I know that since Indurain, the Spanish mentality is to be interested mainly in three week races. But I do not have the legs for this kind of feat, even though I already finished in the top 10. After all, I’ve won four stages on the Tour de France, and I intend to keep adding more.”

Bradley Wiggins: “I didn’t see a lot out on the road really. I just heard that there were so many flats in a couple of seconds. I wasn’t aware of it until it happened. No one wants to benefit from someone else’s misfortune so I think we should decide this thing on the climbs, through racing and not through other people’s misfortune.”

“I don’t know what happened. People who watched it on television probably know more than me. I heard rumours that there were thumb tacks on the road. It’s unfortunate that something external to the racing is affecting the racing. It’s quite sad really.”

“Everybody sees those situations differently but personally I wouldn’t want to benefit from something like that. I thought the best thing to do is to wait. If you can’t gain times on the climbs, then you don’t do it when someone’s punctured – not even when it’s an ordinary puncture… so when it was something like what happened today, something external affecting the race, then it’s even more so.”

“There were so many punctures at once that it was obvious that something had happened. We went up the climb hard. Nothing happened. And obviously it seems logical to wait; we were 17 minutes behind the breakaway… when everyone punctured at once it made sense to ride easy for a couple of kilometres so everybody could get their wheels changed.”

“The climb was so narrow that the team cars were a long way back and waiting seemed the honourable thing to do. No one wants to see something like that have an impact on the race. As a group the thing to do was to wait. The stage win was over. The climb was over. There was nothing left to contest really…”

Tejay van Garderen was near Cadel Evans at the time the BMC leader punctured but rider in the white jersey didn’t stop to help his leader because he thought Cadel had the help of other teammates. “I heard Cadel had a puncture but I wasn’t quite sure what the situation was. I thought we had another team-mate in there but in hindsight I should have waited for him”.

“It was loud and chaotic and I could kind of gather than he had a puncture but I wasn’t sure… “Like I said, I thought we had more team-mates in there and I didn’t hear much over the radio. There was just shouting and it was kind of chaotic.It was sort of like someone threw some tacks on the road or something but I’m not sure exactly.”

The Day’s summary on Video

THE RACE

The 14th stage of the 2012 Tour de France began at 12.19pm with 163 riders still in the race. The 191km race featured three climbs: the cat-two col du Portel (at 30km), followed by two category-one ascents: the Port de Lers (at 126.5km) and the Mur de Péguère (at 152.5km).

The intermediate sprint was in Tarascon-sur-Ariège at 99km. There was a tailwind early and the pace at the start was fast. Although there were numerous escape attempts including the likes of Paulinho (4km) nothing was allowed any leeway.

At 19km Sagan (LIQ) tried his luck with an attack but it lasted only a matter of minutes. Taaramae was on the attack on the first climb but the bunch was essentially together until the top when Voeckler led Kessiakoff over the line. It wasn’t until the 35km mark that any riders could break the grip of the peloton… and it was the irrepressible Mr Sagan (LIQ) who started the move. He was joined by Kruiswijk (RAB) and Paulinho (STB).

After 38km the peloton was split in to two distinct groups with Kloden, Schleck, Coppel and a number of other GC riders in the second group that was as much as 1’45” behind the first at one point but there was a regrouping at 54km. By then Sagan’s trio was ahead of a group of eight counter-attackers – Gilbert (BMC), Gautier (EUC), Izaguirre (EUS), Minard (ALM), Vorganov (KAT), Casar (FDJ), Sanchez (RAB) and M. Velits (OPQ) – who joined the lead group at 56km. When the 11 at the front joined forces, the peloton was 1’10” behind. The Russian champion was the best on GC (26th overall, at 33’59”).

The average speed for the second hour was 40.6km/h and by then the 11-man lead group was well ahead of the peloton that was led by the Sky team. The advantage of the escapees grew to 13’30” at the intermediate sprint. Sagan took the 20 points but was unchallenged as he rolled over the line in Tarascon. Greipel took 12th place but he was also unchallenged in the hunt for points.

Gautier had to change a bike early on the descent (and he rejoined the lead group in the first kilometre of the third climb). The peloton arrived at the base of the Port de Lers 15 minutes behind Sagan’s group. Paulinho led the escape over the top of the second climb. The peloton was led by Eisel (SKY) most of the way up (with Cavendish right on his wheel) but, just before the top, Knees took over the pace setting. Light rain fell as the riders crested the second climb.

With 4km to go on the third climb, Kruiswijk set Sanchez up to surge over the steep section of the climb and this split the lead group. Only Gilbert, Casar and Izaguirre could follow the Spaniard. Casar went to the front in the final 500m of the climb and led over the top, followed by Izaguirre and Sagan at 5”, then came Gilbert and Sanchez at 25”… With 30km to go, Sagan and Izaguirre caught Casar. With 20km to go there were five in the lead: Sanchez, Izaguirre, Sagan, Casar and Gilbert. This quintet rode together until Sanchez attacked with 11km to go. The others wouldn’t see him again until after the line.

Sabotage threatens to influence the race for GC honours …
Just at the top of the final climb there was a succession of punctures. Until that moment there hadn’t been any attacks from the yellow jersey group but Evans was utterly stranded without mechanical assistance at the summit. He had his rear wheel out for what seemed like an eternity before, finally, Burghardt arrived to offer a wheel but there seemed to be some incompatibility and it wasn’t until Moinard arrived on the scene that they started trying to swap wheels. But then Wiggins had been made aware of the situation and he signalled a truce in his group that contained about 15 men. Everyone but Rolland agreed that they would wait for the defending champion who was struck with misfortune.

In a scene reminiscent of the infamous 13th stage of the 2009 Vuelta a España when Evans effectively lost a chance of winning the title because of a very long wait for a wheel change, the Australian finally got mechanical assistance but it was far from a simple wheel change. When he stopped to get a second new wheel, his manager Jim Ochowicz slid into a drain on the side of the road, almost falling over and making the situation seem a little slapstick… but it was no comedy.

The competition director Jean-François Pescheux later claimed that there were tacks on the road and that’s what caused the spate of punctures. Sabotage could have influenced general classification but cool heads prevailed and ultimately all the GC riders joined forced and rolled to the finish together well behind the stage winner. But by then both Lotto-Belisol and Liquigas-Cannondale had spent some time on the attack at the front of a group containing Wiggins who was adamant that the right thing to do was wait for Evans.

Sanchez claims a win for Rabobank
While chaos reigned behind the escape, Luis Leon Sanchez seized his chance for another stage win. He only increased his advantage over the four chasing riders after his attack with 11km to go. Although his Rabobank team was down to just four riders, two of them were on the attack today and the Spaniard claimed his fourth stage victory in the Tour de France – following successes in Aurillac (2008), St-Girons (2009) and St-Flour (2011). He beat Sagan and the three other former escapees by 47”.

Wiggins finished the stage in 15th place spot ahead of Evans who were part of a large group that was 18’15” behind Sanchez. The leader of the Sky team will wear the yellow jersey in stage 15.

STAGE 14 RESULT

1 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil Rabobank Cycling Team 04:50:29
2 Peter Sagan Liquigas – Cannondale 00:47
3 Sandy Casar Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat @ same time
4 Philippe Gilbert BMC Racing Team @ same time
5 Gorka Izagirre Insausti Euskaltel – Euskadi @ same time
6 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank 02:51
7 S̩bastien Minard Ag2R РLa Mondiale @ same time
8 Martin Velits Omega Pharma – Quickstep 03:49
9 Eduard Vorganov Katusha Team 04:51
10 Steven Kruijswijk Rabobank Cycling Team 04:53
11 Cyril Gautier Europcar 14:53
12 Luis Angel Mate Mardones Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne 18:15
13 Julien Simon Saur – Sojasun @ same time
14 Mickael Cherel Ag2R – La Mondiale @ same time
15 Bradley Wiggins Sky Procycling @ same time
16 Cadel Evans BMC Racing Team @ same time
17 Vincenzo Nibali Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
18 Kristjan Koren Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
19 Brice Feillu Saur – Sojasun @ same time
20 Christopher Froome Sky Procycling @ same time
21 Johnny Hoogerland Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team @ same time
22 Christian Knees Sky Procycling @ same time
23 Matthieu Ladagnous Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat @ same time
24 Chris Anker Sorensen Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank @ same time
25 Edvald Boasson Hagen Sky Procycling @ same time
26 Davide Malacarne Europcar @ same time
27 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre RadioShack – Nissan @ same time
28 Nicolas Roche Ag2R – La Mondiale @ same time
29 Jurgen Van Den Broeck Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
30 Michael Rogers Sky Procycling @ same time
31 Michael Schar BMC Racing Team @ same time
32 Richie Porte Sky Procycling @ same time
33 Janez Brajkovic Astana Pro Team @ same time
34 Francis De Greef Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
35 Maxime Monfort RadioShack – Nissan @ same time
36 Pierre Rolland Europcar @ same time
37 Maxime Bouet Ag2R – La Mondiale @ same time
38 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa Movistar Team @ same time
39 J̩rome Coppel Saur РSojasun @ same time
40 Amaël Moinard BMC Racing Team @ same time
41 Frank Schleck RadioShack – Nissan @ same time
42 Thibaut Pinot Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat @ same time
43 Manuel Quinziato BMC Racing Team @ same time
44 George Hincapie BMC Racing Team @ same time
45 Andriy Grivko Astana Pro Team @ same time
46 Federico Canuti Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
47 Michele Scarponi Lampre – ISD @ same time
48 Sylvester Szmyd Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
49 Fredrik Kessiakoff Astana Pro Team @ same time
50 Tejay Van Garderen BMC Racing Team @ same time
51 Denis Menchov Katusha Team @ same time
52 Yaroslav Popovych RadioShack – Nissan @ same time
53 Adam Hansen Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
54 Chris Horner RadioShack – Nissan @ same time
55 Andr̩as Kl̦den RadioShack РNissan @ same time
56 Marcus Burghardt BMC Racing Team @ same time
57 Dmitriy Fofonov Astana Pro Team @ same time
58 Ivan Basso Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
59 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo Movistar Team @ same time
60 Peter Velits Omega Pharma – Quickstep @ same time
61 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte Movistar Team @ same time
62 Pieter Weening Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
63 Jelle Vanendert Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
64 Egoi Martinez De Esteban Euskaltel – Euskadi @ same time
65 Andrey Kashechkin Astana Pro Team @ same time
66 Vladimir Karpets Movistar Team @ same time
67 Daniel Oss Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
68 Levi Leipheimer Omega Pharma – Quickstep @ same time
69 Thomas Voeckler Europcar 18:27
70 Jens Voigt RadioShack – Nissan 21:19
71 Anthony Roux Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat @ same time
72 Arthur Vichot Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat @ same time
73 Ruben Perez Moreno Euskaltel – Euskadi @ same time
74 Nicki Sørensen Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank @ same time
75 Nicolas Edet Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne @ same time
76 Daniel Martin Garmin – Sharp @ same time
77 Jean-christophe Peraud Ag2R – La Mondiale @ same time
78 Pierrick Fedrigo Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat @ same time
79 Simone Stortoni Lampre – ISD @ same time
80 Vladimir Gusev Katusha Team @ same time
81 Giampaolo Caruso Katusha Team @ same time
82 Samuel Dumoulin Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne 23:33
83 Laurens Ten Dam Rabobank Cycling Team @ same time
84 Jorge Azanza Soto Euskaltel – Euskadi @ same time
85 Steven Cummings BMC Racing Team 26:01
86 Yuri Trofimov Katusha Team @ same time
87 Guillaume Levarlet Saur – Sojasun @ same time
88 Fabrice Jeandesboz Saur – Sojasun @ same time
89 Kevin De Weert Omega Pharma – Quickstep @ same time
90 Marco Marzano Lampre – ISD @ same time
91 Luca Paolini Katusha Team @ same time
92 Albert Timmer Argos-Shimano 28:18
93 J̩rome Pineau Omega Pharma РQuickstep @ same time
94 Roy Curvers Argos-Shimano @ same time
95 Christophe Riblon Ag2R – La Mondiale @ same time
96 Blel Kadri Ag2R – La Mondiale @ same time
97 Sylvain Chavanel Omega Pharma – Quickstep @ same time
98 C̩dric Pineau Equipe Cycliste FDJ РBigMat @ same time
99 J̩r̩my Roy Equipe Cycliste FDJ РBigMat @ same time
100 Koen De Kort Argos-Shimano @ same time
101 Marco Marcato Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team @ same time
102 Borut Bozic Astana Pro Team @ same time
103 Bert Grabsch Omega Pharma – Quickstep @ same time
104 Patrick Gretsch Argos-Shimano @ same time
105 Romain Zingle Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne @ same time
106 S̩bastien Hinault Ag2R РLa Mondiale @ same time
107 Nick Nuyens Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank @ same time
108 Dominik Nerz Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
109 Gregory Henderson Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
110 Simon Gerrans Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
111 Baden Cooke Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
112 Lars Ytting Bak Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
113 Anders Lund Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank @ same time
114 Rafael Valls Ferri Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team @ same time
115 Kenny Van Hummel Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team @ same time
116 Ruben Plaza Molina Movistar Team @ same time
117 Daryl Impey Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
118 Yauheni Hutarovich Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat @ same time
119 Andre Greipel Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
120 Jurgen Roelandts Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
121 Marcel Sieberg Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
122 Jimmy Engoulvent Saur – Sojasun @ same time
123 Michael Morkov Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank @ same time
124 Giovanni Bernaudeau Europcar @ same time
125 Rein Taaramäe Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne @ same time
126 Yukiya Arashiro Europcar @ same time
127 Alessandro Vanotti Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
128 Pablo Urtasun Perez Euskaltel – Euskadi @ same time
129 Julien Fouchard Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne @ same time
130 Tyler Farrar Garmin – Sharp @ same time
131 Cyril Lemoine Saur – Sojasun @ same time
132 Juan Jose Haedo Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank @ same time
133 Jan Ghyselinck Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne @ same time
134 Vasil Kiryienka Movistar Team @ same time
135 Christian Vande Velde Garmin – Sharp @ same time
136 Danilo Hondo Lampre – ISD @ same time
137 Jean-marc Marino Saur – Sojasun @ same time
138 Grega Bole Lampre – ISD @ same time
139 Matthieu Sprick Argos-Shimano @ same time
140 Yann Huguet Argos-Shimano @ same time
141 Jonathan Cantwell Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank @ same time
142 Matthew Goss Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
143 David Millar Garmin – Sharp @ same time
144 Stuart O’ Grady Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
145 Dries Devenyns Omega Pharma – Quickstep @ same time
146 Johan Vansummeren Garmin – Sharp @ same time
147 David Zabriskie Garmin – Sharp @ same time
148 Mark Cavendish Sky Procycling @ same time
149 Maxim Iglinskiy Astana Pro Team @ same time
150 Joan Horrach Rippoll Katusha Team @ same time
151 Alexandre Vinokourov Astana Pro Team @ same time
152 Aleksandr Kuschynski Katusha Team @ same time
153 Karsten Kroon Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank @ same time
154 Michael Albasini Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
155 Bram Tankink Rabobank Cycling Team @ same time
156 Sebastian Langeveld Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
157 Brett Lancaster Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
158 Bernhard Eisel Sky Procycling @ same time
159 Yohann Gène Europcar 28:30
160 Vincent Jerome Europcar @ same time
161 Kris Boeckmans Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team @ same time
162 Christophe Kern Europcar 31:53

 Overall (No major changes)

1 Bradley Wiggins Sky Procycling 64:41:16
2 Christopher Froome Sky Procycling 2:05
3 Vincenzo Nibali Liquigas – Cannondale 2:23
4 Cadel Evans BMC Racing Team 3:19
5 Jurgen Van Den Broeck Lotto – Belisol Team 4:48
6 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre RadioShack – Nissan 6:15
7 Tejay Van Garderen BMC Racing Team 6:57
8 Janez Brajkovic Astana Pro Team 7:30
9 Pierre Rolland Europcar 8:31
10 Thibaut Pinot Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat 8:51

 

 

 

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