Tour de France: Stage 20 – Quintana Arrives in Style


The expected battle for the podium places behind Chris Froome lit up the final climb on stage 20 with Nairo Quintana winning and moving up to second overall

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It was a short stage with a brutal finish that saw significant changes to several classifications and the big winner of the 125km race from Annecy to the ski station above the town of Annecy Semnoz, was Nairo Quintana.


Photo: ASO/Tim De Waele

The Colombian won the stage in an emphatic manner and and gained several extras for finishing the race 17” ahead of Joaquim Rodriguez and 29” in front of Chris Froome. It was a finale that showed just what a great Tour it has been despite the domination by Chris Froome.

After a brave and ballsy attempt by 41 year old Jens Voigt to win the stage, the race for the stage came down to the riders fighting out for the podium. As soon as the peloton hit the last climb it exploded and very quickly indeed, under the force of Movistar, the yellow jersey group quickly came down to a few handfuls of riders.

With 8km to go, there were only eight in the yellow jersey group – Froome, Porte, Costa, Valverde, Quintana, Rolland, Contador, Kreuziger, Rodriguez – and the first to crack was Kreuziger. Then Rodriguez attacked and this prompted a reaction from Quintana and, as the pair had a lead of about 50 metres, Froome accelerated away from his rivals such as Contador with a scary turn of speed on the 10% slopes and quickly joined Rodriguez and Quintana.

The rider who had been in second overall, Contador, would not see the yellow jersey again and would steadily lose time to his major rivals. By the 5km to go mark, Contador was down one step of the podium – from second to third – as Quintana had taken 25” out of him. Porte just followed the Spaniard and never did a turn and, with 4km to go, Kreuziger fought back to help his leader but by then Contador was off the podium…


Voigt  and his just reward for a day out front. Photo: ASO/P.Perreve

Up front it was Katusha’s Rodriguez who was setting the pace of the leading trio all the way to the 1.3km to go mark. Froome and Quintana followed Rodriguez most of the way up the climb but near the ‘Flamme Rouge’ Froome accelerated briefly and led under the 1km to go sign. This essentially acted as a sign for Quintana to launch his final blitz.

He raced away Rodriguez and caught and dropped Froome and went into the lead and on to win his first Tour de France stage. There were plenty of rewards for it on top of taking the second overall place away from Contador. The 50 points for first place on the ‘hors category’ climb helped him win the King of the Mountains classification in the 100th edition. He is also the best Young rider! Some end to the mountains for the little climber.

The stage
It was a day when his Movistar team did most of the work at the front of the peloton as the team knew it had the most to gain and Quintana duly delivered all three extras that he sought: a stage victory, the lead of the climbing classification, and second place overall!

But while a young rider will hog the headlines, 23 year old Quintant, the oldest rider in the peloton, Jens Voigt, demonstrated that age has not slowed him down. He finished 32nd on the stage but gave every rider over 40 inspiration by single-handedly holding off a speeding peloton all the way from the midway mark to the final eight kilometres.

The penultimate stage of the 100th Tour de France – from Annecy to Annecy Semnoz – was the last in the mountains and there were six categorised climbs on this short stage: the cat-2 cote du Puget (at 12.5km), col de Leschaux (cat-3 at 17.5km), cote d’Ailon-le-Vieux (cat-3 at 43km), col des Pres (cat-3 at 51km), Mont Vevard (cat-1 at 78.5km) and the final ascent which is ‘hors category’ and carries double points.

Rolland instigates the escape
As soon as the flag was waved to signal the start of the stage, Rolland (EUC) went on the attack. At 1km he was joined by Voigt (RTL), Flecha (VCD) and Burghardt (BMC) and this quartet led over the first climb. They were 26” ahead of a group of six: Gautier (EUC), Riblon (ALM), Brutt (KAT), Anton and Astarloza (EUC) and Clarke (OGE).
The peloton was 1’45” behind at the top of the cote du Puget. The two escape groups joined forces at the 14km mark; they were 1’30” ahead of the bunch that was led by eight riders from Movistar. Rolland took first atop the second climb and put himself in the virtual lead of the climbing category.

Flecha led the escape to the intermediate sprint 1’05” ahead of the peloton that was led over the line by Greipel, Cavendish and Sagan. After that, even if Sagan’s nearest rival won the stage, the intermediate sprint of stage 21 and the final stage, he would not be able to beat the Slovakian – in other words, the defence of the green jersey was successful!


Peter Sagan celebrates the last mountain with a wheelie… Photo: ASO/P.Perreve

Rolland gets physical with Anton: Voigt bolts ahead of the escapees
During the sprint for two points on the col des Près, Rolland almost pushed Anton off the road, something that deserved a penality and whilst none has been mentioned, hopefully the judges will change that. Should Cav make such a violent move I’m sure they’d throw him off the race!

With 64km to go in the stage, and while on the slopes of the Mont Revard, Voigt accelerated and Rolland didn’t respond even though there were 10 points on offer at the top (46km from the finish).

Voigt never looked back and continued his attack leaving Anton behind and cresting the fifth climb 38” ahead of the Euskaltel rider. The other escapees were at 2’10” (with Rolland taking 3rd place) and the peloton was at 3’40”.

Early on the Mont Revard climb, World Champion Gilbert and Tejay van Garderen (BMC) attacked the peloton and they rode the climb together with remnants of the earlier escape: Burghardt, Rolland, Gautier, Riblon, Clarke and another attacking rider Vuillermoz (SOJ). With 27km to go, Anton was caught by the chase group and Voigt had a lead of 1’50” (to the nine counter-attackers) and 3’05” to the peloton. Katusha joined Movistar at the front of the peloton with 26km to go.

The stage though, whilst belonging to Quintana, saw Chris Froome win the three week tour despite conceding 29 seconds to the White jersey on the stage and the rider in yellow allowed himself a low key celebration of a thumbs up as he crossed the line. The Kenyan born rider now only has to ride from Versailles to the Champs-Elysées and finish the laps inside the French capital before being crowned champion of the 100th edition.


Chris Froome: It’s a tradition at the Tour de France that the rider in the yellow jersey after the penultimate stage attends a media conference before the race to Paris. Here are some of the answers from the soon-to-be champion of the 100th Tour de France.

“For me, what this represents – the journey I’ve taken to get here from where I’ve started, riding on a little mountain bike on dirt roads in Kenya – and to be here the yellow jersey at the Tour de France… it’s difficult for me to put into words. This really has been an amazing journey for me. The race has been a fight every single day. Crosswinds, rain, mountains… on one occasion I was riding on my own to the finish, at others I was surrounded by team-mates all the way.”


Photo: ASO/P.Perreve

“It’s fitting for the 100th edition, it has been a special race this year.”

“The first time that I thought, ‘Okay, I could become a GC rider for a race like the Tour de France’ was at the 2011 Vuelta a España. Up until then I’d have good days and showings of what I was able to achieve. But that Vuelta gave me a lot of confidence and belief in myself and that, actually, I do belong in this group of riders at the front of general classification.

“This is an amazing feeling. Everybody keeps telling me that this is life changing but I don’t want things to change. I’ve enjoyed the challenge this year… to get ready for this year’s Tour has been a fun challenge and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it. We definitely have to think on our feet. It’s not as easy as just listening to the radio and doing what they say. On the final climb today, for example… I’d liked to have ridden away and won the stage but I just didn’t have the legs to follow.

“In the last couple of kilometres today, I had the overwhelming feeling of, ‘I’ve done this…’ it was a very emotional feeling, a great realisation of what I’ve achieved. It’s definitely been a challenge. Whoever was in this position, whoever was in the yellow jersey, would have come under scrutiny. I’m also one of those guys who was let down by this sport but we’re willing to do whatever it takes to show people that the sport is doing what it can to turn things around.”

“I’m just thinking about the here and now… I’m 28 now and, if you think a bit like that, most cyclists come into their prime in their early-30s. I’d love to come back and contend for the Tour de France as long as I can and as long as I’ve got the motivation.”

“[The worst moment] was probably on Alpe d’Huez when I could feel like I was completely flat of energy. If you’ve ridden a bike you’ll know the feeling I’m talking about when you have no more energy and you see a sign saying five kilometres left… it’s a really hard thing to try and get through physically and mentally and thankfully I had my team-mate Richie Porte with me and he gave me a lot of motivation.”

“When I first joined Team Sky, they asked me what my aspirations were and what I wanted to achieve. Being able to target the Tour de France was one of those longer term goals but to be sitting here three years later in yellow the day before the Tour goes to Paris… I’m not sure if I’d ever see that happen.”`


Photo: ASO/P.Perreve

Nairo Quintana: A tearful stage winner said “I do not believe it. I am very happy, and I must thank all my team-mates who worked today but also throughout the Tour. I think especially my director José Luis Arrieta, who always had to make the right choices. Today we controlled the race well, everyone knew what he had to do, and was perfectly done.”

“It’s great, even better than what I expected. It’s a special day for Colombia, especially since it is the national holiday. I think of course, about my family and friends who are there. The former Colombian riders have marked the history of cycling, but we are a new generation, who saw something important today.”

RESULT Stage 20
1 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander Movistar Team 03:39:04
2 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team 00:18
3 FROOME Christopher Sky Procycling 00:29
4 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team 01:42
5 PORTE Richie Sky Procycling 02:17
6 TALANSKY Andrew Garmin – Sharp 02:27
7 CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto Team Saxo-Tinkoff 02:28
8 GADRET John AG2R La Mondiale 02:48
9 HERNáNDEZ BLAZQUEZ Jesús Team Saxo-Tinkoff 02:55
10 KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
11 BARDET Romain AG2R La Mondiale 03:01
12 RIBLON Christophe AG2R La Mondiale 03:22
13 NIEVE ITURALDE Mikel Euskaltel – Euskadi 03:24
14 MORENO FERNáNDEZ Daniel Katusha Team @ st
15 BAKELANTS Jan RadioShack – Leopard 03:51
16 MOLLEMA Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling Team 03:56
17 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana Pro Team @ st
18 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 04:03
19 NAVARRO GARCIA Daniel Cofidis Solutions Crédits 04:31
20 VUILLERMOZ Alexis Sojasun 04:36
21 SCHLECK Andy RadioShack – Leopard 04:50
22 MONFORT Maxime RadioShack – Leopard @ st
23 POELS Wout Vacansoleil – DCM 05:33
24 SERPA PEREZ Jose Rodolfo Lampre – Merida 05:40
25 ROCHE Nicolas Team Saxo-Tinkoff 05:58
26 JEANNESSON Arnold Equipe Cycliste 06:11
27 MATE MARDONES Luis Angel Cofidis Solutions Crédits 06:33
28 NORDHAUG Lars Petter Belkin Pro Cycling Team 06:42
29 TEN DAM Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
30 ANTON HERNANDEZ Igor Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
31 VELITS Peter Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
32 VOIGT Jens RadioShack – Leopard 07:08
33 LEVARLET Guillaume Cofidis Solutions Crédits 07:25
34 DELAPLACE Anthony Sojasun 07:27
35 DUPONT Hubert AG2R La Mondiale 07:50
36 OROZ UGALDE Juan Jos̩ Euskaltel РEuskadi 08:39
37 MOLARD Rudy Cofidis Solutions Crédits 08:59
38 ROLLAND Pierre Team Europcar @ st
39 GAUTIER Cyril Team Europcar @ st
40 ROGERS Michael Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
41 MALACARNE Davide Team Europcar 09:18
42 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE Haimar RadioShack – Leopard 09:24
43 CLARKE Simon Orica GreenEDGE 09:33
44 HIVERT Jonathan Sojasun 09:43
45 CHAVANEL Sylvain Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 10:56
46 VANMARCKE Sep Belkin Pro Cycling Team 11:36
47 SIMON Julien Sojasun 11:40
48 FEDRIGO Pierrick Equipe Cycliste @ st
49 DE CLERCQ Bart Lotto Belisol Team @ st
50 COPPEL Jérome Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
51 DUMOULIN Tom Team Argos – Shimano 11:59
52 VORGANOV Eduard Katusha Team 12:13
53 LOPEZ GARCIA David Sky Procycling 12:44
54 KL̦DEN Andr̩as RadioShack РLeopard 13:00
55 VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC Racing Team @ st
56 COSTA Rui Movistar Team 13:30
57 SIUTSOU Kanstantsin Sky Procycling 13:37
58 VEILLEUX David Team Europcar 14:09
59 DANIELSON Thomas Garmin – Sharp 14:14
60 IRIZAR ARANBURU Markel RadioShack – Leopard 14:22
61 GENIEZ Alexandre Equipe Cycliste 14:30
62 GILBERT Philippe BMC Racing Team 16:47
63 MINARD Sébastien AG2R La Mondiale @ st
64 PEREZ MORENO Ruben Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
65 ASTARLOZA CHAURREAU Mikel Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
66 TROFIMOV Yuri Katusha Team @ st
67 SICARD Romain Euskaltel – Euskadi 16:49
68 WILLEMS Frederik Lotto Belisol Team 18:26
69 QUINZIATO Manuel BMC Racing Team @ st
70 GERRANS Simon Orica GreenEDGE @ st
71 IMPEY Daryl Orica GreenEDGE @ st
72 HOOGERLAND Johnny Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
73 AMADOR BAKKAZAKOVA Andrey Movistar Team @ st
74 ERVITI OLLO Imanol Movistar Team @ st
75 DE KORT Koen Team Argos – Shimano @ st
76 BOOM Lars Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
77 PLAZA MOLINA Ruben Movistar Team @ st
78 GESINK Robert Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
79 IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI Ion Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
80 BRUTT Pavel Katusha Team @ st
81 BAK Lars Ytting Lotto Belisol Team @ st
82 NIEMIEC Przemyslaw Lampre – Merida @ st
83 CUNEGO Damiano Lampre – Merida @ st
84 MORI Manuele Lampre – Merida @ st
85 HESJEDAL Ryder Garmin – Sharp @ st
86 MORABITO Steve BMC Racing Team @ st
87 DIDIER Laurent RadioShack – Leopard @ st
88 EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team @ st
89 HANSEN Adam Lotto Belisol Team @ st
90 BOOKWALTER Brent BMC Racing Team @ st
91 ARASHIRO Yukiya Team Europcar @ st
92 REZA Kevin Team Europcar @ st
93 EL FARES Julien Sojasun @ st
94 MEDEREL Maxime Sojasun @ st
95 FEILLU Brice Sojasun @ st
96 MEYER Cameron Orica GreenEDGE @ st
97 MARTIN Daniel Garmin – Sharp @ st
98 MOREIRA PAULINHO Sergio Miguel Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
99 MARTIN Tony Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
100 GARCíA ETXEGIBEL Egoitz Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
101 FLECHA Juan Antonio Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
102 STANNARD Ian Sky Procycling 18:35
103 CASTROVIEJO Jonathan Movistar Team @ st
104 ROY Jérémy Equipe Cycliste @ st
105 THOMAS Geraint Sky Procycling @ st
106 KENNAUGH Peter Sky Procycling @ st
107 TANKINK Bram Belkin Pro Cycling Team 19:38
108 SMUKULIS Gatis Katusha Team 19:55
109 SAGAN Peter Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 20:04
110 MOSER Moreno Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
111 VANDBORG Brian Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
112 SABATINI Fabio Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
113 KADRI Blel AG2R La Mondiale 20:17
114 COUSIN Jérôme Team Europcar @ st
115 ROJAS GIL Jose Joaquin Movistar Team 20:19
116 TOSATTO Matteo Team Saxo-Tinkoff 20:30
117 BENNATI Daniele Team Saxo-Tinkoff 20:36
118 VICHOT Arthur Equipe Cycliste 20:42
119 FISCHER Murilo Antonio Equipe Cycliste @ st
120 VOECKLER Thomas Team Europcar 21:26
121 TAARAMäE Rein Cofidis Solutions Crédits 22:01
122 DE GENDT Thomas Vacansoleil – DCM 23:32
123 BURGHARDT Marcus BMC Racing Team @ st
124 LEEZER Tom Belkin Pro Cycling Team 23:39
125 KOREN Kristjan Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 24:10
126 BODNAR Maciej Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
127 GAVAZZI Francesco Astana Pro Team @ st
128 DUMOULIN Samuel AG2R La Mondiale 24:19
129 LOSADA ALGUACIL Alberto Katusha Team 24:43
130 MARANGONI Alan Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 24:55
131 DE MARCHI Alessandro Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
132 KUSCHYNSKI Aleksandr Katusha Team 25:04
133 ROELANDTS Jurgen Lotto Belisol Team @ st
134 GALLOPIN Tony RadioShack – Leopard @ st
135 VAN POPPEL Boy Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
136 CURVERS Roy Team Argos – Shimano @ st
137 GREIPEL Andre Lotto Belisol Team @ st
138 WESTRA Lieuwe Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
139 LANCASTER Brett Orica GreenEDGE @ st
140 GOSS Matthew Orica GreenEDGE @ st
141 LAGUTIN Sergey Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
142 LEMOINE Cyril Sojasun @ st
143 MURAVYEV Dmitriy Astana Pro Team @ st
144 MOINARD Amaël BMC Racing Team @ st
145 GENE Yohann Team Europcar @ st
146 CIMOLAI Davide Lampre – Merida @ st
147 MARINO Jean Marc Sojasun 26:05
148 MILLAR David Garmin – Sharp 26:28
149 O’GRADY Stuart Orica GreenEDGE @ st
150 STEEGMANS Gert Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
151 HENDERSON Gregory Lotto Belisol Team @ st
152 WYNANTS Maarten Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
153 GESCHKE Simon Team Argos – Shimano 26:30:00
154 ALBASINI Michael Orica GreenEDGE @ st
155 FROHLINGER Johannes Team Argos – Shimano @ st
156 TERPSTRA Niki Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
157 TIMMER Albert Team Argos – Shimano @ st
158 DEGENKOLB John Team Argos – Shimano @ st
159 KITTEL Marcel Team Argos – Shimano @ st
160 PINEAU J̩rome Omega Pharma РQuick-Step @ st
161 TUFT Svein Orica GreenEDGE @ st
162 KRISTOFF Alexander Katusha Team @ st
163 CAVENDISH Mark Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
164 FAVILLI Elia Lampre – Merida 26:37
165 FERRARI Roberto Lampre – Merida 26:38
166 TRENTIN Matteo Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 26:49:00
167 LOBATO DEL VALLE Juan Jose Euskaltel – Euskadi 26:59
168 GASPAROTTO Enrico Astana Pro Team 27:10
169 BAZAYEV Assan Astana Pro Team @ st
170 NAVARDAUSKAS Ramunas Garmin – Sharp 28:47

1 FROOME Christopher Sky Procycling 80:49:33
2 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander Movistar Team 05:03
3 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team 05:47
4 CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto Team Saxo-Tinkoff 07:10
5 KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff 08:10
6 MOLLEMA Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling Team 12:25
7 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana Pro Team 13:00
8 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team 16:09
9 NAVARRO GARCIA Daniel Cofidis Solutions Crédits 16:35
10 TALANSKY Andrew Garmin – Sharp 18:22
11 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 19:42
12 NIEVE ITURALDE Mikel Euskaltel – Euskadi 20:44
13 TEN DAM Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling Team 22:22
14 MONFORT Maxime RadioShack – Leopard 24:21
15 BARDET Romain AG2R La Mondiale 27:25
16 ROGERS Michael Team Saxo-Tinkoff 27:34
17 MORENO FERNáNDEZ Daniel Katusha Team 33:17
18 BAKELANTS Jan RadioShack – Leopard 36:34
19 PORTE Richie Sky Procycling 39:41
20 SCHLECK Andy RadioShack – Leopard 42:29

Green Jersey: Peter Sagan
Mountains Jersey: Nairo Quintana
Young Rider: Nairo Quintana



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