TDF Stage 14: Win for Andersen

Soren Kragh Andersen solos to victory ahead of the GC peloton of 50 riders on Stage 14 of the Tour de France; Primoz Roglic holds on to his yellow jersey, Bora-Hansgrohe hammer the stage for Sagan’s Green Jersey challenge

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TDF Stage 14: Win for Andersen

Soren Kragh Andersen solos to victory ahead of the GC peloton of 50 riders on Stage 14 of the Tour de France; Primoz Roglic holds on to his yellow jersey.

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There were 158 riders who took to the start of stage 14 in Clermont-Ferrand. Sprinter’s Cees Bol (Sunweb) and Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) went clear km 2 and they were joined by Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) at km 9.

Bol waited for his team-mate Casper Pedersen who counter attacked but the two Sunweb riders were called back to the peloton by their sport director. The peloton was progressing in slow motion until the Bora-Hansgrohe team put the hammer down on the climb to Aulteribe at km 32, only six kilometres before the intermediate sprint at Courpière. Maximilian Schachmann and Peter Sagan managed to ride Sam Bennett and Matteo Trentin off their wheels.

They forged on so the seven time winner of the green jersey could gain five points more than the Irish leader of the points classification before there was a regrouping. The breakaway had a lead of 5’45″ at the bottom of cat. 2 col du Béal (km 68.5) crested by Küng in first position while Bora-Hansgrohe had reduced the deficit to three minutes as the German outfit looked at putting the sprinters in difficulty.

Up the côte de Courreau (km 93), CCC Team came to the front to help to Bora-Hansgrohe to avoid the return of Bennett. It was a fierce battle for the green jersey with the second half of stage 14 yet to be contested. After Küng surrendered at the front with 80km to go, following a 105-km effort that will be useful for the individual time trial world championship, Deceuninck-Quick Step also gave up in the chase to bring Bennett back to the Sagan-Trentin peloton. Bora-Hansgrohe and CCC continued to maintain a high tempo at the head of the bunch.

There were no more major moves from the 92-man peloton until Tiesj Benoot (Sunweb) attacked with 11km to go. He was brought back 7.5km before the end before Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe). Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) were next to go. Soren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb) then managed to go clear 3km before the end. It was the decisive move. The Danish rider kept 15″ lead over the peloton where Sagan managed to come fourth. Primoz Roglic retained the yellow jersey.

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Soren Kragh Andersen: “I have no words. I feel a lot of emotions. I dreamt about this, but it was hard to say if I was good enough for winning a Tour de France stage before I had done it. I’m amazed. I had really good legs all day but you never know how the others are. It took me some time to get the confidence to win at the Tour. Marc Hirschi gave the whole group a lot of motivation. Seeing this young guy doing unbelievable things was inspiring. We didn’t expect to go so well. We have the youngest team in the Tour I think. We came here for the future and we perform already!”

“I didn’t really believe this morning when I woke up that this would happen,” smiled a jubilant Kragh Andersen at the finish. “I’m really happy with the team effort from the guys today, they made it hard enough that I could find the perfect moment to attack. I saw when I went that everybody was tired and they started to look at each other; I knew then that it was the right moment.”

“I had good legs and could go full gas all the way to the line. We’re taking the race in our hands, maybe we don’t realise it’s the Tour de France – but we’re just racing and it happens to be on the biggest stage in the world.”

Team Sunweb coach Matt Winston: “Our plan was to try and be in the breakaway if we thought it was big enough to go to the finish. We realised pretty quickly that the break was too small and wasn’t going to go all the way. We had Cees and Casper up the road who we brought back to the peloton and focused on racing an aggressive final. The guys really bounce off each other, they’ve got a really good team spirit; they’re just all in for a Team Sunweb win.

We used that to our advantage with Tiesj’s attack first then Marc marking some of the key guys on the climb, and then Søren saw a good opportunity to launch his attack. I think across the board the whole team really worked well, brought the guys into position and Casper was also there and waiting for the sprint. We tried to cover all the bases as we knew this was a stage that suited our team and we hoped to get a good result from it, which we did. Everyone is really happy now and we move on towards the final week.”

Primoz Roglic: “I thought the stage was going to be easier today, but it was full gas racing the whole day. At least my team stayed with me the whole day and we didn’t have to pull. I was in perfect position in the last kilometres. Going through the city there are too many obstacles and places where bad things can happen… So it was key to be well placed on the group. [Tomorrow’s mountain top finish at] Grand Colombier will be a nice challenge, and I’m sure it will be fun to watch.

My eyes are on everyone, but mostly on myself. It’s my effort the one I can actually manage – not the rest’s. It’s true that we didn’t have to pull, but we still had to stay focused and we had to keep riding in the front. Especially in the technical final. The team was very strong again. It was incredible what the boys did and how quickly they responded to Bernal’s attack. The Tour is the Tour and anything can happen every day. We cannot falter.”

Tadej Pogacar: “It was very stressful out there today. We knew, when Bora began to set the pace, that the stage was going to be hard. I tried to be on a good position the whole day, trying to save my legs and recover a bit. The final section was quite dangerous, with many corners, some climbs, and the downhill sections. I managed to survive, so I’m happy. Today I wasn’t thinking about tomorrow. I was just thinking of the final kilometres in Lyon. It’s now that we begin to think of recovering as much as possible so my legs are good tomorrow. The climbs are very long ones, but if there is a chance I’ll try to attack Primoz Roglic.”

Wout van Aert: “It was a tough final with many obstacles. It was very hectic, but you know to expect that with a finish in a city like Lyon. It was important to stay sharp and focused all day and to try and stay in the front. It was all hands on deck for the team. We would punch ourselves in the head if we were in twentieth position when Bernal attacked. The team responded well to that situation. As a team, we have to stay on top of our game every day. After all, you never know when someone will attack. Just look at Bernal. We did not expect him to attack, but he is a winner who will not give up and tries to take every opportunity. We are happy that Primoz got through the stage unscathed and without time loss.”

Peter Sagan: “We wanted to make the stage tough today and drop the sprinters. We worked hard all day for that, until the finish. I took fourth and got more points in the fight for the green jersey. The goal was to take more, but in the end, this is the best we could do. This is a very hard Tour de France and I’d like to thank my teammates for their fantastic job, not only today, but every day since the start in Nice.”

Stefan Küng: “I rather expected a big breakaway group today but nobody wanted to try even though only one team was there to control. I don’t understand why everyone gave up. In my ideal scenario, there would have been many more riders at the front. When the two Sunweb riders sat up, I told myself it wasn’t worth going on but I still forged on with the preparation of the time trial world championship in mind.”

Sam Bennett: “It was a hard day. I still had a much better day than yesterday, sensation-wise. Yesterday I was dead; this morning I was a new man. In the first intermediate sprint I saw what Bora was doing, trying to harm me, so I let them go… But, later on, I missed one last kilometre on the long climb and there I lost my chance. Today didn’t take a lot out of me, I feel well after all. And of course I want to thank my teammates for the excellent job they did today, as always. I am in a better shape than yesterday. I was afraid I might not come back from yesterday’s effort, because when you go too deep on a Tour de France stage you normally end up paying for it… But today I am a new man. I hope tomorrow it’s an easier day!”

Matteo Trentin: “In our team meeting this morning we discussed that Team Sunweb had been hiding themselves yesterday and for sure they would go again today. To be honest, they had the strongest team there in the final because everyone was committed from us and from Bora – hansgrohe to leave the sprinters behind. We did it, the guys did an amazing ride today, I think we showed we were riding for the victory.

Greg and I were there in the final, Greg followed the attacks and I was there to sprint in the finale. It was super, super hard. All day we pushed on the pedal and the final was even harder. It’s like this, we just need to except that someone was stronger. But with the commitment we showed, I think we can look to next Friday, because the other stages are way too hard, and then we see.”

Greg Van Avermaet: “We were looking to Bora – hansgrohe to see what they would do and if there was a good gap, we would help so that Matteo and I would have a chance at the finish because not every sprinter is there, we have a better chance to win. That was the plan and that’s what happened. We had just been caught back at the top of the climb and it was a hard effort to be there and everyone was on their limit I think and then Kragh Andersen chose the right moment. Chapeau to him to keep away to the line. The battle for the green jersey makes the race even more difficult now so we will see what the next days bring.”

Benoît Cosnefroy: “I was hoping for the stage to being suitable for baroudeurs. But Bora dictated the day. I was close to making their group on top of the col de Béal. My legs weren’t super today but better than yesterday. It’s a pity because I would have wanted to contest the finale but I couldn’t, that’s how it is. Romain Bardet’s crash and Pierre Latour’s withdrawal are bad news for the team but we’ve had the stage victory of Nans Peters. We expected Pierre to pull out. He’s been in pain since he crashed early in the Tour. I know tomorrow’s stage very well because I live in Aix-les-Bains, very close to Grand Colombier. It doesn’t necessarily suit me but I’ll enjoy racing on those roads.”

Oliver Naesen: “In the road book for today, it was marked “flat”. But only in the road book. Like every day, we raced very quickly. At the Tour de France, there are never any easy stages. The sprint was played out by the strongest, à la jambe. It was very fast; you couldn’t touch the brakes. I’m sorry that Pierre is leaving us, but he has been in pain for days. We will continue to fight as we have done from the start.”

Luka Mezgec: “It’s bitter sweetness and disappointment because I knew it was a big opportunity missed to win a stage of the Tour de France, but it’s my first Tour de France and I know my form is good. We all knew there would be some attacks especially from (Julian) Alaphilippe. Somehow, we tried to follow him, and he couldn’t succeed but that one moment we stopped with three kilometres to go, Soren attacked and that was it. Hats off to BORA-hansgrohe, everybody knew what they were going to do, and they did it. It was hard on the climbs and then the final was even harder.”

Lennard Kämna “Of course, our goal was to get more than 23 points back. We rode a strong race again but in the finale we missed one extra rider to control the race. Still, even one rider more wouldn’t have been enough, but our chances in controlling could have been a lot higher. Without that additional rider, it was an open race with lots of attacks. I pulled to catch one rider that attacked, when I saw the gap I gave it a go. This wasn’t planned, but it felt quite good to be at the front in that last climb with lots of spectators.”

Simone Consonni (3rd): “The team did a great job at the end of the stage to allow me to stay in front and compete in the sprint. My teammates protected me all the way to the finish line. I can feel that I am improving day by day on this Tour de France. It can only be encouraging for the future! »

Guillaume Martin: “It was another intense day! We were vigilant throughout the race to stay in the yellow jersey pack. In the final, Pierre-Luc (Périchon) positioned us very well and we made a nice podium with Simone (Consonni). As for me, there is obviously a little bit of tiredness but I will try to do my best.”


Tomorrow’s stage finishes on top of the Grand Colombier. A stage that the team and Roglic know very well. The final of the stage is identical to the final stage won by Roglic in the Tour de l’Ain. “Tomorrow will be a good challenge for us”, Roglic said. “The team is strong and we have to keep doing what we always do.”

1. Søren Kragh Andersen Team Sunweb 04:28:10
2. Luka Mezgec Mitchelton-Scott @ 15 secs
3. Simone Consonni Cofidis
4. Peter Sagan Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Casper Pedersen Team Sunweb
6. Jasper Stuyven Trek-Segafredo
7. Matteo Trentin CCC Team
8. Oliver Naesen AG2R La Mondiale
9. Sonny Colbrelli Bahrain-McLaren
10. Marc Hirschi Team Sunweb

12. Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates
24. Egan Bernal INEOS Grenadiers
29. Primoz Roglic Team Jumbo – Visma
30. Miguel Angel Lopez Astana Pro Team
40. Adam Yates Mitchelton-Scott
53. Jack Bauer Mitchelton-Scott @ 25
67. Daniel Martin Israel Start-Up Nation @ 05:42
75. Luke Rowe INEOS Grenadiers @ 06:42
118. Connor Swift Team Arkea-Samsic @ 19:48
144. Hugh Carthy EF Pro Cycling @ 19:48

1 Primoz Roglic Team Jumbo – Visma 61:03:00
2 Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates @ 44
3 Egan Bernal INEOS Grenadiers @ 59
4 Rigoberto Uran EF Pro Cycling @ 01:10
5 Nairo Quintana Team Arkea-Samsic @ 01:12
6 Miguel Angel Lopez Astana Pro Team @ 01:31
7 Adam Yates Mitchelton-Scott @ 01:42
8 Mikel Landa Bahrain-McLaren @ 01:55
9 Richie Porte Trek-Segafredo @ 02:06
10 Enric Mas Movistar Team @ 02:54



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