Livin' the Dream

Livin' the Dream

About Me

I am a sophomore at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, majoring in journalism. My passion is cycling. I am a category 4 bike racer and my absolute dream would be to turn pro one day. My more realistic goal is to become a journalist for the sport of cycling and eventually move on to become a broadcaster for the sport.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Tour De France Report: Stage 14

A Breakaway Succeeds: Matteo Trentin Win’s Stage

Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma) won the 14th stage of the 2013 Tour De France in the town of Lyon. This is Trentin’s first win as a pro and couldn’t be more special coming at the 100th edition of the Tour.

The stage was dominated by an 18-man breakaway with the peloton finishing the stage seven minutes in the rear. Trentin timed his sprint to perfection coming from about eight wheels back and building up his speed, nipping Michael Albasini (Orica) at the line with American Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) rounding out the podium in third. After the stage Trentin was thrilled to have won saying, “Today we knew it was a good chance for a breakaway, so the team was working for me to get into the break.” He added, “I opened my sprint at the ride moment.” When the peloton finally rolled in, it became a party behind the podium as all of his Omega Pharma teammates came over to congratulate him.

After the stage Chris Froome (Sky) checked off another day in yellow saying “It’s another day.”

A Battle to Make the Break

The riders of the 14th stage of the 100th edition of the Tour De France traveled from Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule to Lyon. The stage was 191 km and anything but flat. Seven categorized climbs were on tap for the riders (2 cat. 3, 5 cat. 4). It was the day everyone had circled on their calendar at the beginning of the Tour as a breakaway to survive. After yesterday’s huge effort in the crosswinds it seemed even more plausible.

Five riders dominated the beginning of the stage—Lars Bak (Lotto), Arthur Vichot (FDJ), Biel Kadri (AG2R), Christophe Le Mevel (Cofidis), and the ever-powerful Jens Voight (RadioShack). The group was kept close by the peloton never gaining an advantage of more than a minute. Christophe Le Mevel dropped off the break, and then a group of 14 broke clear of the peloton forming a massive cluster of 18 riders at the front of the race. Those riders where Bak, Voight, Kadri, Vichot, Albasini, Trentin, Talansky, Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Tejay Van Garderen (BMC), Jan Bakelants (RadioShack), David Miller (Garmin), Simon Geschke (Argos-Shimano), Cyril Gautier (EuropCar), Julien Simon (Sojasun), Imanol Erviti (MoviStar), Jose Joaquin (MoviStar), and Egoitz Garcia (Cofidis).

Euskaltel-Euskadi and Lampre chased hard to bring the group back, having missed getting a man in the breakaway. They kept the group pegged at 1’00’’, but soon ran out of firepower and peeled off the front of the peloton. Team Sky took control of the front and the time gap began to grow steadily.

At 80 km to go Johnny Hoogerland and Damiano Cunego (Lampre) jumped out of the peloton on one of the smaller cat. 4 climbs to try to bridge up to the breakaway. It was a tall order as the breakaway was 3’25’’ up the road. The duo would come within 50’’ of bridging the gap before running out of gas. They slowly made their way back to the peloton which was now over 4’00’’ behind.

A Fast Finale

The final two climbs of the day peaked out with 15 and 9.5 kilometers to go, respectively, until the finish. These set up to be the perfect launch pad for a solo attack to the finish. As the break hit the penultimate climb the attacks started, Michael Albasini being the first to go. David Miller also gave it a go, but nothing stuck. As they came over the top Julien Simon hit the accelerator and immediately got a gap as the others in the group hesitated. At the back of the group though, riders were getting dropped, not able to follow the accelerations. David Miller and Jens Voight were amongst those left behind.

It began to look as if Simon would survive as he pushed his time gap out to 30 seconds while cresting the final climb with less than 10 km to go to the finish. Tejay Van Garderen put in many moves to try bridge to the lone leader, but just couldn’t get away. At the 5 km-to-go banner Simon had just fifteen seconds on about 14 chasers as Van Garderen was seen moving backwards, paying for his efforts.

Finally at the Flamme Rouge Burghardt and Albasini bridged up to the solo leader, Julien Simon. No one wanted to lead the sprint and the hesitation allowed the others to close the gap.  Immediately Jan Bakelants accelerated in the saddle like he did on the Island of Corsica to win the second stage. He could not get away this time though and was stuck leading out the sprint. Albasini was in perfect position behind Bakelants, but was unable to hold off the big Italian Trentin for the stage win.

The big winner of the day had to be Tour rookie Andrew Talansky. He started the day over thirteen minutes down, but when the peloton crossed the finish line more than seven minutes down he had moved in to 12th place overall, less than ten seconds behind tenth place.

Bastille Day: Fireworks are Certain

Tomorrow the peloton tackles the longest stage of this year’s Tour, 242.5 km. It is a day for the GC men as the peloton travels from Givors to the famed Mont Ventoux. Look for the attacks to come at the base of the climb as the contenders attempt to isolate Froome early. Don’t forget it is Bastille Day so the French riders will be very motivated and with the French not having won a stage yet, it seems destined to come on Bastille Day!

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