Omar Fraile wins tough Stage 14 from the day's breakaway
Peter Sagan takes more Green Jersey points and finishes fourth
Today's transitionary stage towards the Alps was hardly flat, the 188km route featured three categorised climbs before the final ascent to the line. After the intermediate sprint at 90km, the road would steadily work its way upwards before the last climb of the day – the Côte de la Croix Neuve.
It wasn’t quite a summit finish, as the day would end 1.5km after the top. Classed as a second category climb, the Croix Neuve was much harder than its category would suggest. At 3km long, it was short, but the average gradient was 10.2% and riders would be pushed into the red from the very first pedal stroke.
With more than a kilometre still to ride once they’d crested the climb, there would be no gentle coast to the line – whoever wanted to take the stage win would have to go even deeper to beat their rivals. Not quite a day for the climbers, nor for the all-rounders, the day could be taken by almost anyone
Helped along by the crosswinds forming echelons in the early kilometres, a huge group managed to escape including thirty-two riders, and among them were the UCI World Champion, Peter Sagan.
The group had some strong riders in it, the gap riose and by the time the escapees approached the intermediate sprint at 90km, this gap was up to seven minutes.
Supported by Maciej as his lead-out man, Peter Sagan raced ahead and took the full 20 points, further adding to his massive lead in the Green Jersey contest. Having hit the 80km to go mark, and when the group was hitting the foothills of the day’s big climbs, the more ambitious riders from the break started attacking and gaining more time, with the race splitting into pieces ahead of the peloton.
With the main bunch more than eighteen minutes back with 15km to go, it looked certain that the break would have their day today.
Omar Fraile rode solo off the front tof the breakaway to take the stage, but it was Peter Sagan who surprised the rest of the breakaway by coming across the finish line as the first of the chasers, taking fourth spot and adding yet more points to his Green Jersey total.
VIDEO: 2018 Tour de France Stage 14 Highlights
2018 Tour de France Stage 14
1 Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team 4:41:57
2 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:06
3 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:12
5 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:17
6 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:00:19
7 Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
8 Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie 0:00:23
9 Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:30
10 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:37
2018 Tour de France GC after Stage 14
1 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 58:10:44
2 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:39
3 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:01:50
4 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:02:38
5 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:21
6 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:42
7 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:03:57
8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:04:23
9 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:06:14
10 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:06:54