Good morning everyone and welcome to Stage 14 of the Tour de France. Today we have a 191km race from Limoux to Foix.
As we join in 68km into the race there are already 11 riders away and (courtesy of letour.fr) they are: Philippe Gilbert (FRA) BMC, Cyril Gautier (FRA) EUC, Gorka Izaguirre (ESP) EUS, Peter Sagan (SVK) LIQ, Sebastien Minard (FRA) ALM, Eduard Vorganov (RUS) KAT, Sandy Casar (FRA) FDJ, Steven Kruiswijk (NED) RAB, Luis Sanchez (ESP) RAB and Martin Velits (SVK) OPQ
The 11 man group now has 4'00".
The 11 man group is the "official break of the day," or at least until we hit the slopes of the first big climb.
Sky riders in the peloton stop for a nature break and the gap opened up even further.
JB, yes it would seem that (once again) Sagan has put himself into the break to sweep up some sprint points. With the high value of intermediate sprint points and Sagan's climbing ability, he all but has the green jersey sewn up.
72km down, and the leaders have opened up the gap to 10'00". Anyone want to start making winner predictions now?
Agreed! Reminds me of a young, Slovak version of Thor Hushovd.
The break (which was started by Sagan) is 16km from the intermediate sprint.
5K to the sprint which should be taken pretty easily by Sagan.
Seany, Gilbert was the #1 ranked rider in the world at the end of last season. He won all of the Ardennes Classics and won in every month of the season. He was infallible as far as the Belgian fans were concerned and every team wanted him.
Don't think anyone wanted to try and embarrass themselves in that sprint. Sagan takes it without breaking the paceline.
From letour.fr: Eight places in Tarascon...
The peloton is over 12 minutes from the intermediate sprint but the first eight places went to:
1. Sagan 20pts
2. Kruiswijk 17pts
3. Casar 15pts
4. Paulinho 13pts
5. Gilbert 11pts
The peloton arrived at the sprint 13'20" behind the leaders.
JB, Rabo is trying to make up for lost time... errr riders.
As we approach the climb the composition of the lead group is bound to change. The current population of the breakaway is: Philippe Gilbert (FRA) BMC, Cyril Gautier (FRA) EUC, Gorka Izaguirre (ESP) EUS, Peter Sagan (SVK) LIQ, Sebastien Minard (FRA) ALM, Eduard Vorganov (RUS) KAT, Sandy Casar (FRA) FDJ, Steven Kruiswijk (NED) RAB, Luis Sanchez (ESP) RAB and Martin Velits (SVK) OPQ
I am still checking, but I'm not seeing anyone in the break who's anywhere near close enough to Kessiakoff's 69 points, who could take his polka-dots.
Rick, that was just Wiggo being a great teammate, while keeping himself out of trouble. Its not common as most yellow jersey wearers do not have the track-pedigree that Wiggo does. I really look forward to the Chaps-Elysees, for just that reason.
Good morning, thanks for having me on today.
Good morning Craig! For those who don't know Mr. Lewis, he's a pro on the Champion Systems team and formerly of the Highroad squad. Got a question from a reader for you Craig.
Assuming you're up for contact that year, yes, you'd be hard pressed to sign for the same money or more. There are so many riders on the market these days, with new talent coming up, that you can't really have bad years and get away with it anymore.
If you're under contract, you're more or less safe. I'm not sure how teams could go about getting any of that money back unless they fire you.
The worst they could do is not race you. Then you miss out on those race days, prize money and any and all opportunities to show yourself.
From our friends at letour.fr: At the 111km mark, the 11 escapees are 15'05" ahead of the peloton.
Super narrow roads here on the climb. Cav is tucked in a couple riders back of the Sky train, but they are from driving it yet.
The break is now 5km from the summit. Sagan is still tucked in the middle. If he stays on for most of the next climb, and Nibali doesn't call him back to work, he could contest today's stage.
ishpeming, I haven't seen him. I heard something a while back about him falling ill.