Saturday July 20th, 2013

Stage 20Annecy / Annecy - Semnoz

Start 13h40 GMT 2+

Quintana's coup... the arrival of a climbing king!

Stage summary20.07.2013Stage 20- Annecy / Annecy - Semnoz

A short stage with a brutal finish has had netted a significant change to several classifications and the big winner of the 125km race from Annecy to the ski station above the town, Annecy Semnoz, was Nairo Quintana. 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 day when Movistar 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!
The oldest rider in the peloton, Jens Voigt, demonstrated that age has not slowed him down. He finished 32nd in 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. And once 'The Jensie' show was over, it was time for the GC riders to take over the entertainment. The key points from the final climb included the fact that Alberto Contador was unable to follow the accelerations made by Quintana, Froome and Joaquim Rodriguez. The rider who was ranked second overall would lose time on this trio all the way to the finish at 1,655m. With 7km to go, he dropped from second to third overall as he was over 25» behind the stage leaders; with 5km to go, he was off the podium... after losing more than 1'00» to the trio that was led by Rodriguez most of the way up the final climb. The Spaniard had words with Quintana and Froome and seemed to suggest, 'Follow me, I'll take you to the top... and then you guys can do what you want - but I'd like a place on the podium.' The pace set by Rodriguez destroyed Contador's chances and towed the two best riders in the 100th Tour de France up to the 'Flamme Rouge'. Once inside the final kilometre, the brief allegiance was broken and it was each man for himself; Froome hit out with one last attack but this only prompted Quintana to shift into overdrive and dart into the lead. Onward he raced, up to the second rung of the podium, into the dotted top, and over the line first. Rodriguez got his wish and moved up to third place overall. And Froome? Well, he has said all along that stage wins weren't his priority - he collected three along the way but they are just collateral extras. He wanted the yellow jersey. He's got the yellow jersey. He has an advantage of over five minutes and, from Sunday evening onward, he will be known as 'The Winner of the 100th Tour.'

The progress report
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: 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. The 125km stage started at 1.38pm with 170 riders at the sign on. This is equal to the largest peloton to ever finish the Tour de France (with the record set in 2010 with 170 crossing the line in Paris). The intermediate sprint was at Le Chatelard at the 33.5km mark.

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!

The average speed for the first hour was 37.8km/h.

Rolland gets physical; Voigt bolts ahead of the escapees
During the sprint for two points on the col des Près, Rolland almost pushed Anton off the road. The Frenchman led the Spaniard over the top, and their escape group was 55” ahead of the peloton. Then, 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, Gilbert and 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.

Quintana claims a coup: stage win, 2nd overall... and polka-dots!
With 8.5km to go, Voigt was caught by what was a whittled-down yellow jersey group that had been led by Sky from about 1km to go to the final climb. With 8km to go there were only eight in the yellow jersey's group – Froome, Porte, Costa, Valverde, Quintana, Rolland, Contador, Kreuziger, Rodriguez – and the first to crack was Kreuziger. Then, 8km from the finish, Rodriguez attacked and this prompted a reaction from Quintana and, as the pair had a lead of about 50 metres, Froome bolted ahead of Contador. The rider who had been in second overall would not see the yellow jersey again... and he 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... as Rodriguez 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 into the lead and would win his first Tour stage, 50 points for first place of the ‘hors category' climb and thus onto the throne as King of the Mountains in the 100th edition! The best young rider is also the winner of the 20th stage, he's the second best rider on GC, and the winner of the climbing classification!

Froome concedes 29 seconds in the stage but will win the 100th Tour!
Chris Froome 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. He was third in the penultimate stage, 29” behind Quintana but he will win the title by over five minutes. The top order of GC had a shake up because of the 20th stage with Quintana moving from third to second place and Rodriguez jumping up to third from fifth. The stage cost Saxo-Tinkoff with Contador and Kreuziger finishing seventh and 10th, respectively and dropped from fourth and fifth on GC.

Froome leads Quintana by 5'03” in the overall rankings and will wear the yellow jersey for the final stage.

Stage 20 Annecy / Annecy - Semnoz

All about the stage key moments

Jersey wearers after the stage 21

Classifications after the stage 21


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These five riders have won sprint stages of the 100th Tour de France. Of these five, who do you think will win in Paris?

  • Marcel Kittel14.93%
  • Simon Gerrans1.08%
  • Mark Cavendish54.21%
  • André Greipel5.5%
  • Peter Sagan24.28%
14123 votes

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