Soren Kragh Andersen became the first Danish stage winner of the Tour de France since Magnus Cort two years ago. He also delivered Team Sunweb their second stage victory after Marc Hirschi on stage 12. Tiesj Benoot paved the way for his attack at the 3km to go mark. It’s the first Tour de France stage victory for the 26 year old winner of the 2018 Paris-Tours.
STEFAN KÜNG AND EDWARD THEUNS IN THE LEAD
158 riders took the start of stage 14 in Clermont-Ferrand. Cees Bol (Sunweb) and Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) rode away at km 2, rejoined 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 pack by their sport director. The peloton was progressing on a slow motion until the Bora-Hansgrohe team put the hammer down in the climb to Aulteribe located 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. 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. It was all together again. A time gap of 5’45’’ was recording 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 3’ as the German outfit looked at putting the sprinters in difficulty.
BORA-HANSGROHE WINS THE TUSSLE WITH DECEUNINCK-QUICK STEP
Up the côte de Courreau (km 93), CCC Team came in 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 maintained a high tempo at the head of the bunch.
BENOOT FOR SUNWEB BEFORE KRAGH ANDERSEN
There was no moves from the 92-man peloton until Tiesj Benoot (Sunweb) attacked with 11km to go. He was brought back 7.5km before the end. Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe). Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) was first to go behind him. Soren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb) managed to go clear 3km before the end. It was the decisive move. The Danish rider kept 15’’ lead over the peloton and it was another defeat for Sagan who only managed to come fourth. Primoz Roglic retained the yellow jersey ahead of the gruelling climb to Grand Colombier.