Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Fireworks, nap, Fireworks. Saturday’s jaunt across the region of Occitanie in southern France started with a bang, as crosswinds split the peloton to pieces. However, the day soon turned into a snoozer with the breakaway taking the glory. The final climb to the airstrip overlooking Mende did see the general classification contenders attack, but overall it was a day off for most of the riders in the peloton.
Tweeet of the day:
Stage 14: 20% of the peloton had its own race while the remainder took a whale-watching tour toward a painful but relatively uneventful hill. #oversimpLeTour
— Chad Haga (@ChadHaga) July 21, 2018
Chad Haga’s (Sunweb) over-simplified stage report for Saturday. The American started these back in May during the Giro d’Italia.
Story of the day: A four-rider race at the top
Though the time gaps weren’t big, the small climb up to the airstrip in Mende was very telling. Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) lept away to take a few seconds, but the mental gain was much more. He showed he’s timed his preparation to perfection and looks to be riding steady, as the other contenders begin to fatigue.
The fight for yellow in Paris seems to be down to four. Geraint Thomas (Sky), Chris Froome (Sky), and Tom Dumoulin (Sundweb) all finished together behind Roglic and the rest of other GC contenders looked tired up to Mende. Furthermore, everyone behind the top four in the general classification will most certainly lose time in the TT.
The GC is still close with Roglic in fourth at 2:38 behind Thomas. Froome, Dumoulin, and Roglic are even closer together with just 59 seconds separating the three. All are quite evenly matched in the time trial as well, so the race looks to be coming down to the Pyrenees and who comes out of them still in the hunt with matches left to burn.
Thomas has never finished off a grand tour, as he’s historically always had one bad day in the mountains. Froome’s armour showed cracks on Alpe d’Huez also. Sky sit first and second, but Sunweb and LottoNL-Jumbo are sensing weakness. The final week of the Tour is looking to be a four-rider showdown to take the overall title.
Wiggins claims ‘sinister’ facts have emerged in relation to Jiffy bag affair
Months after a UK parliamentary committee concluded that Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky had exploited TUE rules to gain a legal but unethical advantage, the 2012 Tour winner has hinted that persons unnamed had acted in a sinister manner.
“There are things that have come to light with this whole thing, that we’ve found out since, that are quite scary actually. It’s very sinister,” he said, speaking on ITV4’s coverage of the Tour de France.
“We’re still not at the bottom of it, we’re finding new stuff out daily to do with the package that never was and all this stuff and it’s quite frightening actually.”
Wiggins’ reference to a package relates to the allegations that a medical delivery was made from Manchester via Switzerland to the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné.
Click through to read more about the claims Wiggins made relating to the jiffy bag.
Dispatches from the Tour
Fraile blasts to solo victory on stage 14 of the Tour de France, GC gaps grow
Omar Fraile (Astana) overhauled lone leader Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) on the tough final climb to the airstrip in Mende and sped to his first Tour de France stage win on Saturday. The Spaniard went over the summit several seconds clear of Stuyven and King of the Mountains Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors), then plummeted down to the finish and victory.
Alaphilippe pipped Stuyven for second, six seconds behind Fraile. World champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) impressed greatly in taking fourth, 12 seconds later, and further tightened his grip on the green jersey.
The GC riders were a long way back, their teams realising it was a day for the break and switching off midway through the stage. However, the race was very much back on when the approached the last climb. Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) attacked on the early slopes and got a gap he held all the way over the top and down to the finish.
Race leader Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome (both Team Sky) and Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), the first three overall, were strongest of the rest. They raced into the finish eight seconds behind Roglic, and 10 seconds ahead of Nairo Quintana (Movistar). Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), Egan Bernal (Team Sky) and Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) were four seconds behind him.
Click through to read our full report on stage 13 of the Tour de France.
Tomorrow’s Tour stage
On the eve of the second rest day with the Pyrenees looming, it could well be another day for the breakaway. The tough cat. 1 Pic de Nore may be a little too far from the finish to cause the general classifications contenders to attack one another.
Lorena Wiebes takes opener of two-part stage at BeNe Ladies Tour
Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg) won the morning road race, the first of a two-part second stage at the BeNe Ladies Tour, over Jolien D’hoore (Belgian National Team) and Emma White (Rally) in Sint-Laureins. Marianne Vos finished safely in the pack to retain the leader’s jersey heading into the evening 10-kilometre time trial in Sint-Laureins.
“On Friday in Merelbeke, I had already won the sprint of the peloton for the fourth place, so the confidence there was that it was possible to take a stage win here,” Wiebes said. “It was a nice duel with Jolien. I had positioned myself in her wheel, but it was not easy to [come around] and even less to get past. I had already won a few races in the sprint, but Jolien is a world class player in that field and that makes this victory even better.”
Tour de France 2018: Ask Gogl not Google
He know’s how to ride a bike but does Michael Gogl (Trek-Segafredo) know it all like Google? We decided to find out if Mr. Gogl is the internet?
Tour de France stage 14 highlights