As if the fourteenth stage wasn’t difficult enough, there was also the first mass fall of this year’s Tour. About 30 riders fell about five kilometers after the blistering start at Anmass. Almost every team participated, so race director Christian Prudhomme felt compelled to sideline. Race doctors tended to fallen drivers, some with severe injuries.
Spaniard Antonio Pedrero and South African Luis Meintjes had to abandon the race and were taken to hospital. Colombian champion Esteban Chavez also gave up after a few kilometers. Red-white-red favorite Felix Gall did not participate in the fall.
➤ Also read Gall’s KURIER reports from the tour
The race resumed about 23 minutes later. Five climbs, 4200 meters in elevation and a difficult descent into the valley at the end – it just got tough. With Pogacar closing the gap to Jonas Vingegaard on Friday, Jumbo-Visma, the overall leader’s team, was very active yesterday. They separated the wheat from the chaff on the journey up the penultimate mountain. Austrian Felix Gall was with wheat, i.e. 17 drivers ahead. However, he broke away on the descent, but before the final climb he was able to catch up with the leading group, with his compatriot Grosschartner backing Pogacar.
Then I started the last twelve kilometers up the Col de Joux Plane, including a narrow descent to the finish in Morzine. Pogacar’s team took over, which is why the Slovenian lost two of his assistants, including Großschartner.
Felix Gall remained in the group of seven and trailed just five kilometers before the summit. Pogacar attacked with 3.7km to go, and the gap to Vingegaard widened slightly. But the Dane closed them. The confrontation between the two continued, and Vingegaard was just nine seconds ahead of the overall standings. Vingegaard was ranked eighth for being the first up the hill.
Then it was downhill. In this one, Spaniard Carlos Rodriguez suddenly came back again, took the lead and raced to win the stage. Pogacar cruised into second place, gaining two seconds on Vingegaard in third. Felix Gall finished in 1:46 and jumped from fourteenth to ninth.
Today we continue through the Alps with a mountain end in the Mont Blanc massif.
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