A collective victory: the Danish Soren Kragh Andersen concluded the work of the Sunweb team to win the 14th stage of the Tour de France on Saturday in Lyon, without damage to the yellow jersey of the Slovenian Primoz Roglic.
The operation took place in three stages before the arrival on the banks of the Rhône where the first peloton, with the favorites, crossed the line about fifteen seconds after the winner.
The Belgian Tiesj Benoot lit the first match on the penultimate hill, 11 kilometers from the finish, then the Swiss Marc Hirschi tried to succeed the second after passing under the banner of 5 kilometers, after a start of Julian Alaphilippe.
But it was Kragh Andersen who found the opening in this final worthy of a classic despite the road congested by urban developments.
Behind him, the Slovak Peter Sagan, lonely, had to let it go and reserve himself for the sprint (4th on the stage).
As for the Belgian Wout Van Aert, he provided the essentials in relation to the team instructions by bringing Roglic back to the outgoing winner of the Tour, the Colombian Egan Bernal, who had tried to follow Alaphilippe in the Croix-Rousse coast, the last difficulty.
- Sagan discourages sprinters -
As a consolation for Sagan, beaten in the sprint by the Slovenian Luka Mezgec and the Italian Simone Consonni, the Slovak accustomed to the green jersey has approached Sam Bennett in the points classification (43 points behind now).
On this 194-kilometer course, Sagan's men discouraged the sprinters, and especially the Irishman, in the main difficulty of the day, the Col de Béal, crossed in the lead by the Swiss Stefan Küng who had escaped shortly after the departure.
The forcing continued for about sixty kilometers, with the help of the CCC of the Italian Matteo Trentin.
He led Bennett and his family to surrender 80 kilometers from the finish.
On arrival, Kragh Andersen, who had never won on the Tour before, brought Sunweb a new success after that of Marc Hirschi, Thursday in Sarran (Corrèze).
Aged 26, the Dane, winner of Paris-Tours in 2018, took off the Paris-Nice time trial last March.
"I had really good legs," said the winner of the day.
"Marc Hirschi inspired us, it gave us confidence".
"Many other teams are aiming for the general classification. We are focused on stage victories," confirmed Hirschi.
"There is a very good team spirit in our group. We give everything 100% for the others".
- Bardet: compulsory rest -
For the French, the negative series continued on this summer day which attracted a large audience to the side of the roads, especially when crossing the Lyon metropolis.
Spectators could not have access to the arrival area, in accordance with the provisions adopted for the departments classified in the red zone due to the coronavirus.
Pierre Latour, who has suffered since his fall at the start of the Tour, gave up halfway through this private stage at the start of Romain Bardet, the native of Clermont-Ferrand.
Victim of a concussion after his fall during the 13th stage, Bardet gave up on Friday evening on a medical decision after having undergone in-depth examinations at the Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital.
An MRI performed on Saturday confirmed "a small hemorrhage following the concussion", according to details provided by the French runner who suffers from nausea and headaches.
He must remain at rest "for an indefinite period".
Sunday, the 15th 174.5 kilometer long stage links Lyon to the top of the Grand Colombier.
Two first category passes, the Selle de Fromentel and the Col de la Biche, will be climbed before the final ascent of 17.4 kilometers (at 7.1%), classified out of category.
© 2020 AFP