Australian Michael Matthews (BikeExchange) is awarded the 14th stage of the Tour de France alone, Saturday, on the heights of Mende, ahead of Italian Alberto Bettiol and Frenchman Thibaut Pinot. The peloton, with the Jonas Vingaard yellow jersey, passed the ten kilometer sign with a delay of around 13 minutes.
Thibaut Pinot 3rd
Vingegaard followed Tadej Pogacar’s attack on the final climb without giving him any ground, some twelve and a half minutes after the first survivors of the day’s breakaway. On the airfield runway, Matthews was 15 seconds ahead of Italian Alberto Bettiol. Frenchman Thibaut Pinot took third place 34 seconds after the 192.5 kilometers, again in the heat.
In the Côte de la Croix Neuve, otherwise known as Montée Laurent Jalabert, a 3 kilometer climb at 10.2%, Matthews emerged victorious from his showdown with Bettiol, who had come back on him. 500 meters from the summit, the energetic Australian ended up gaining the upper hand to sign his fourth stage success in the Tour, for which he was the green jersey in 2017.
A fatal test in Rogic
This year, Matthews (31) was ranked second in Longwy during the 6th stage then in Lausanne two days later. The breakaway of the day took shape after an hour of racing after a fast and fatal start to the Slovenian Primoz Roglic.
Pogacar put pressure on Vinegaard on the first climb, who quickly came back in his wake. The peloton then got up when the breakaway of 23 riders developed, and Roglic was able to return to a late group. Up front, Matthews broke free at the start of the last 50 kilometres. He was then joined by a trio (Grossschartner, Sanchez and Kron, then left behind on a puncture) to arrive at the foot of the final climb with an advantage limited to 25 seconds.
In the pack of favorites, Pogacar did not only keep Vingaard with him. Behind the first two in the classification, the first pursuer, the Frenchman David Gaudu, lost 17 seconds.