Crude ‘transition’
20 July 2014

Tour de France (st. 15)

Wind and pouring rain hit the Tour bunch in long descent towards Nîmes; Kristoff (KAT) wins as Bauer and Elmiger get caught in the finishing straight. Valverde stays 2nd overall

PICTURES | 2014 Tour de France gallery

Norwegian Alexander Kristoff (KAT) took his second stage win in the 2014 Tour de France at Nîmes finish on Sunday, after another long (222km), rainy, windy race in the approach to the Mediterranean, which the race will not touch after today’s transfer to Carcassonne -where the second rest day will take place- and Tuesday’s depart towards the Pyrenees.

Stress due to a dangerous finale was taken advantage of by two riders, Jack Bauer (GRS) and Martin Elmiger (IAM), who kept very alive a breakaway that started from the gun and was caught with less than hundred meters to go, after a final push from Europcar and Katusha to respond the late attacks by Tony Martin (OPQ) and secure a sprint finish, which José Joaquín Rojas contested for 14th.

Not far from his countryman (22nd), Alejandro Valverde -always well protected by Plaza, Erviti, Izagirre and Herrada- was thankful about the final rest day coming: “It’s impossible to get a calm day here; it was really tough. The beginning was calm, but the rain, the attacks, the stress… made it all difficult at the end.” Three mountain stages and a TT on Saturday will decide his fate in the Grande Boucle this year.