Tour (st. 14) / Tirreno (st. 6)
Movistar Team & 2020 TDF peloton to tackle big mountain stage in the Jura after no GC gaps were registered in Lyon, where Kragh (SUN) won solo. Carretero keeps green jersey in Tirreno.
/ Today’s route
Even if race contenders rode their hearts out at Friday’s brutal finish in the Puy Mary and Sunday’s finish will take them on another contest for GC honours at the Grand Colombier, stage 14 of the Tour de France was still another demanding appointment. 194km -nearly six hundred kilometers have been covered by the peloton in the last three days- and five categorized climbs, including the Col du Béal (Cat-2) and the Côte de Courreau (Cat-3) into the first half of the route, plus two Cat-4 climbs just before the end in Lyon. A day for a breakaway?
/ Weather report
Ir’s incredible to have these warm temperatures in mid September! It feels like full summer in France, with up to 31ºC at the finish in Lyon and milder weather, yet equally surprising, at the top of the climbs (19 to 22ºC). Some crosswinds all over today’s route, with strong gusts in the second half of the stage-
/ Keys to the race
- The day started with an interesting situation. As Swiss Stefan Küng (GFC) and Belgian Edward Theuns (TFS) escaped in the early stages with no other riders joining them, and seeing that the peloton was determined to push hard and produce a sprint finish, another duo of riders in pursuit, Sunweb’s Cees Bol and Casper Pedersen, decided to wait for the group while sitting just 20″ behind the leaders. Two riders were thus destined to be caught by the sprinters’ teams, already from early in the stage.
- The leaders’ advantage, which came close to six minutes, was halved through the slopes of the Col du Béal, where Bora-Hansgrohe, just like they did in the intermediate sprint to keep Peter Sagan’s green jersey chances alive against Sam Bennett (DQT), pushed hard to drop the Irishman back. Küng, who had left Theuns behind during the Béal climb, was caught after the Côte de Courreau (-80km) by a peloton which was putting almost two minutes on the stragglers. Bennett and his team-mates threw in the towel soon after.
- In the end, an 80-rider group tackled the decisive Cat-7 côtes of Duchère and Croix-Rousse with a chance to win. Following two unsuccessful moves from Benoot (SUN) and Kämna (BOH), another attack from Soren Kragh Andersen (SUN) after the last climb was good for the win ahead of the sprinters left in the peloton, where Enric Mas -remains 10th overall-, Alejandro Valverde and Carlos Verona finished safely. There were no gaps between the GC contenders.
/ Upcoming goals
Sunday will bring both a brief incursion by the TDF into the Jura mountains and one of the key stages in this year’s race, with three big climbs: Selle de Fromentel (Cat-1), Col de la Biche (Cat-1) and the finishing Grand Colombier (HC; 17.4km at 7.1%). Another day for the GC contenders to fight to the fullest before the second, final rest day in the Isère department.
/ Over in Italy…
Héctor Carretero started his Saturday as fully-fledged KOM classification leader in the 2020 Tirreno-Adriatico, offering a chance to the sprinters on its sixth stage towards Senigallia (171 km, flat finishing circuit).
Fortunately for the Spaniard, though, his main rival for the GPM jersey, Marco Canola (GAZ), did not join an early break which covered the day’s only rated ascent in the lead.
Tim Merlier (AFC) won the inevitable bunch sprint at a day prior to the final hilly stage on Sunday, over a tough circuit in Loreto and Recanati (181km). The day’s four categorized climbs will decide the fate of the jersey currently held by Héctor, with 20pt at stake.
RESULTS > 2020 Tirreno-Adriatico – Stage 6
Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto