Tour de France – Stage 14 – Jelle Yeah!

Jelle Vanendert (Lotto) has won his first stage of the Tour de France on Plateau de Bielle. Samuel Sanchez came over the line in second place putting another 24 seconds into his rivals and overtaking Alberto Contador in the GC standings. Thomas Voeckler continues to impress as he hung with the favorites and even seemed to passively attack in yellow. It’s a mistake if they continue to underestimate Voeckler. Andy Schleck was able to make a tiny 2 seconds with a small gap at the finish, but this is the first Tour in quite some time that I have seen the main favorites watch two guys almost to the point of their own deficit. Andy Schleck, who was arguably the main favorite coming into the race, if you consider Contador’s fatigue, was so content to work with Frank against only Cadel Evans and Alberto Contador that the brothers allowed Sanchez to go up the road from 4km out without responding.

In my mind, Andy is only hampering his chances to win by reducing his opportunities for gains in the mountains (his strength) vs placing more importance on the final TT (his weakness and rivals strengths). Now, it’s possible that he doesn’t have the fitness to attack, but I haven’t seen him struggle. Either, way it’s making for an interesting Tour and is likely to make for a hugely explosive finish on Alpe D’Huez.

Stage 14 Top Ten
1. Jelle Vanendert (Lotto)_____________+:07″
2. Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel)________+:21″
3. Andy Schleck (Leopard)___________+:46″
4. Cadel Evans (BMC)_______________+:48″
5. Rigoberto Uran (Sky)
6. Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank)
7. Thomas Voeckler (Europcar)
8. Frank Schleck (Leopard)
9. J.C. Peraud (AG2R)
10. Pierre Roland (Europcar)

Complete Stage results: Le Tour

General Classification Top Three after Stage 14
1. Thomas Voeckler (Europcar)_______51h54’44”
2. Frank Schleck (Leopard)__________+1’49”
3. Cadel Evans (BMC)_______________+2’06”
4. Andy Schleck (Leopard)____________+2’15”
5. Ivan Basso (Liquigas)_____________+3’16”
6. Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel)________+3’44”
7. Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank)______+4’00”
8. Damiano Cunego (Lampre)_________+4’01”
9. Tom Danielson (Garmin)____________+5’46”
10. Kevin De Weert (Quickstep)________+6’18”

Complete Overall results: Le Tour

Green Jersey (points) Top Three after Stage 14
1. Mark Cavendish (HTC)______(264)
2. J.J. Rojas (Movistar)_______(251)
3. Philippe Gilbert (Lotto)______(240)


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