Tour de France 2019: Thibaut Pinot Wins Stage 14 on Col du Tourmalet

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJuly 20, 2019

Cyclists ride up in a loop during the fourteenth stage of the 106th edition of the Tour de France cycling race between Tarbes and Tourmalet Bareges, on July 20, 2019. (Photo by Marco Bertorello / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
MARCO BERTORELLO/Getty Images

Thibaut Pinot won Saturday's Stage 14 of the Tour de France on the mighty Col du Tourmalet, while Julian Alaphilippe strengthened his position in the general classification, finishing in second place.

The favourites for the yellow jersey turned the stage into a marathon, opting for a relentless pace over multiple attacks on the final climb. Pinot was the strongest, while Alaphilippe easily survived. The latter maintains his lead in the GC.

Here are the stage results:

Saturday's stage was expected to be a key one in this year's Tour, with the finish line at the top of the iconic Col du Tourmalet likely to shake up the general classification.

The drama started early in Stage 14, as the break had two unlikely names in GC contender Vincenzo Nibali and the favourite for the points jersey, Peter Sagan.

BBC World Service's Alex Murray was understandably confused:

They were soon joined by several more riders, including some breakaway and climbing specialists like Tim Wellens, Alexis Vuillermoz, Luis Leon Sanchez and Sergio Henao.

With so many big names hitting the front, the pace in the peloton never dropped, leading to a frantic lead-up to the Tourmalet. Romain Bardet, seen as France's best hope of a Tour win before the start in Brussels, was among those dropped.

Adam Yates also couldn't keep up:

An attack of Wellens and Nibali tore up the leading group, and the two held their advantage over the Col du Soulor and into the descent.

The lead groups came back together in the valley, and in the run-up to the Tourmalet, Sagan made his ambitious move work by taking seventh place and key points in the intermediate sprint.

Elie Gesbert tried his luck with a solo effort at the base of the Tourmalet, and behind him, the peloton swept up the leaders in a hurry.

Tates and Dan Martin were among the Tourmalet's early victims, dropping out of the pack, and Nairo Quintana and Fabio Aru soon followed. Quintana fell back as a result of the pace set by his own team, Movistar, amid rumours he's set to leave for Arkea.

Sports writer Lars Pollman couldn't help himself:

An attack from Warren Barguil had Alaphilippe struggling, clinging on at the back of the GC group. Bauke Mollema and Richie Porte were the next to break, but with no real attacks, the rest of the top contenders were able to stay in the leading group.

Defending champion Geraint Thomas lost contact with the leaders in the final kilometer, while Pinot launched his attack late, avoiding a sprint. Alaphilippe impressed on his way to second place, ahead of Steven Kruijswijk.

Sunday's stage will consist of another day in the Pyrenees, with three first-category climbs and an uphill finish at the Prat d'Albis. It will be the final stage before the second rest day in Nimes, so fans can expect more fireworks.

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