Cycling

HARDER FOR THE GREEN MACHINE

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THE Tour de France’s second biggest prize is going to be on the line all the way to Paris, says JOHN TREVORROW:

IT WAS the battle for the green jersey that became the major story on Saturday’s stage 14 of the Tour de France.

The green points jersey, or the Maillot Vert, is the second most prestigious jersey in the peloton. It is an intriguing competition that offers points at one designated town each day – 20 points for first down to 1 point for 15th, and in the stage finish, 50 points for first down to 2 points for 15th. Except on mountain stages where the final stage points are from 30 points down to 2.

Slovakian powerhouse Peter Sagan (Bora Hansgrohe) has had virtual ownership of this jersey since 2012 and only relinquished it in 2017 when he was disqualified for causing a crash. Although the triple world road champion can mix it in the fastest in the sprint finishes, it’s his ability to get over the medium mountains that usually sees him dominate this category.

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But this year has been a bit different and it has taken a while for Sagan to find his mojo. This had allowed Irishman Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quickstep) to hold the upper hand. Although Sagan getting disqualified from the points back in stage 11 certainly helped and built the Irish sprinter a 60 point buffer.

So that sets the scene for a Stage 14 from Clermont-Ferrand to Lyon. This was probably the last chance for the sprinters to grab a stage win before Paris. But only the sprinters who were tough enough to survive the five small but categorized climbs.

Peter Sagan’s Bora Hansgrohe team put the pressure on at the first climb and Bennett hung on for as long as he could but finally lost time. His full Decueninck Quickstep team lined up to try to get him back. It was a valiant effort but it was all to no avail. Aussie pocket rocket Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Sudal) was also dispatched on the early climb and nestled himself into the grupetto.

In the finale Sunweb again played the perfect tactical game and snatched their second stage victory with a solo win for Dane Soren Kragh Andersen with Mitchelton Scott’s chase falling short but Luka Mezgec, keeping the Slovenian flag flying and taking an impressive second place over Sagan.

This has reduced Bennett’s lead in the battle for Green to 43 points. With all but one of the final tour stages being to mountainous even for Sagan it will be the intermediate sprints that decide this fantastic duel. It won’t be decided until the final day in Paris.

Richie Porte (Trek) survived a late scare after a mechanical forced him to grab a teammates bike just before the final attacks began.

Stage 14

1Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb04:28:10
2Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott00:00:15
3Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis00:00:15
4Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe00:00:15
5Casper Phillip Pedersen (Den) Team Sunweb00:00:15
6Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo00:00:15
7Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC Team00:00:15
8Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R la Mondiale00:00:15
9Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain McLaren00:00:15
10Marc Hirschi (Swi) Team Sunweb00:00:15
11Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:00:15
12Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates00:00:15
13Michael Valgren (Den) NTT Pro Cycling00:00:15
14Hugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro Team00:00:15
15Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic00:00:15
16Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:00:15
17Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:00:15
18Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain McLaren00:00:15
19Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:00:15
20Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers00:00:15
21Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team00:00:15
22Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis00:00:15
23Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:00:15
24Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers00:00:15
25Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers00:00:15
26Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma00:00:15
27Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott00:00:15
28Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team00:00:15
29Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma00:00:15
30Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team00:00:15
31Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis00:00:15
32Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren00:00:15
33Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren00:00:15
34Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic00:00:15
35Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott00:00:15
36Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:00:15
37Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Pro Cycling00:00:15
38Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team Sunweb00:00:15
39Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo00:00:15
40Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott00:00:15
41Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team00:00:15
42David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:00:15
43Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team00:00:15
44Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:00:15
45Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:00:15
46Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Team Sunweb00:00:15
47Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:00:15
48Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:00:15
49Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma00:00:15
50Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis00:00:15
51Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers00:00:15
52Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:00:25
53Jack Bauer (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott00:00:25
54Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe00:00:25

GC after stage 13

1Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma61:03:00
2Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates00:00:44
3Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers00:00:59
4Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:01:10
5Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic00:01:12
6Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team00:01:31
7Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott00:01:42
8Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren00:01:55
9Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo00:02:06
10Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team00:02:54
11Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis00:03:14
12Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma00:04:32
13Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers00:05:11
14Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team00:06:22
15Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain McLaren00:07:02
16Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:26:12
17Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic00:27:11
18Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:34:07
19Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma00:34:16
20Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott00:36:09
21Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team00:37:53
22Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:40:13
23Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren00:42:56
24Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:44:37
25Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe00:52:48
26Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:59:19
27Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep01:00:23
28Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ01:01:49
29Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma01:04:52
30George Bennett (NZl) Team Jumbo-Visma01:07:21
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Author: John Trevorrow

JOHN TREVORROW is a multiple Australian champion road racer and Olympian who has been doing media commentary at the Tour de France for more than 20 years.

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