Another thrilling day of bike racing!
I was taking screenshots like a madman, so here’s a visual account of how it went down:
With about 100 km to go, a breakaway of 18 men. As Carlton Kirby said, ‘There is quality in the break.’ none very highly placed, so no urgency in the peloton to chase them down. They were: Bak, Burghardt, Van Garderen, Bakelants, Voigt, Gautier, Vichot, my man Kadri, Brutt, Erviti, Rojas, Garcia, Trentin, Millar, Talansky, Albasini, Greschke, and Simon.
Over 4 minutes ahead at58 km to go. Kelly and Kirby are starting to believe the breakaway will survive and the winner will be one of these men.
Hoogerland and Cunego attack and chase the breakaway.
Jens Voigt falling off the breakaway.
16 km to go: Breakaway threat Jan Bakelants attacks! They catch him immediately.
Almost immediately Julien Simon of Sojasun counters Bakelants’s attack, coming out of a turn out of the saddle and pounding hard. 15 km to go.
Simon stays away! He’s got the speed!
Simon is pulling away! The breakaway can’t catch him. He builds up a 14 second gap.
Blel Kadri moves to chase! Does he ever give up? Out of the breakaway bunch he comes, chasing Simon! Kelly is calling it for Simon.
Simon is riding for France! It’s pre–Bastille Day glory for the motherland!
Kadri won’t give up the chase. 9 km to go.
With 6 km to go, the breakaway has absorbed Kadri but they’re looking around at each other, no one willing to take up chasing Simon in earnest. They’re 11 seconds down. Simon is flying! It looks like he can do it! 3.8 km to go and Sean Kelly thinks he can do it!
Wityh 2.4 km to, Simon’s lead on the breakaway is 12 seconds but he’s fading. Can he make it or is the line too far away?
With 1.5 km to go, the chase has succeeded.
A second later, Garcia of Cofidis makes contact with Simon.
Simon’s effort is done and the group prepares for a sprint. Looks like [l-to-r] Greschke in the white of Argos and Garcia in the red jersey, yellow shoes of Cofidis and Trentin in the green helmet and white shoulders of Omega Pharma Quick-Step.
Looks like Bakelants in the celeste helmet and red/black of RadioShack takes the lead for a moment.
They’ve done it! Incredible! Carlton Kirby can’t contain himself! Vive le Tour! Who will it be at the line?
And it’s Trentin of Omega Pharma, just inches ahead of Albasini of Orica GreenEdge with Millar of Garmin in third.
Now THAT’S a sprint!
After the race, Cavendish had this to say about his teammate:
Been lucky to witness some amazing teammates wins in my career, but today was the 1st that brought tears to my eyes. @MATTEOTRENTIN #soproud@MarkCavendish
Another great day of bike racing!
Other notes from letour.fr:
Yesterday was the first time in the Tour de France that a whole team was voted winners of the ’Fighting Spirit’ award. Omega Pharma-Quickstep earned that honour with their move at the 56km mark of stage 13. Despite that collective prize, only Mark Cavendish — the winner of the stage - has a red race number for stage 14.
Some follow-up on Saxo’s work yesterday:
Rogers explains how Saxo-Tinkoff split the lead group in stage 14 —
With roughly 30 kilometres to go the break looked it was about to sit up and it was just one of those moments when the wind was just the perfect direction and speed. I looked at Bennati and he looked back at me and we just both nodded — not a word was exchanged — and I quickly turned around and made sure Alberto was behind me and we just buried it, we didn’t even ask if he wanted to go with it, we just went.
We just got everyone on the right moment but it was quite amazing. It was just The Moment. In a four hour stage, or whatever it was, there was just one split second that slapped us in the face and said, ’This is the time!’
[Contador] was yelling: ’Come on! One more turn!’
In cycling there is one thing you kind of miss; it is a team sport but there’s not always the gratification of the whole team. But when we do something like we did in stage 13, it really bonds the team together and I must say it was a similar feeling to what I had in 2009 with HTC. You end the day feeling extremely satisfied and it’s amazing how much more you can give when you’ve got not a lot of guys behind you and they’re all hurting... everyone is hurting together and they’re on their last legs but they manage to pull more out of themselves.