Sunday, July 22, 2007
Alberto Contador of Spain has won stage 14 of the 2007 Tour de France. Michael Rasmussen of Denmark came in second and extended his overall lead by 2′ 04′ over Cadel Evans of Australia. Contador moves into second ahead of Evans and 2′ 23″ behind Rasmussen.
Contador and Rasmussen had an animated discussion about how to share the workload up the final climb. Contador was happy to sit behind the yellow jersey-wearing Rasmussen, and pass him in the final sprint for the finish-line. The Dane had hoped for more help in setting the pace and extending his overall lead.
The winner of yesterday’s time trial, Alexandre Vinokourov, did not have a good day. Andreas Klöden will likely now be the leader for Astana Team.
This stage took the race into the Pyrenees. This stage starts with a category 2 climb out of Mazamet and then follows a relatively calm route via Carcassonne, Limoux and Quillan before taking on the Port de Pailhères (17 km at 7.2%) and a very difficult finish at Plateau-de-Beille (16 km at 7.9%).
Tomorrow’s 196 km stage should be one of the major stages of the Tour, with no fewer than five major mountain passes – including the Col de Port, the Col de Portet d’Aspet (5.7 km climb at 6.9%), the Col de Menté (7.0 km climb at 8.1%), the Port de Balès (19.5 km at 6.2%), (the first time this climb has featured in the Tour), and finally the Col de Peyresourde (9.7 km climb at 7.8%) with a downhill finish in Loudenvielle. This exhausting stage will be followed by a day of rest.