2021 Tour de France S14: solo 40km without code form! Mollema fights hard to win.
On July 10, the fourteenth stage of the Tour de France ended. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) attacked decisively in the late game, seized the first opportunity to win the last level 2 climbing point, flew 40km without a yard form, and won the stage championship beautifully.
After getting enough rest, the offensive and defensive battle of the total score will reignite. The fourteenth stage is an undulating road stage with a total length of 183.7km. There are two grade 3 slopes (3.1km, 5.3%; 2.2km, 9%) and three grade 2 grades (4.2km, 8.7%). 6.8km, 5.7%; 4.7km, 7.4%) and a sprint point on the way. Although it is an ups and downs stage, this stage is still relatively difficult. The slopes of several climbing points are relatively large, and the sprinter can be said to have missed the stage champion. However, these climbs are not too long, so this stage is not divided into the category of the mountain stage. The total score cyclists want to open a larger gap with their opponents to a certain degree of difficulty. However, from another perspective, this stage opens the door for Breakaway cyclists to win.
Before the start of the race, Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic) and Søren Kragh Andersen (DSM), who were injured in a crash in the previous stage, retired. Both have achieved good results in the Tour de France. I hope they can recover and recover soon. Back to the game.
▲ There are only four cyclists left in the Lotto Soudal team
After the race began, the cyclists took turns to attack, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and others were active, but the main group obviously did not want to let go of any threatening cyclists. After the long-distance tug-of-war, only Kristian Sbaragli, Jonas Rickaert (Alpecin-Fenix), Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo), Anthony Turgis (Total Direct Energie) and Maxime Chevalier (B&B Hotels) managed to escape, among which Kristian Sbaragli preempted After reaching the first level 3 climbing point, the injured Nacer Bouhanni (Arkea-Samsic), Tim Declercq (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and others were left behind.
Since the sprint point during the race was set to be less than 20km after level 3 climbing, the main group stepped on the accelerator and accelerated the pursuit, and the time gap began to decrease. After the two groups passed the sprint point on the way in harmony, the breakout group was retracted when there was still 100km from the end point, and the next wave of offensive was launched. Unsurprisingly, Michael Woods (Israel Start–Up Nation), Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) began to break through and compete for the next level 2 climbing. Nairo Quintana who wearing a polka-dot jersey (Arkea-Samsic) is nowhere to be seen.
Before the arrival of the first level 2 climbing point, Michael Woods flew solo and won the first point of climbing. At 80km from the finish line, Michael Woods, Wout Poels, and Mattia Cattaneo led the main group by 1 minute and 40 seconds. Sergio Andres Higuita (EF Education-Nippo), Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe), and Omar Fraile were behind them by 40 seconds. A pursuit group composed of Matarranza (Astana-Premier Tech), Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (BikeExchange), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and others.
Soon, Michael Woods took the first place in the second level of climbing points, the climbing points tied with Nairo Quintana, and Wout Poels was 3 points behind and ranked third. In the last 72km, the pursuit group and the breakout group merged into a small group of ten, leading the main group by more than 3 minutes. There are still several cyclists between the groups trying to narrow the time gap and trying to join the breakout action ahead. In the last 59km, Pierre Rolland, Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels), Elie Gesbert (Arkea-Samsic), Valentin Madouas (FDJ) joined the breakout group, and the UAE Team Emirates team rushed to catch up.
In the next level 3 climbing, Michael Woods began to test constantly. He has to grab enough climbing points today to win the climbing polka dot jersey from Nairo Quintana and withstand the offensive pressure of Wout Poels. Less than 300m away from the climbing point, Michael Woods sprinted first, followed by Wout Poels, rocking the car vigorously, and passing the climbing point before Michael Woods. At this point, Michael Woods' climbing points rose to 51 points, surpassing Nairo Quintana by 1 point and leading Wout Poels by 2 points. If the breakout group is not recovered in the late game, then Michael Woods and Wout Poels will climb the polka dot jersey after they compete in the final level 2 climb.
The race entered a long downhill section. Michael Woods fell behind and quickly got up to continue riding, while Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio led the breakout group to walk very resolutely. Michael Woods could only chase hard in the rear alone. In the last 42km, Michael Woods chased back to the breakout group, while Bauke Mollema launched an attack, flew away solo, and quickly established a lead. At 30km from the finish line, Bauke Mollema alone led the breakout group by 1 minute and 05 seconds, and the main group was behind by 5 minutes under the lead of the UAE Team Emirates.
Entering the final level 2 climb, the EF Education-Nippo team fought in two lines. Sergio Andres Higuita came to the front of the breakout group to accelerate the pursuit, and his team also came to the front of the main group to defend Rigoberto Urán's overall score status, and the pace of the game was improved. The breakout cyclists continued to attack, and the small group fell apart. Mattia Cattaneo accelerated and took away Sergio Andres Higuita, Michael Woods and Patrick Konrad, and joined forces to pursue Bauke Mollema in the front, while Wout Poels and others fell behind.
Less than 900m away from the climbing point, Austrian national champion Patrick Konrad accelerated many times, but he couldn't get rid of the cyclist behind him. Bauke Mollema successfully passed the level 2 climbing point. One minute later, Michael Woods successfully defended his climbing points lead through the climbing point. He will wear the climbing polka dot jersey as he wishes after the game. Soon, Bauke Mollema took the lead of 1 minute and 15 seconds into the final 10km and galloped towards the finish line. The main group was 5 minutes and 50 seconds behind, allowing the breakout cyclists to compete for the championship.
The effort paid off. Bauke Mollema flew 40km solo and enjoyed the enthusiastic cheers of the fans before the finish line and ushered in his own stage champion. The rear group was 1 minute and 04 seconds behind to cross the line, Patrick Konrad sprinted to win the second stage and Sergio Andres Higuita third. The UAE Team Emirates team led the main group to finish the race safely. Rigoberto Urán lost the second place. Guillaume Martin, who participated in the stage breakout, was behind Tadej Pogacar by 4 minutes and 4 seconds and temporarily ranked second.
After the stage, Tadej Pogacar retained the overall yellow jersey and the best young cyclist white jersey, Mark Cavendish continued to wear the sprint green jersey, and Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) became the new owner of the climbing polka dot jersey. Bauke Mollema won the Combativity award for the stage.