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Tour de France 2019 stage 14: Tarbes - Tourmalet 117 km

Will Alaphilippe lose the maillot jaune tomorrow?

  • Yes

    Votes: 19 22.9%
  • No

    Votes: 64 77.1%

  • Total voters
    83
  • Poll closed .
Tomorrow is the stage, that many have been waiting for - a short mountain stage on the back of a time trial, which saw Alaphilippe in the form of his life and many podium contenders close to each other.

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The stage starts in Tarbes, which has hosted the Tour numerous times as starting point, latest in the 2015 Tour (the PSM stage, where Froome destroyed everyone) and the finish as well, latest in 1995, where the stage was neutralized due to the death of Olympic RR champion Fabio Casartelli, to whom a memorial was later built.



The city of Tarbes is home to a couple of beautiful fountains, one of which is this, the fountain of Quatre-Vallées:



In Tarbes one of The Remarkable Gardens of France can be found, the Massey Garden, built in the 1800s:


The first climb is the Côte de Labatmale, a category 4 that is 1,4 km at 6,7%, but from Ferriéres the stage is a carbon copy of the 2010 stage. The legs of the riders will start to really hurt at Col du Soulor…


..a 11,9 km climb at 7,8%. It has featured in the Tour twelve times, latest in last years Tour in the stage to Laruns (shoutout to LS!) and before that, the widely remembered 2010 Tourmalet stage. After Soulor, exactly 99 kms in the stage, the riders and the viewers can behold the sight of Château Sainte-Marie, a thousand year old fortress, which was controlled by several Christian Orders such as the Templars, the Hospitallers and the Order of Malta.



After Soulor, the GC men can't hide anymore - they will inevitably be exposed, when they approach the finish line on the legendary Col du Tourmalet, which has been climbed more times than any other climb in the history of the Tour.


In 1913 Eugene Christophe was leading the Tour when he was to descend the Tourmalet. Unfortunately his fork broke, and since receiving help was forbidden, he had to find a forge and fix it himself, which took several hours - on top of that he was penalized for receiving help by the apprentice at the forge!
In stage 15 in the 2003 Tour, Armstrong crashed in a stage featuring the Tourmalet, on the finishing climb to Luz Ardiden when he was taken down by a spectator, but got up again to win the stage.



Stage 14 of this years Tour will be just the third time in history, that a stage finish is placed on the summit of the Tourmalet. The last time was in 2010, which was a really hyped stage - Maillot jaune Alberto Contador had a slim 8 second lead taken after the controversial chain gate at Port de Bales in a Tour, where the yellow jersey looked to be impossible to rip off Schleck. That Tour was perhaps the last true mano-a-mano we have had. A duel where the two only had eyes on each other, best witnessed by the famous track-standing in Ax-3 Domaines. Anyway, Andy attacked and lead up the climb, riding everyone else off his wheel by over a minute,

...except Contador, who held on while Schleck took the stage...



The big questions after today's stage will be whether Alaphilippe actually can hang on to the yellow - something which seems unlikely, but possible, especially if the stage is ridden conservatively. On the other hand, there are several riders who need to take back time lost, and with two thirds of the race finished tomorrow, they better start now!

Weather at the finish line:




General classification on the eve of stage 14:


1. Julian ALAPHILIPPE
2. Geraint THOMAS + 1'26''
3. Steven KRUIJSWIJK + 2'12''
4. Enric MAS + 2'44''
5. Egan BERNAL + 2'52''
6. Emanuel BUCHMANN + 3'04''
7. Thibaut PINOT + 3'22''
8. Rigoberto URAN + 3'54''
9. Nairo QUINTANA + 3'55''
10. Adam YATES st.

Green jersey competition on the eve of stage 14:

1. Peter SAGAN 277
2. Sonny COLBRELLI 191
3. Elia VIVIANI 184
4. Michael MATTHEWS 167
5. Caleb EWAN 148

Polka-dot jersey competition on the eve of stage 14:

1. Tim WELLENS 54
2. Thomas DE GENDT 37
3. Giulio CICCONE 30
4. Xandro MEURISSE 27
5. Natnael BERHANE 20

Youth classification on the eve of stage 14:

1. Enric MAS
2. Egan BERNAL + 8''
3. David GAUDU + 5'50''
4. Giulio CICCONE + 17'07''
5. Gregor MÜHLBERGER + 27'41''
 
Tomorrow we will see who has the courage the reach out for the win - and who is happy to plod along for a marginal chance at the podium behind Thomas.

The aggressive ones send 2-3 doms out in the early break, and then attack already on the cat. 1, to catch the teammates at the top, and use them for the flat bit leading to Tourmalet and halfway up it.

Porte, Fuglsang, Martin, Yates, Quintana, Uran, Pinot and Buchmann are all out of contention for the win, unless they try something dramatic....... "the tour is long" won't cut it anymore, nor will gaining 20 seconds here and there, or leaving it for the last stage in the Alps, with all kinds of excuses.

- Who is ready to win hearts and who lacks heart? ;)

Personally, I'd rather see a rider finish 13th after having tried and left it all on the road, than someone finishing 5th after riding defensively on the Ineos coattails...... and then talking about their "bad luck" not giving them a podium finish.

I expect Martin and Pinot to try...... of the rest, I hope for the best and fear the worst.
 
Re:

Hayabusa said:
Alaphillippe to get dropped but be close enough to retain yellow.
If DQ are smart, they send Mas up the road tomorrow, and force Ineos to do all the work, while Alaphilippe can ride the stage defensively.

But they can only play that card, if they are sure Alaphilippe doesn't burn out and lose 10 minutes, on 1 of the 5 big mountain stages left.

If the team think that might happen, they cannot gamble with Mas' GC to protect Alaphilippe.
 
Jul 8, 2017
67
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Voeckler kept the Jersey through (almost) all the Mountains. And I really think that 2011 Tour was harder than this one. I also rate Alaphilippe as a bit better climber than Voeckler. So I don't rule out the chance Alaphilippe to fight for podium. At least.
The good thing is that now even Ineos have to be aggressive. They can't afford just a high tempo with Alaphilippe following wheels.
Maybe now Ineos can play the 1-2 card with Bernal?
 
Getting Mas to this position, at this stage of the Tour, is fantastic for him, and the team. If you'd offered Lefevere before the Tour a post-TT situation of "3 stage wins and Enric in 4th on GC, less than 3' back", he'd snap your hand off without even asking who was in yellow.
 
Alaphilippe’s amazing TT now forces INEOS to have a rethink, they have to ride more aggressively now and not just normal tempo up the climbs. It’s a backloaded route, but they have to start taking chunks of time back.
 
I'd never guess it's been 9 years since Soulor previously featured.
But I clearly remember Contador - Schleck duel throughout that Tour. Head and shoulders above the field they were.

And right when I thought no one's thinking about the OPs, Simurgh comes up with this.
Well done.
 
Re:

sir fly said:
I'd never guess it's been 9 years since Soulor previously featured.
But I clearly remember Contador - Schleck duel throughout that Tour. Head and shoulders above the field they were.

And right when I thought no one's thinking about the OPs, Simurgh comes up with this.
Well done.
That's cos it isn't. It was in last year's route as a stop off en route to the Aubisque. We also saw it in 2012 in the Route du Sud.
 
Btw, for those that didn't know, tomorrow is Colombias national day.

A win tomorrow, makes a colombian rider a national hero for life.

Bernal, Quintana, Uran and Henao will all be especially motivated for winning the stage tomorrow.
 
Jul 28, 2011
49
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Oh the contradictions about Ala, we are really in uncharted territory here! I'm excited for whatever happens.
 
Re: Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
sir fly said:
I'd never guess it's been 9 years since Soulor previously featured.
But I clearly remember Contador - Schleck duel throughout that Tour. Head and shoulders above the field they were.

And right when I thought no one's thinking about the OPs, Simurgh comes up with this.
Well done.
That's cos it isn't. It was in last year's route as a stop off en route to the Aubisque. We also saw it in 2012 in the Route du Sud.
Tabloid opening-postism!
 
Re:

sir fly said:
I'd never guess it's been 9 years since Soulor previously featured.
But I clearly remember Contador - Schleck duel throughout that Tour. Head and shoulders above the field they were.
Who would have thought after 2010 Tour that neither Contador nor Schleck would ever win another TdF again. They were still young and so much ahead of the rest.
 
I think we're all underestimating Mas, he's shown that he can be great in the third week of GC last year in the Vuelta. He topped most of the opponents he's facing now - Kruijswijk, Uran, Nairo, Pinot... And we have to assume he's a better rider than he was last September. I think that he's DQS's true leader.
 
Re: Re:

Anderis said:
sir fly said:
I'd never guess it's been 9 years since Soulor previously featured.
But I clearly remember Contador - Schleck duel throughout that Tour. Head and shoulders above the field they were.
Who would have thought after 2010 Tour that neither Contador nor Schleck would ever win another TdF again. They were still young and so much ahead of the rest.
Yes. Different misfortunes they've experienced, but the outcome's pretty much the same.
We'll never know how Andy would deal with Sky train.
 
Re: Re:

sir fly said:
Libertine Seguros said:
sir fly said:
I'd never guess it's been 9 years since Soulor previously featured.
But I clearly remember Contador - Schleck duel throughout that Tour. Head and shoulders above the field they were.

And right when I thought no one's thinking about the OPs, Simurgh comes up with this.
Well done.
That's cos it isn't. It was in last year's route as a stop off en route to the Aubisque. We also saw it in 2012 in the Route du Sud.
Tabloid opening-postism!
Indeed it was, just checked and it was an uncategorized climb in the stage Roglic won! :redface: Then again, I am not too embarrassed, because my knowledge and memory are nothing compared to the tree of cycling knowledge, LS is - whose contributions on this forum I (and surely others! ;) ) deeply appreciate and enjoy :)
 

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