Tour de France Tour de France 2021, Stage 14: Carcassonne – Quillan, 183.7 km

Stage 14: Carcassonne – Quillan, 183.7 km
Mid-mountain stage through one of the forgotten corners of the Pyrenees. There’s some good ramps scattered throughout the stage including on the final climb, but realistically this isn’t hard enough for the GC riders to bother – I would like to see a stage like this in Route d’Occitanie or a major women’s race, though. The breakaway action should be good, though.

Map and profile




Route details
A rolling first 45 kilometers, including a stingy, but uncategorised climb into Montréal (no, not that one) will feature a presumably drawn-out battle to make the break, which may not have formed by the time the first climb of the day, Col du Bac, is reached.



This is followed by the intermediate sprint in Lavelanet, just after a minor climb.



The remaining 100 kilometers of the stage are much more mountainous, starting with the harder side of Col de Montségur.



It is followed by the irregular Col de la Croix des Morts.



Côte de Galinagues is the first 2.2 kilometers of the profile below, however all bar the last 1.9 kilometers feature in the stage today.



The section from here until the final climb is much easier, with only the uncategorised Col de Campérié to trouble the riders.



The final climb, Col de Saint-Louis, includes 1.4 kilometers at 10% in the middle, but it’s probably a little too far from the finish to tempt a GC rider. Even so, it’s nice to see ASO introdue this kind of unheralded climb to the race.



Final kilometers
Gradual descent until about 7 kilometers to go, then an easy route to the finish line.



 
Ambush. A massively hectic start with UAE chasing anything pink, yellow or black, then somehow manage to miss a massive group with four Ineos guys plus Carapaz, Van Aert, Vingegaard, Uran and Lutsenko. After 100km of panic chasing, Pogacar has no teammates left and none of the other teams who missed it are strong enough to help. Pogacar starts riding himself, dropping the rest of the field on Galinagues, then finds himself in no-man's land and blows halfway up Col de Saint-Louis.

At the front the break whittles to the GC guys plus Van Aert who despite pulling double turns all day comfortably wins the sprint for the stage. Pogacar creeps in at six minutes down, losing the jersey but staying within 40s of new leader Uran. The top five is now covered by just over a minute going into the Andorra stage...
 
Ambush. A massively hectic start with UAE chasing anything pink, yellow or black, then somehow manage to miss a massive group with four Ineos guys plus Carapaz, Van Aert, Vingegaard, Uran and Lutsenko. After 100km of panic chasing, Pogacar has no teammates left and none of the other teams who missed it are strong enough to help. Pogacar starts riding himself, dropping the rest of the field on Galinagues, then finds himself in no-man's land and blows halfway up Col de Saint-Louis.

At the front the break whittles to the GC guys plus Van Aert who despite pulling double turns all day comfortably wins the sprint for the stage. Pogacar creeps in at six minutes down, losing the jersey but staying within 40s of new leader Uran. The top five is now covered by just over a minute going into the Andorra stage...
Don't forget Bahrain and BEX going balls-out to try and OTL Cav. Which backfires as Alaphilippe takes the sprint and 3rd on the stage to move ahead of Sonny.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Ambush. A massively hectic start with UAE chasing anything pink, yellow or black, then somehow manage to miss a massive group with four Ineos guys plus Carapaz, Van Aert, Vingegaard, Uran and Lutsenko. After 100km of panic chasing, Pogacar has no teammates left and none of the other teams who missed it are strong enough to help. Pogacar starts riding himself, dropping the rest of the field on Galinagues, then finds himself in no-man's land and blows halfway up Col de Saint-Louis.

At the front the break whittles to the GC guys plus Van Aert who despite pulling double turns all day comfortably wins the sprint for the stage. Pogacar creeps in at six minutes down, losing the jersey but staying within 40s of new leader Uran. The top five is now covered by just over a minute going into the Andorra stage...
Movistar to give him a free taxi ride again if they think theres a chance to annoy Carapaz.
 
a stage finish in Quillan would have been so much better with Pailheres in it. Several interesting options to play with ...and they went with this.
It's the first of 5 stages in the Pyrenees, and it's the only one that doesn't include a Cat1 or higher. It's a tough enough profile to ensure attacks and open up the possibility of GC action, without being a war of W/kg attrition, which next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be. It's a potential ambush stage, with the dominant yellow jersey looking like he has weak team support.

Not every stage has to be Double Ventoux.
 
Ambush. A massively hectic start with UAE chasing anything pink, yellow or black, then somehow manage to miss a massive group with four Ineos guys plus Carapaz, Van Aert, Vingegaard, Uran and Lutsenko. After 100km of panic chasing, Pogacar has no teammates left and none of the other teams who missed it are strong enough to help. Pogacar starts riding himself, dropping the rest of the field on Galinagues, then finds himself in no-man's land and blows halfway up Col de Saint-Louis.

At the front the break whittles to the GC guys plus Van Aert who despite pulling double turns all day comfortably wins the sprint for the stage. Pogacar creeps in at six minutes down, losing the jersey but staying within 40s of new leader Uran. The top five is now covered by just over a minute going into the Andorra stage...
Afterwards Tadej barely survives Andorra heat (losing another 5 minutes) only to attack furiously when it gets colder crushing the field by 10 minutes on Peyresourde, Louron Azet and Portet.
 
Ambush stages come after high mountain stages, not before.
Ambush stages come when they aren’t expected, otherwise they aren’t ambushes. The Andorra stage has a lot of gradual-gradient climbs; lots of 4s and 5s in the profiles until the final ramp, so if any high mountain stage is a “recovery” day where you can sit in the wheels until the final 20km, that’s it. And then the rest day.

If there’s a day (or two) to leverage team strength over individual brilliance, (ie, for Ineos, Movistar, Jumbo to drop Formolo and Costa and isolate Pogi) these next 2 days are it.
 

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