Tour de France Tour de France 2022: Stage 14 (Saint-Étienne – Mende, 192.5k)

Time for yet another of ASO’s favourite finishes. This being Mende, a breakaway day is almost certain, but so are some gaps among the GC riders.

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Route description
Zero transfer for the riders for a change. To head from Saint-Étienne into the Massif Central proper, some climbing is required, and so we have a decent ascent to Côte de Saint-Just-Malmont early on.


The next 50 kilometres are hilly, but there’s only the one categorised climb, Côte de Châtaignier.


This section also contains the intermediate sprint in Yssingeaux. As you can see, it’s on a decent uphill.




Finally the hills relent for a flat section through Le Puy-en-Velay. The terrain past this town is higher (this is the same ridge that features Peyra Taillade, final climb in the 2017 stage), but the slopes on this side are really gradual, hence why none of the climb below has been categorised even though it’s ridden in full.


The descent from here into the Allier valley is steep only by comparison to the climb. After a short trek through the gradually rising side valleys, the next climb, Côte de Grandrieu, is reached. Once again, the KOM is in a weird place.


There isn’t really a descent after this, more of a rolling section, into the penultimate climb, Côte de la Fage.


A long descent takes the riders into Mende, from where it’s all familiar terrain. As always, there are 1.5 kilometres to race after the summit of the climb to reach the finish line on the air strip.


Final kilometres


Mende has been a diocese seat for about a millennium, and remains dominated by its cathedral.





13th-century Pont Notre-Dame in Mende, the oldest remaining bridge in the Lozère.
 
Decent medium mountain stage. I think the peloton is pretty used up from an unusually hard second week, so although this is obviously a break-type stage, it may not be the strongest of breaks. Of course, if JV, UAE, Ineos want an easy weekend + rest day than there won't be many teams to chase. UAE might want to make it a harder day to give Pogacar a chance to gain back some seconds on the final climb into Mende, but I don't think this is the stage he will be able to do that. We can always hope.
I was hoping they would enter Le Puy en Velay from the west (looks like they come in from the south) since the view into Le Puy from the hills (or maybe its a long ridge) to the west is one of the most stunning city views in France.
 
One would expect Pog to take a few seconds and the bonus. The Tour would still be over but we could tell ourselves it's not over till the fat Dane sings. If Pog takes no time, then it's over over. It's too early to say Pog is over the hill. He made a few mistakes but there's no use crying over spilt milk. What can you say about your man Vinnie, well his cup runneth over. Over and out.
 
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Reactions: VayaVayaVaya
One would expect Pog to take a few seconds and the bonus. The Tour would still be over but we could tell ourselves it's not over till the fat Dane sings. If Pog takes no time, then it's over over. It's too early to say Pog is over the hill. He made a few mistakes but there's no use crying over spilt milk. What can you say about your man Vinnie, well his cup runneth over. Over and out.
Agree he should try and take time here, it suits him well. However, with Peyragudes and Hautacam still on the menu, nothing is over. Anything can happen on those stages. Not saying it will, but it certainly can.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Teuns with co, Fuglsang, Kamna with Kondrad, Grossschartner and maybe even Pinot should aim for the break. Bahrain and Bora are the best teams without a win so far and this looks like the perfect breakaway stage. No one wants to control this, maybe only UAE, but they don't have the power and/or men to do so..
 

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