Tour De France Review – Stage 14: Rodez to Mende

Their first Tour and their first stage win courtesy of Steve Cummings. The British rider on MTN Qhubeka spent the day in the break and kept calm during a number of attacks from riders like Simon Yates (OGE), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)  and Romain Bardet (AG2R), with the latter two riding away from the chasing brake. Cummings just about made contact with the French pair as he crested the climb and after bridging across and throwing all caution to the wind he managed to create enough of a gap to celebrate as he crossed the line.

Steve Cummings - Stage 14

On the GC front Quintana and Valverde attacked Froome and while the British rider cannot accelerate as fast as the Movistar pair he rode himself across the gap. Every time Quintana attacked Froome responded and eventually it was the pair crested the climb together. Froome pipped Quintana in a sprint for the line but the young Columbian looks dangerous for the coming Alp stages.

Stage Highlights:

  • What a proud day for Africa, Stephen Cummings (MTN) took the first wild card stage victory of this year’s Tour de France; riding for Team MTN-Qhubeka, the first African team to compete in the prestigious race, he could not have timed his victory better as South Africans around the world celebrated Nelson Mandela day today.
  • Team MTN-Qhubeka proudly wore orange helmets during today’s stage in support of Nelson Mandela day to pay tribute to Qhubeka and to raise awareness for the #BicyclesChangeLives campaign.
  • Today’s stage brought incredible racing to the public, set against the magnificent backdrop of the Gorges du Tarn canyon. Most of the excitement unfolded in the final 20 kms and showcased the Tour de France at its best. Just seven more stages to go. Paris is beckoning.

Halfway Checkpoint:

1.5 million to 2.5 million – the number of records Dimension Data processes during a stage to generate race insights.

Click here to see more of the halfway summary statistics we published this week.

Day in data:

  • Starting in Rodez, today’s stage was a tour of the spectacular Gorges du Tarn canyon, the Millau viaduct and the green mountainous Lozère. Looks can however be deceiving, hidden among the beautiful scenery were a few spectacular climbs, including the gruelling 3km climb to the finish in Mende.
  • 175 – the number of riders who started today’s stage.
  • 1089.5 km – the distance riders still have to cover before they reach the finish line on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
  • 5000 – the number of bicycles Team MTN-Qhubeka aim to provide to underprivileged children in Africa by raising money for the #BicyclesChangeLives campaign.
  • 10.1% – the average gradient of the gruelling 3 km climb up Côte de la Croix-Neuve to the finish of today’s stage in Mende; the third in a series of short and steep uphill stage finishes.
  • 29 – the number of climbs conquered so far in this year’s Tour de France.
  • 19.63 km/h – the average speed of Ladagnous (FDJ) up Côte de Sauveterre as he won the second climb on today’s stage.
  • 40.57 km/h – average speed of Chris Froome (SKY) on today’s stage.
  • 38.92 km/h – average speed on the stage.
  • 20’ 56” – time between first and last rider.

Stage Winner:

GBR | Stephen Cummings | MTN
Stage time: 4h 23’ 43”
Average speed: 40.61 km/h

Overall Jersey Leaders:

yellowJersey_sGBR | Chris Froome – SKY | 56h 02’ 19”

GreenJerseyNew_SSVK | Peter Sagan – TCS | 322 points

whiteJersey_sCOL | Nairo Quintana – MOV | 56h 05’ 29”

PolkaDotJersey_sGBR | Chris Froome – SKY | 61 points

Tomorrow is a 183km stage from Mende to Valence. The riders will have to cross four categorised climbs before reaching Valence, the last one being the category 2 climb Col de l’Escrinet (787 m) which is a 7.9 kilometre-long climb averaging 5.8%. From the top of l’Escrinet it is downhill (obviously) and then a flat run into Valence. Surely a stage to favour the breakaway riders but who will it be?

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