2010 Tour de France: Stage 14, Revel - Ax-3 Domaines, 184.5 km



steve

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2010 Tour de France: Stage 14, Revel - Ax-3 Domaines, 184.5 km

The first of several difficult stages in the Pyrenees in the Tour's last week visits the French Basque Country. The hors catégorie Port de Pailhères precedes the first-category summit finish at Ax-3-Domaines. The race will tackle the Pyrenees and the riders will start to feel it in their legs. On this stage, the finish is the hard part. The route is flat until the Port de Pailhères, a little more than 30 kilometres from the finish. The climb to Ax 3 Domaines follows straight afterwards, which could open up gaps. After the very difficult Port de Pailhères, there will be a battle between around a dozen of the big guns and it is very likely that the Yellow Jersey could change hands.

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Lng6TsKtKk]YouTube - Analysis of the stage 14[/ame]

Stage Map
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Stage Profile
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The Last Climb
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The Climbs

Km 155.5: Port de Pailhères -> 15.5 km climb @ 7.9 % - Category H
Km 183.0: Ax-3-Domaines -> 7.8 km climb @ 8.2 % - Category 1

General classification before stage 14

1 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 63:08:40
2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 0:00:31
3 Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:02:45
4 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 0:02:58
5 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:03:31
6 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack 0:04:06
7 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 0:04:27
8 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:04:58
9 Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0:05:02
10 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas-Doimo 0:05:16
 

steve

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Stage 14 News

Contador and Schleck set for a duel for the ages
The man who devised the route for the LeMond-Fignon Tour, Jean-Marie Leblanc, never dared include another last-day time trial, because he knew that the excitement of that afternoon could never be matched. It never will be. But in the Pyrenees this week, Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck look set to produce a duel that ranks with some of the other great head-to-heads in Tour history: Raymond Poulidor v Jacques Anquetil in 1964; Bernard Hinault and Joop Zoetemelk in 1979; Stephen Roche and Pedro Delgado in 1987, or perhaps Jan Ullrich and Marco Pantani in 1998.
Link: Tour de France 2010: Contador and Schleck set for a duel for the ages | William Fotheringham | Sport | guardian.co.uk

Hesjedal holds 13th
Hesjedal finished in 12th place in the 184.5-kilometre Stage 14 climb from Revel to Ax 3 Domaines, but the top two riders -- overall leader Andy Schleck of Luxembourg and Alberto Contador -- finished tied for third, allowing them to widen their gap in the overall standings.
Link: Hesjedal holds 13th


Armstrong does not want any gifts in final Tour
Despite his string of crashes and losing time on every major climb, despite all the accusations and long-distance polemics with fellow US tour de France winner Greg Lemond, Lance Armstrong insists he is still trying to enjoy his last ever Tour de France.
Link: Armstrong Does Not Want Any Gifts In Final Tour | Cyclingnews.com

Schleck plays mind games at Ax-3-Domaines
The first Pyrenean mountain stage turned into a poker game between Alberto Contador (Astana) and Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank). The two contenders, Schleck in yellow, Contador determined to be, were so focused on each other that they ignored the attacks of their closest GC rivals Samuel Sanchez (Euskatel) and Denis Menchov (Rabobank).
Link: Schleck Plays Mind Games At Ax-3-Domaines | Cyclingnews.com

Blazin' Saddles: Andy's poker face
One between breakaway winner Christophe Riblon and himself, a second between the two best riders vying for yellow, a third between Denis Menchov and Samuel Sanchez for the final podium position, and a fourth between the rest of the top eight. Although it was momentarily rather extraordinary to see Menchov, the Silent Assassin, leave his magnum at home and come out to play with a blunderbuss for a change, the most captivating duel was that between Contador and Schleck – ironically enough, precisely because of its oft-banal tone and its attritional lack of fireworks.
Link: Tour de France - Blazin' Saddles: Andy's poker face - Yahoo! Eurosport

Schleck, Contador duel in the mountains
When Alberto Contador attacked Sunday, Andy Schleck stayed on his wheel. When Andy Schleck attacked, Alberto Contador stayed on his wheel. If it's possible to play poker - Schleck's term - on bicycles high in the Pyrenees, that's what they were doing over the final few miles of the 14th stage of the Tour de France on Sunday afternoon.
Link: Schleck, Contador duel in the mountains

Track star Riblon hits the heights
Christophe Riblon said he had achieved a life-long dream in winning the 14th stage of the Tour de France at Ax-3 Domaines. He also confessed that if someone had asked him about his chances of winning just the night before, he wouldn't have bet a Euro on them.
Link: Track Star Riblon Hits The Heights | Cyclingnews.com

Denis Menchov and Samuel Sanchez ****** time during Tour de France's Stage 14
ANDY Schleck and Alberto Contador's Tour de France mutual obsession came at a significant price on Stage 14 today as underdog rivals snatched valuable time from the star pair. As race leader Schleck and Contador almost stopped on the final climb into Ax-Trois Domaines in the Pyrenees, yellow jersey contenders Denis Menchov and Samuel Sanchez pounced. The duo cut 14 seconds out of their overall deficit to add a much-needed dimension to what has become a two-horse race.
Link: Denis Menchov and Samuel Sanchez ****** time during Tour de France's Stage 14 | Herald Sun

Wiggins admits he doesn't have the form
Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) has openly admitted for the first time that he does not have the same form he had in 2009 but insisted he will continue in the Tour and try and secure the best overall result he can.
Link: Wiggins Admits He Doesn't Have The Form | Cyclingnews.com

Contador: Andy and I marked each other
Alberto Contador (Astana) appeared satisfied rather than overjoyed with events on the first Pyrenean stage of the race. The defending Tour de France champion admitted that he and Andy Schleck had focused on marking each other, but was not concerned about the time they both yielded to other key contenders by tracking each other so tightly. Denis Menchov and Samuel Sánchez both gained 14 seconds on the two Tour favourites.
Link: Contador: Andy And I Marked Each Other | Cyclingnews.com

Evans toughing it out through mountains
Evans is riding on painkillers and with his left arm swathed in black and blue tape after a crash less than 10km into stage eight a week ago. X-rays later revealed he had fractured his elbow. "If it was not the Tour de France, I would have pulled him out," Italian BMC team doctor Max Testa said. "But this is the Tour and when a rider tells you he wants to keep going you cannot pull him out by force." The injury stops him from bending his arm, which makes it difficult for him to ride out of the saddle. Testa has also brought in a physiotherapist after the end of each stage and ice packs are never far away to ease any swelling.
Link: Cadel Evans toughing it out through mountains | The Australian

Contador keeps pace with leader Schleck as Tour moves into Pyrenees
AX-3 DOMAINES, France | Frenchman Christophe Riblon won Sunday’s 14th stage of the 2010 Tour de France, the first of four stages in the Pyrenees Mountains. Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck retained the race leader’s yellow jersey, with two-time Tour champion Alberto Contador of Spain remaining in second, 31 seconds behind. Fellow Spaniard Samuel Sanchez still lies third, 2 minutes 31 seconds adrift.
Link: Contador keeps pace with leader Schleck as Tour moves into Pyrenees - KansasCity.com

Schleck sure-footed ahead of Pyrenees
On the eve of the first in a series of four brutal mountain stages in the Pyrenees race leader Andy Schleck seemed very relaxed when he talked with the press in Revel after the 13th stage. Some would be feeling less comfortable when knowing they'd be fighting for the overall victory in the Tour de France on a stage that features a hors categorie climb and ends on Ax 3 Domaines, a first category ascent.
Link: Schleck Sure-footed Ahead Of Pyrenees | Cyclingnews.com

Tour de France Stage 14: Revel to Ax 3 Domaines
Ax 3 Domaines is the first Tour stage town in the Pyrenee Mountains, and has served as a stage town three times before. It is located in the Southwestern department of Ariège, very close to the border to Andorra. The town is a winter sports resort, a grouping of three skiing areas—Bonascre, le Saquet and Campels. This combination makes for an ideal skiing experience for all visitors, from those who seek beginners’ hills to those who want higher altitude slopes.
Link: Tour de France Stage 14: Revel to Ax 3 Domaines | Team Radioshack

Hesjedal hangs onto 13th at Tour
Hesjedal kept pace with overall leader Andy Schleck, as both were in the peloton finishing 13 seconds behind Stage 13 winner Alexander Vinokourov of Kazakhstan. Vinokourov pulled away from the pack about seven kilometres from the finish line in Revel and never looked back, collecting his fourth career stage win at the Tour. He finished in a time of 4 hours 26 minutes and 26 seconds.
Link: Hesjedal hangs onto 13th at Tour

Armstrong finally has something to cheer
Sergio Paulinho finally gave Lance Armstrong something cheer about after a frenetic week and a half of racing to earn Team RadioShack its first stage win at a race the lean Texan had totally dominated for seven years between 1999 and 2005.
Link: Lance Armstrong finally has something to cheer about | The Australian

Evans hopes to make it through the Pyrenees
Cadel Evans (BMC) is out of overall contention at the Tour de France but the world champion is battling on in the race and will try to get through the Pyrenees and reach Paris, despite riding with a fractured elbow. The tough Aussie rode the stage from Rodez to Revel with his left arm again covered in a crisscross pattern of black taping. It stops him bending his arm and aggravating the part of his elbow that is fractured, but makes it difficult for him to ride out of the saddle.
Link: Evans Hopes To Make It Through The Pyrenees | Cyclingnews.com

No pals act for tough Pyrenean stages
Tour de France main contenders Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador have been sharing conversations even as they battle to gain the edge over each other in the race for the yellow jersey. But Schleck knew he had to drop all admiration for the Spaniard as the race headed into the Pyrenees mountains. Sunday's 14th stage over the unclassified (hors categorie) climb of the Port de Pailheres towards the summit finish at Ax-3-Domaines was just the first of four big days in the Pyrenees which could decide who wins the race.
Link: No pals act for tough Pyrenean stages

The mountains loom for Tour de France cyclists
The Tour de France was to begin one of the most punishing sequences of stages in its recent history Sunday as the riders entered the Pyrenees for four days that include two ascents of the Col du Tourmalet. Andy Schleck of Luxembourg held the yellow jersey with a 31-second lead over the defending champion, Spaniard Alberto Contador. But that will be challenged throughout the final week of racing as the riders test their endurance and desire against some of the most difficult cycling roads in the world.
Link: The Associated Press: The mountains loom for Tour de France cyclists

Spanish contenders ready for Ax-3 Domaines
Stage 14's stage from Revel to Ax 3 Domaines marks the start of the final battle that will decide the winner of the 2010 Tour de France and the two riders who will flank him on the final podium in Paris. Speaking before the start of stage 13 both Astana leader Alberto Contador and Euskaltel team manager Igor González de Galdeano refused to be drawn on their tactical approach to these key stages, but did admit that the first of them is likely to see big time gaps opening up between the overall contenders.
Link: Spanish Contenders Ready For Ax-3 Domaines | Cyclingnews.com

Tour de France cyclists set off on mountain test
The remaining 175 riders of the Tour de France have embarked on the first of four punishing days in the Pyrenees that will be crucial to the outcome of the race.
Link: Tour de France cyclists set off on mountain test - Taiwan News Online
 

Andrija

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I think we'll see something similar to stage over Madeleine. Schleck and Contador in front, everyone else behind... Further behind than on Madeleine.
I hope the showdown starts already on Pailheres and I'd like to see Basso with the duo. It's time for him to start making up some time he lost and I want to see if his Giro form is good enough for Contador and Schleck.
It's going to be interesting to see how Saxo will approach to Pailheres and if Astana will wait until the Ax-3-Domaines... I mean, if they'll come to the front before Ax-3-Domaines.
Menchov could have a bad day today. He usually has one in race. Leipheimer too.
 

jhuskey

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Oct 6, 2003
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The race has been good so far, today it should get great. Schleck is in yellow but to me he is about 1:30 behind Contador. He needs to attack and stay away.It may be possible to tempo ride fast and wear Contador down before the big climbs but I doubt it can be done.
Basso is still the sleeper to me he is smart and probably already made alliances. He needs to make up time the next few stages if he is to fininsh in the top 3.
 

Eldrack

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Very tough day today. The Pailheres is a beast, if the stronger teams come to the front and push the pace on it we're going to see a lot of people getting dropped early due the steep gradients (harder to just follow wheels).

Then it's a twisty and pretty rapid descent down to the final climb so if you've been dropped you'll need to be a good descender to get back on.

Ax-3 isn't the longest climb to the finish but it's pretty steep so it'll be a perfect opportunity to to attack. Since Andy Schleck has to attack, and attack hard we should see riders scattered all over this climb. Should be fun :).

I'm going to bet on Contador to win the stage ahead of Andy Schleck who couldn't drop him on the final climb.
 

Andrija

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Astana's at the front. It looks like they have a plan for Pailheres. I like the idea to blow the bunch on the first climb. Differences could be huge.
 

sopas

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Today stage was pathetic!ª!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :mad:
Both Andy and Contador too PATHETIC!!!!!!!!!!!! :mad:

Andy seems happy to arrive at last ITT with just 30 seconds over contador, and Contador (although he tried to break away two times) seemed also content at the end.
 

limerickman

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Andy and Alberto marking each other and at one stage I thought that they were so intent on marking each other that they'd forgotten Menchov and Sanchez.

Sastre did a great ride today.

Delighted for the stage winner Roblin.

Wiggins looked to be really suffereing out there today - as was Evans.
 

slovakguy

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looks like i didn't miss much working while the race was on. i really get the feeling that contador will strike at saxo's head on the tourmalet. one of those iconic names & stages which would be recounted in future tour histories. i can't see contador, given his willingness to forward, just lolling about for the itt. he'll want to write his name up there with the legends.
 

sopas

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slovakguy said:
looks like i didn't miss much working while the race was on. i really get the feeling that contador will strike at saxo's head on the tourmalet. one of those iconic names & stages which would be recounted in future tour histories. i can't see contador, given his willingness to forward, just lolling about for the itt. he'll want to write his name up there with the legends.
I hope so, because even if Contador is better than Andy in the ITT, it would not a good idea to put all your money on that. He may hava a crash, a bad day, or whateever, and loses the Tour.
 

GrumpyGex

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sopas said:
Today stage was pathetic!ª!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :mad:
Both Andy and Contador too PATHETIC!!!!!!!!!!!! :mad:
Oh man, no way. Where the stage didn't have all the bells and whistles of the sprint stages, there were some good laughs to be had. For instance, when Alberto started crying because he couldn't shake Andy.
 

doctorSpoc

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limerickman said:
Andy and Alberto marking each other and at one stage I thought that they were so intent on marking each other that they'd forgotten Menchov and Sanchez.

Sastre did a great ride today.

Delighted for the stage winner Roblin.

Wiggins looked to be really suffereing out there today - as was Evans.

what about armstrong? he blew at the base of the figg'n climb... this guy is really making a disgrace of himself... just frigg'n go home if you're going to ride like that! shameful..

Contador knows what he'd doing.. he will take more than a min out of Menchov and Sanchez in the TT, but Schleck is a moron.. Menchov can take two mins out of him and Sanchez will likely take a min and a half.. the way schleck is going he might even screw himself out of a podium spot.. Contador can TT.. remember he actually was able to beat cancellar in a long TT last year.. Schleck on the other hand needs to be looking over his shoulder at 3rd and 4th coming over him for his second place.. how the hell could he let Sanchez and Menchov get that time today? stupid, stupid, stupid.. he's not going to win 31sec is not going to cut it.. he needs to secure his 2nd place...
 

limerickman

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I re-watched todays stage.
I thought Levi Leipheimer stuck to his task well, even though it was clear that he was under a lot of pressure on that final climb.

He stuck with it.
 

Ted B

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doctorSpoc said:
what about armstrong? he blew at the base of the figg'n climb...

That's not what happened. He's not riding hard enough to blow anything.

LA:
"It's as unique experience for me to ride up the Pailheres with no pressure at all and be able to look at the people and listen to people.... I'm going out having a good time."


Clcying News: Armstrong after Stage 14
 

limerickman

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doctorSpoc said:
what about armstrong? he blew at the base of the figg'n climb... this guy is really making a disgrace of himself... just frigg'n go home if you're going to ride like that! shameful..

Contador knows what he'd doing.. he will take more than a min out of Menchov and Sanchez in the TT, but Schleck is a moron.. Menchov can take two mins out of him and Sanchez will likely take a min and a half.. the way schleck is going he might even screw himself out of a podium spot.. Contador can TT.. remember he actually was able to beat cancellar in a long TT last year.. Schleck on the other hand needs to be looking over his shoulder at 3rd and 4th coming over him for his second place.. how the hell could he let Sanchez and Menchov get that time today? stupid, stupid, stupid.. he's not going to win 31sec is not going to cut it.. he needs to secure his 2nd place...



I don't know what Armstrong is doing.
He could try to help Leipheimer in this last week.
Either he's incapable of helping or he's not bothered.
 

classic1

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Jul 29, 2006
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limerickman said:
I re-watched todays stage.
I thought Levi Leipheimer stuck to his task well, even though it was clear that he was under a lot of pressure on that final climb.

He stuck with it.

Agreed. In a lot of ways it was one of the rides of the day. Very clever, measured, knew he could not go with some of the others so limited his losses.
 

classic1

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Jul 29, 2006
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Schleck needs more time. He has three stages to do it in, coz he will get flogged in the TT. Has anyone heard his interviews? He sounds so cocky. He should be a lot less cocky with good TTers like Contador, Menchov and Sanchez breathing down his neck. Contador only needs to follow Schlecks wheel as it stands at the moment
 

Vitessa

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Jun 24, 2010
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doctorSpoc said:
what about armstrong? he blew at the base of the figg'n climb... this guy is really making a disgrace of himself... just frigg'n go home if you're going to ride like that! shameful..

Contador knows what he'd doing.. he will take more than a min out of Menchov and Sanchez in the TT, but Schleck is a moron.. Menchov can take two mins out of him and Sanchez will likely take a min and a half.. the way schleck is going he might even screw himself out of a podium spot.. Contador can TT.. remember he actually was able to beat cancellar in a long TT last year.. Schleck on the other hand needs to be looking over his shoulder at 3rd and 4th coming over him for his second place.. how the hell could he let Sanchez and Menchov get that time today? stupid, stupid, stupid.. he's not going to win 31sec is not going to cut it.. he needs to secure his 2nd place...

I got the impression that Andy went back to the team car to argue for the right to attack on the stage, and got told to stick to Contador's wheel and stay there, which is what he did up until the final approach to the line, when he accelerated to show that he *could* have attacked but had been told not to by team management.

I keep reminding myself that this team won the race two years ago with Sastre at the head, and they *should* be able to with with Andy Schleck, but I would have attacked today. Andy may have sand-bagged his last three ITTs, but I wouldn't rely on him being able to hang with Contador this year, or waiting until the second climb of the Tourmalet.

Contador, meanwhile, is in better shape than I expected. His team was right there all day, and they're a force to be reckoned with - if they didn't kill themselves today. It was hard to tell how much Astana had left. Based on prior ITTs, he just has to hang with Andy until Bordeaux, and then he'll put at least 31 seconds into Schleck in the ITT, and that will be that.

Tomorrow should be more treading water. Tuesday will have the fireworks.
 

doctorSpoc

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Ted B said:
That's not what happened. He's not riding hard enough to blow anything.

LA:
"It's as unique experience for me to ride up the Pailheres with no pressure at all and be able to look at the people and listen to people.... I'm going out having a good time."


Clcying News: Armstrong after Stage 14

ok, so he stopped ridding so he wouldn't blow up... what's f's the difference? he's too old, he doesn't have the legs.. this is lance armstrong we are talking about here.. you want to tell me that if he had the legs he wouldn't be ridding harder.. he's coming with every excuse in the book.. HE HAS NO LEGS.. he even said he was going to help the team.. seems to me that Liephiemer could have used some help today... where was Armstrong? just go home Lance.. you look like a fig'n bad joke!
 

Yojimbo_

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Perhaps Schleck has improved his time trial and everyone is in for a big surprise. That would explain a lot.