Mark Cavendish wins 30th Tour Stage
Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) continued his great Tour de France career with his 30th Stage victory and fourth in this year’s Tour. Cavendish passed Marcel Kittel (Etixx - Quick-Step) on the way to the finish line, with Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha), Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) and John Degenkolb (Team Giant-Alpecin) very close behind. Although there have been rumors about Cavendish abandoning the Tour early to focus on the Rio Olympics, Cavendish continues and is four stage victories behind Eddy Merckx for the most Tour stage victories. Chris Froome (Team Sky) and the top contenders came in together, so there was no change in the General Classification Standings.
Four riders formed a breakaway group riding into a headwind ahead of the peloton, and it included Alex Howes (Cannondale–Drapac), Jeremy Roy (FDJ), Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) and Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Argon 18). At one point the group was nearly four minutes in the lead. The sprinter teams; Etixx Quick Step, Lotto Soudal, and Dimension Data led the peloton to keep Kittel, Andre Greipel and Cavendish in contention. With 9 km to go on the stage, only two riders remained in the break 30 seconds of the peloton. Elmiger and Roy. They were eventually caught with 3.2 km to go, as the sprinter teams lined up for the finish.
Team Katusha led the peloton with 3 km to go forming a lead-out train for Kristoff. Etixx - Quick-Step then moved to the front with their sprinter, Kittel. Then Greipel and Lotto Soudal moved to the front in this last sprinters’ stage before Paris. Near the line, Cavendish sprinted past Kittel, who had taken the lead. Cavendish appeared to veer into Kittel twice in the final 100 meters or so. Cavendish crossed the line just ahead of a charging Kristoff, Sagan, and Degenkolb, while Kittel shook his fist in protest. In the end, nothing came of Kittel's protest and Cavendish was declared the winner of the stage.
Stage 14 Results
Etixx - Quick-Step
Lampre - Merida
Cofidis, Solutions Credits
AG2R La Mondiale
General Classification Standings
Chris Froome (GBr)
Bauke Mollema (Ned)
Adam Yates (GBr)
Nairo Quintana (Col)
Alejandro Valverde (Spa)