Bittersweet second for Mezgec on stage 14 of Tour de FranceSat 12 Sep 2020
Slovenian Luka Mezgec claimed a bittersweet second place on stage 14 of his debut Tour de France, winning the reduced bunch sprint behind a solo escapee.
After the bunch controlled most of the day, including a number of moves on two late climbs, Soren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb) timed his move to perfection when he sensed a momentary lapse in momentum with just over three kilometres remaining.
Controlling for the puncheurs:
Despite yet another active start to the stage, just two riders formed the breakaway on a day that was largely shaped by the green jersey competition.
BORA-hansgrohe were committed to gaining as many points as possible for Peter Sagan, and kept the gap to the duo manageable as they contested the intermediate sprint behind.
Keeping the pace solid over the main climbs of the day, BORA-hansgrohe shouldered much of the work that shelled the pure sprinters from the peloton and out of contention for the stage win.
Late launch pads:
Two late category-four climbs were poised as perfect launchpads for late attacks, and despite a number of attempts, it looked like the work of BORA-hansgrohe and then CCC Team was enough to bring it back to a reduced bunch sprint.
Sensing that lull, Andersen picked his moment to perfection, sneaking away from the reduced bunch which took too long to arrange itself for the chase.
Mitchelton-SCOTT’s Jack Bauer went to the front inside the final two kilometres to try to pull the race back, but it wasn’t enough and Mezgec was forced to settle in the bunch sprint for minor placings.
“It’s bitter sweetness and disappointment because I knew it was a big opportunity missed to win a stage of the Tour de France, but it’s my first Tour de France and I know my form is good.
“We all knew there would be some attacks especially from (Julian) Alaphilippe. Somehow, we tried to follow him, and he couldn’t succeed but that one moment we stopped with three kilometres to go, Soren attacked and that was it.
“Hats off to BORA-hansgrohe, everybody knew what they were going to do, and they did it. It was hard on the climbs and then the final was even harder.”
Tour de France – Stage 14 Results:
1. Soren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb) 4:28:10
2. Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:15
3. Simone Consonni (Cofidis, Solutions Credit) +0:15
Tour de France – General Classification after Stage 14:
1. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo Visma) 61:03:00
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +0:44
3. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:59
7. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:42
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.