Close of brutal stage 10 brings on long awaited rest dayMon 14 Jul 2014
The close of a brutal stage, deemed as one of, if not, the toughest stages of the 2014 Tour de France has brought on much relief for ORICA-GreenEDGE and the peloton as they head into tomorrow’s rest day.
The 161.5km journey of stage 10 featured seven categorised climbs, including four category one beasts.
Belgian Jens Keukeleire was the teams top finisher, 19min 6sec behind stage winner Vincenzo Nibali (AST) in 74th position.
Well aware of its brutal nature, sport director Matt White was prepared for the team to sit out of the day’s action, preferring to store their energy for the stages more suited to their strengths.
“As expected, it has been the most difficult start to a Tour de France in the modern era,” White said.
“We have had ten action packed days with a lot of stress, quite varied weather conditions and a lot of crashes so it’s been a very nervous start to the Tour.
“The boys are really looking forward to a bit of a sleep in tomorrow morning that is for sure.”
In the closing stages of the day, Tour de France debutant Mathew Hayman abandoned from the race after a tough day on the bike. Hayman was not involved in any crashes on today's stage but struggled with existing soreness.
“For us, it is a little disappointing to lose Matty Hayman,” White said.
“He hasn’t been 100% over the last couple of days since his crash and with the brutal start today he lost contact with the bunch and never came back.
“It’s an unfortunate end to Matty’s Tour because he was our captain on the road and he would have been very very important from now until the end of the Tour.”
“But the rest of the boys got through unscathed on a day that was difficult for everybody.”
Nibali, clearly the strongest finisher, fought back into yellow, distancing himself from his general classification rivals and past the last remaining breakaway survivor Joaquim Rodriguez (KAT) on the final climb to stage victory.
Looking forward past tomorrow’s rest day, White said the team are in a good position to remain competitive.
“Our team is fit and we are healthy, so that is always a good start when you are approaching the second half of the race,” White said.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the boys down the road in breakaways.
“And like we said a couple of days ago Simon Gerrans is not at 100% but he is certainly on the way back and he will be able to feature in the next few days.”