Impey and Hepburn in the break on stage 14 of Tour de FranceSat 21 Jul 2018
The breakaway stole the show on stage 14 of the Tour de France as an active start saw echelons and then a large move form early in the day.
Mitchelton-SCOTT duo South African champion Daryl Impey and Tour de France debutant Michael Hepburn represented the outfit in front before their breakaway companion Omar Fraile (Astana Pro Team) claimed the stage with Impey claiming ninth.
Action packed start:
What was promised in the first week finally eventuated at the start of stage 14.
Strong crosswinds saw echelons early, as four groups spread across the road in the opening 10kilometres with several general classification riders caught out.
Whilst they recovered to re-join the peloton and large breakaway formed out in front.
Mitchelton-SCOTT duo represent:
With stage wins now the key objective and a good chance of the breakaway succeeding, Mitchelton-SCOTT started the day with the intent of making move.
It was Impey and Hepburn who made the split of 32-riders and the group eventually rode out to a hefty advantage.
Break turn against each other:
At the front, three riders gained a gap on their counterparts on the day’s penultimate climb, before Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) went solo as the other two argued.
Behind, Hepburn dropped back as Impey formed part of a second group that also played cat and mouse in the chase.
Stuyven started the final climb alone but was passed by Fraile before they crested the top as he went on for the victory.
“It was a pretty tough breakaway, there were some good climbers in there. I thought it would come back at the end, some of the teams had numbers, so I gambled.
“I had a good ride, it was great to have Michael Hepburn there as well. I gave it my all and that’s all you can do. I would have liked a better result but that’s how it goes.
“It was a hectic start with a lot of crosswind, it wasn’t really the goal for me to be in the breakaway today but there was just a moment there and I saw an opportunity.”
“It was harder than I thought from the profile. There were four climbs, nothing too steep but just hard, dead roads and lumpy small roads almost all day.
“As soon as the flag dropped it was direct crosswinds for 10km. It split up a bit there and we were in the front. Then we went through a town and the roads got smaller and about 30 guys got away, with Dazzle and myself.
“The first half of the race was pretty cruisy, everyone rolled through, but then everyone started attacking on the category three climb and from there it was in groups.”
Tour de France – Stage 14 Results:
1. Omar Fraile (Astana Pro Team) 4:41:57
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Quickstep Floors) +0:06
3. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) +0:06
9. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:30
Tour de France – General Classification Results:
1. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) 58:10:44
2. Chris Froome (Team Sky) +1:39
3. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) +1:50
14. Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +16:22
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.