14th stage could have been again a chance for the sprinters. But also for a break, the small uphill’s were a chance to get to the finish in VILLARS-LES-DOMBES PARC DES OISEAUX. For the sprinters from BORA – ARGON 18 a new chance to show their qualities.
The wind played again a big role and was the reason why the first 25 kilometres were very leisurely without any attacks.
Only after a few kilometres, the 4 riders had a gap of 5 minutes. CeCe could win one KOM and the intermediate sprint. But when the sprinter teams raised the speed in the peloton, the gap came down in the final. On the last 10 kilometres first Alex Howes lost contact to the leading group. The gap was down to 30 seconds and also CeCe was dropped on the last kilometres, the remaining two riders were caught from the bunch 3k before the finish line.
Sam Bennett took on the sprint then for the first time after his crash on stage one. He really showed courage when sprinting to 12th place today. Physically this has been a great effort, but mentally it hard to judge how hard it must have been to fight for positions again. Sam deserves great respect for this performance today.
Emanuel Buchmann, the man for the GC finished this stage with the peloton on the 34th place.
“Bartosz and Paul helped me very well before the final kilometres. Shane was all the time behind me and in the final in front of me. The guys did a fantastic job all the day. I think I tried to be brave in the sprint, but it is one of the hardest things to do in cycling to go back in a bunch sprint like that, after crashing in Belgium and here in the first stage. That was mentally so difficult when I got one or two bumps from the side. I tipped the breaks and lost some speed, that cost me 5 or 6 places. It will be easy for some people to say you need to be more aggressive, but honestly I did well today to be back in a bunch sprint and it is a big stepping stone for me. I cannot thank the guys enough for their support.” – Sam Bennett