Another day, another punishing period in the saddle for the Tour de France peloton. Stage 14 is a rolling route with five categorised climbs, three of which average more than seven per cent gradient. It will almost certainly be too difficult for green jersey Mark Cavendish.
The breakaway was allowed to ride away unchallenged two days ago as Nils Politt took victory for Bora-Hansgrohe. We could well see a similar story this afternoon if the general classification teams find a suitable group of riders to let off the leash.
There is also the possibility that the 183.7 kilometre route from Carcassonne to Quillan could see the likes of Ineos Grenadiers and Jumbo-Visma try to make it a tough stage for yellow jersey Tadej Pogacar as they attempt to find even the smallest of cracks in this 22-year-old superstar.
This may not be the toughest stage in the race, but it is an introduction into the Pyrenees and a little tester for the riders’ legs. With just two days to go until the final rest day, there will be a number of teams trying to pour on the hurt.
Stage 14 profile
Stage 14 map
Although none of the five climbs on stage 14 exceed seven kilometres, it is still expected to be too tough for most of the sprinters. Just 17km from the finish the Col de Saint-Louis is a sharp 7.4 per cent incline which will likely whittle down the contenders for the stage victory. That being said, the fast strongmen such as Wout van Aert and Sonny Colbrelli will almost certainly still be there if it does come down to a bunch finish. However, I expect a break to make it to the finish and this could well be an afternoon for someone like Simon Yates.
Stage 14 is set to start at 11.25am BST and is expected to finish at around 4pm.
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