Barguil’s victory delights France
Stage 13 was short and sharp, it seemed to change shape by the kilometre and attacks were plentiful. Alberto Contador showed some of his old grit and steel as he attacked from a long way out. His attack stretched the peloton, isolating the GC contenders. Frenchman, Warren Barguil sprinted home to victory on Bastille Day.
Tommy Voeckler wasn’t hanging about, the Direct Energie rider went on the attack from the gun. His attack didn’t last too long. The trio of Sylvain Chavanel, Philippe Gilbert and Alessandro De Marchi had formed the head of the race, with an advantage of 1’02” after 20 KM.
De Marchi, on the solo break, went over the cat 1 climb of Col de Letrape to take 10 KOM points, he was closely followed by Alberto Contador, Warren Barguil and Mikel Landa. Barguil then dropped back to the chasing of Nairo Quintana, Barguil, Michal Kwiatkowski and Alexis Vuillermoz.
With 30 Km to go and on the climb to Mur de Péguère, Contador and Landa opened up the gap to 2’49”. The chasing group of Quintana and Barguil dropped Kwiatkowski. Fabio Aru, Romain Bardet and Froome had yet to respond.
Froome attacked with 25Km to go and a game of cat and mouse began. Bardet, Aru, Froome, Rigoberto Uran and Dan Martin were all involved attacks on the twists and turns of the descent into Foix. The chase was on to reel in Contador and Landa.
An elite quartet of Barguil, Contador, Quintana and Landa passed under the flamme rouge. It’s not often that we see the climbers sprinting home for the stage victory, but that is exactly what happened. Barguil took the stage victory to become the fourth French stage winner at this year’s tour.
Simon Yates and Dan Martin both had good rides, don’t be surprised to see either of those two riders on the podium at some point in the future. Credit must also go to Landa, the Team Sky rider was fully committed and he had a great opportunity to win the stage.
None of the leading riders wanted to lose any time to their rivals and today’s stage was a real display of mental strength. There may well be more calls for shorter stages at future editions of the Tour de France.
Stage 14 takes the riders from Blagnac to Rodez, a distance of 181.5 KM. The route consists of two category three climbs.