block-time published-time 2.08pm BST
107km to go: Team Sunweb continue to tow the peloton along in pursuit of a five-man breakaway that must be annoyed at only being allowed to open a gap of 1min 56sec. I’ve read and heard some cycling enthusiasts and commentators saying that this year’s Tour has been one of the least exciting in many years, and while I wouldn’t necessarily agree with them, today’s stage is showing every sign of being one that won’t live long in the memory.
block-time published-time 1.58pm BST
116km to go: The gap between the breakaway and the bunch is at 2min 21sec. Meanwhile on ITV, Pippa York, upon being asked which of today’s teams she’d like to ride on, opts for BMC because she likes their kit. She says there are several teams she wouldn’t like to be on because of the way they’re set up, but diplomatically opts not to name Sky them.
block-time published-time 1.50pm BST
An email from Conor Lundy: “I agree with you about Froome not having a desire to see Landa in yellow,” he says. “I think had he let him get the jersey yesterday then it would have caused a discussion in the team at least. With Froome still ahead in GC there’s no discussion, though Landa might think otherwise.
“On the subject of team politics, RTE 1 radio have a feature up today on Stephen Roche’s 1987 triumphs. He flouted the team hierarchy in the 1987 Giro in pursuit of glory and was nearly lynched by the home crowd. He went on to become a legend. Fill your bottles Mikel!
Worth a listen if any readers are finding proceedings slow.”
block-time published-time 1.48pm BST
Intermediate sprint result
1. Thomas De Gendt 20 points
2. Maxime Bouet 17
3. Thomas Voeckler 15
4. Reto Hollenstein 13
5. Timo Roosen 11
6. Marcel Kittel 10
7. Michael Matthews 9
8. Fabio Sabatini 8
9. André Greipel 7
10. Sonny Colbrelli 6
11. Jack Bauer 5
12. Roy Curvers 4
13. Zdenek Stybar 3
14. Amaël Moinard 2
15. Danilo Wyss 1
block-time published-time 1.43pm BST
Kittel wins the bunch sprint: Well, in so far it was a sprint - he took the points, finishing first of the peloton and sixth overall, with Michael Matthews rolling over the line behind him.
block-time published-time 1.42pm BST
Thomas de Gendt wins the intermediate sprint: And takes the €1,500 prize that goes with it, to be shared among himself and his team-mates. Back in the bunch, Marcel Kittel’s team is lining up at the front to ensure their man mops up the majority of what points were left behind by the breakaway group.
block-time published-time 1.37pm BST
128km to go: The gap is down to 1min 53sec as the riders head for the intermediate sprint in Rabastens.
Interesting Rabastens fact: the 19th century French lawyer, historian and member of the Société des Antiquaires de France, which is based in the Louvre, was born there on 25 August 1815.
block-time published-time 1.29pm BST
137km to go: Following their stage win yesterday, the Sunweb team of King of the Mountains leader Warren Barguil are controlling the pace at the front of the peloton, with a couple of BMC riders upsides them. With their team leader Richie Porte out of the race, BMC will be keen to win this stage with Greg Van Avermaet.
“Without Richie, our main objective now is stage wins,” said Van Avermaet this morning. “Today is my big chance. I have the support of the whole team to keep the peloton together. Hopefully I can write the same script as two years ago. But the competition is high with Matthews, Degenkolb, Gilbert, Boasson Hagen and maybe a few GC guys in the mix as well.
“But I’m ready for it. I feel a lot pressure. I’d prefer to be here helping Richie instead. It’s been a hard Tour for me so far because I couldn’t show my real good legs. The only big chance I had before today was [in Stage 3 to] Longwy. It hasn’t been a Tour for attackers so far so I prefer to play my cards from a sprint finish today as well.”
BMC rider Greg Van Avermaet
has his eye on a stage win today. Photograph: Benoit Tessier
block-time updated-timeUpdated at 1.43pm BST
block-time published-time 1.22pm BST
139km to go: Not a lot going on, with the gap between the five-man breakaway and the peloton hovering around the 2min 10sec mark.
block-time published-time 1.15pm BST
enltr. @BMCProTeam, @TeamSunweb & @Bahrain_Merida quickly got into action to control the gap under 3'. #TDF2017#TDFdatapic.twitter.com/ZpZ09XqL5n
— letourdata (@letourdata) July 15, 2017
block-time published-time 1.14pm BST
Belgium’s Thomas De Gendt
, France’s Maxime Bouet
, France’s Thomas Voeckler
and Netherlands’ Timo Roosen
, before being joined by Reto Hollenstein
. Photograph: Philippe Lopez
block-time published-time 1.13pm BST
146km to go: Our five-man breakaway is now 2min 09sec clear of the peloton.
block-time published-time 1.10pm BST
A veteran speaks: Guesting on the ITV co-comms, Pippa York - three-times a stage winner in the Pyrenees and a one-timer Tour King of the Mountains - is asked by a viewer if she misses bike racing. “I don’t miss racing,” she says. “I raced so long that I actually got mentally tired of it. You eventually reach a point where you’re saturated with it. You eventually reach a point where you can still do it physically but not mentally. I miss being able to cycle fast, I only have the downhill for that now.”
For any readers that may not be aware that York was once Robert Millar, arguably Britain’s greatest ever cyclist, you can read more here in this fascinating interview.
Related: Philippa York: ‘I’ve known I was different since I was a five-year-old’
block-time published-time 1.01pm BST
An email from Guy Hornsby: “I’ll stick my hand up on the Velogames front,” he says. “Been playing it for a few years now and usually I’ve done pretty well. Sadly this year I managed to pick G, Porte and Majka. So basically I’m cursed. My team name? Froome Wagon.”
block-time published-time 1.00pm BST
enltr @bglendenning If Sky switched leadership to Landa, then Froome should not have attacked. But, absent that, he had to defend his position.
— Gary Naylor
(@garynaylor999) July 15, 2017
block-time published-time 12.54pm BST
159km to go: Reto Hollenstein has bridged the gap to the breakaway, which is now five strong and 2min 56sec clear of the bunch: Reto Hollenstein (Katusha-Alpecin), (Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Maxime Bouet (Fortuneo-Oscaro).
block-time published-time 12.43pm BST
169km to go: On Eurosport, Carlton Kirby is discussing an interview Sky rider Mikel Landa gave to Spanish TV last night in which he said “I’ve got the legs to win this Tour, I just don’t have the stripes”, meaning he thinks he can win the race but won’t be allowed to pull rank on Chris Froome.
Rumoured to be off to Movistar at the end of this season, only time will tell whether or not he’ll do so attack Froome anyway. While nobody seems to have a clue what Sky were doing chasing down Landa’s breakaway yesterday, my own possibly hair-brained theory is that Froome doesn’t trust his team-mate and had no desire to see him in yellow. Other conspiracy theoreis are, of course, available. It could be a long afternoon, so feel free to share yours via email or on the Twitter.
block-time published-time 12.39pm BST
enltrDe Gendt (LTS), Roosen (TLJ), Voeckler (DEN) & Bouet (TFO) covered the first 10km at 45.7km/h to open a 2'45 gap over the Peloton. #TDFdata
— letourdata (@letourdata) July 15, 2017
block-time published-time 12.37pm BST
enltrSo this has been my office twice a day for the past week. The Isle of Man Hyperbaric Chamber is… https://t.co/vKkXzXe8DP
— Mark Cavendish
(@MarkCavendish) July 15, 2017
“So this has been my office twice a day for the past week,” writes Mark in the post that accompanies his photo of what looks like a giantPolo mint covered in fridge magnets. “The Isle of Man Hyperbaric Chamber is a publicly funded facility that not only treats divers, but people with injuries and chronic illness, from every walk of life. I swear by the treatment when I’m injured, but not nearly as much if it wasn’t for the amazing people that work there. They honestly care so so much about every patient and go above and beyond for anyone who enters. Just want to give a massive thank you too everyone there.”
block-time published-time 12.34pm BST
174km to go: Voeckler, Roosen, De Gendt and Bouet have opened a gap of 2min 40sec on the bunch, from which Katusha’s Swiss rider Reto Hollenstein has been allowed to escape.
block-time published-time 12.30pm BST
An email from Dan Phillips: “Few would bet against Van Avermaet?” he says. “Well allow me to. I’ve Mr Matthews in one of my fantasy cycling teams. Yes that’s right I have a few across the various platforms. Yes, I have a problem. But can we feed my addiction with a Guardian Readers’ Fantasy League? Anyone else on Velogames?”
If you have the slightest clue what Dan is talking about, please feel free to... do whatever it is he wants you to do.
The peloton passes the Airbus factory in Blagnac. Photograph: Christian Hartmann
block-time published-time 12.28pm BST
179km to go: Riders from BMC, Sunweb, Astana and Sky line up across the front of the peloton, in a bid to block any potential attempts from those behind them to bridge the gap to the four-man breakaway.
That breakaway: Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Maxime Bouet (Fortuneo-Oscaro).
block-time published-time 12.25pm BST
The flag drops...
Slightly behind schedule, they’re off and racing in Stage 14 of this year’s Tour, with one particular veteran Direct Energie rider up towards the front of the bunch eager to attack. So eager in fact, that Prudhomme announces it’s time for “un attack de Thomas Voeckler”. The Frenchman duly obliges and is followed by Thomas de Gendt, Maxime Bouet and one other rider.
block-time published-time 12.16pm BST
Today’s stage has two climbs: A pair of Category 3 climbs, they don’t amount to much more than hills of beans compared to yesterday’s monsters but will still take some negotiating. The first is the Cote du Viaduc du Viaur, 50 kilometres from the finish. It’s 2.3 kilometres in length and has a gradient of 7%. Further up the road, 36 kilometres from the finish, Cote de Centres is spookily similar: the same length and has a gradient of 7.7%.
block-time published-time 12.08pm BST
Today's stage is under way...
Well, sort of under way - the peloton is currently riding in procession through the streets of Blagnac, awaiting the flag-drop of race director Christian Prudhomme to signal the start of racing.
block-time published-time 12.06pm BST Chris Froome
prepares for today’s stage. Photograph: Bryn Lennon
block-time published-time 12.03pm BST
Two more withdrawals yesterday...
Despite his valiant attempt to soldier on with fractures to his left wrist and elbow, Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang was forced to abandon yesterday, when it became apparent he couldn’t grip his handlebars properly. Francaise Des Jeux rider Arthur Vichot also dropped out, still suffering from the after effects of a heavy fall two days previously. His withdrawal means FDJ only have four of their original nine riders left in the race, after Arnaud Demare and three team-mates were eliminated on Sunday after missing the Stage 9 time cut. Fuglsang and VIchot’s withdrawals bring the number of riders sidelined so far to 21, leaving 177 riders in the race.
Denmark’s Jakob Fuglsang
was distanced by the peloton early in yesterday’s stage and abandoned. Photograph: Peter Dejong
block-time published-time 11.53am BST
Behind the scenes with Orica Scott
Orica Scott is one of the more media friendly and accessible teams on the Tour and – occasionally questionable choices of soundtrack aside – their daily Backstage Pass invariably makes for informative and interesting viewing. Enjoy...
Orica Scott’s Stage 13 Backstage Pass
block-time published-time 11.49am BST
enltrRash prediction for the day, breakaway with at least one rider lying between 15th and 25th moving into or towards the top 10 overall...
— William Fotheringham
(@willfoth) July 15, 2017
block-time published-time 11.40am BST
enltrHere's how the GC looks now! Froome 2nd, Martin down to 6th & Yates extends his lead in the White Jersey comp. #TDF2017 ???????? pic.twitter.com/v5ogS0WQYl
— Le Tour de France UK
(@letour_uk) July 14, 2017
block-time published-time 11.40am BST
Related: Warren Barguil delights home fans with Tour de France win as Landa moves up
block-time published-time 11.27am BST
Stage 14: Blagnac to Rodez (181.5km)
After yesterday’s short, mountainous and intriguing stage, the riders embark on a transitional stage of almost 200 kilometres that ends in a steep uphill kick with a gradient just shy of 10% that will suit riders such as Michael Matthews, Ben Swift, Tony Gallopin, Jan Bakelants and Greg Van Avarmaet, a winner in Rodez in 2015.
An early breakaway looks a certainty and after yesterday’s perplexing climax, in which Sky helped to chase down a breakaway featuring one of their own big-hitters, it will be intriguing to see which riders are sent to join any escape party by assorted teams.
Will Fotheringham’s take on today’s stage
Out of the frying pan of the mountains into the fiery heat of the plains for a punchy uphill finish which will not suit a conventional sprinter. The Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet won here last time around and, after the spring he has enjoyed, few would bet against him or his fellow Belgian Philippe Gilbert.
Stage 14 guide
block-time updated-timeUpdated at 11.36am BST
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