Fedrigo Wins Stage 14 of Tour
Pierrick Fedrigo (Bouygues Telecom) has won Stage 14 of the Tour de France.
Pierrick Fedrigo (Bouygues Telecom) has won Stage 14 of the Tour de France. Fedrigo took a two-up sprint from Salvatore Commesso (Lampre) to win the rolling, 180.5-km ride from Montelimar to Gap in 4:14:23. Christian Vandevelde (CSC) finished third at 0:03, and Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d?Epargne) remains the maillot jaune . <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
From the start, the racing was aggressive in the heat and humidity. After several abortive sallies, Commesso, Matthias Kessler (T-Mobile), Fedrigo, Egoi Martinez (Discovery Channel), and Mario Aerts (Davitamon) escaped at 39 km. Eventually, Rik Verbrugghe (Cofidis) and David Canada (Saunier Duval) bridged across to the leaders. Martinez was dropped on the Category 3 Col de Peyruergue, but the others continued. At the summit, the break led the bunch by 3:40.
Caisse d?Epargne rode tempo, and the break?s advantage maxed out at 5:40 on the Category 2 Col de Perty (97 km). Quick Step and Liquigas joined Caisse d?Epargne at the front.
With 40 km left, a crash splintered the break. Verbrugghe?s tire slid out from under him because of melted tar on the road. The Belgian sailed over a guardrail and broke his left femur. Canada crashed on loose gravel, and Kessler rode over the Spaniard and flew over a guardrail. Canada suffered a broken right collarbone, but Kessler remounted his bike and finished 12 minutes down in 124 th place.
With 15 km left, 0:15 separated bunch and break. Commesso began to drive the escape, and Gerolsteiner began to drive the peloton. On the day?s last climb, the Col de la Sentinelle, Fedrigo attacked and dropped Aerts. At the summit, the bunch led the break by 0:45.
Discovery Channel chased for George Hincapie. With five km left, the bunch was 0:22 behind the break. The escapees held on, however, and Vandevelde burst out of the peloton with one km left.
Commesso led out the sprint. Fedrigo made his move and took the lead with 30 m left.
In the overall, Pereiro leads Floyd Landis (Phonak) by 1:29 and Cyril Dessel (Ag2r) by 1:37. Stage 15 will be a standing shaker. The 187-km ride from Gap to L?Alpe d?Huez will take the riders over the hors categorie Col d?Izoard and the Category 2 Col du Lautaret before bringing them to one of cycling?s most fabled climbs. Who will prevail? Floyd Landis (Phonak)? Carlos Sastre (CSC)? Cadel Evans (Davitamon)? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!