Frenchman Barguil Wins Tour Stage on Bastille Day
July 14, France's National Day, saw the professional cyclists in the Tour de France peloton contest the shortest stage of this year's Tour, while French President Emmanuel Macron and President of USA Donald Trump were busy attending festive Bastille Day celebrations in Paris. The 101 kilometer route from Saint-Girons to Foix featured three tough category one climbs and set the scene for an aggressive day of racing as riders from various teams attacked from the opening flag to the very closing meters - especially French riders were hoping to be victorious on Bastille Day.
After a final fierce and fast descent followed the final climb on today's menu, the second day in the Pyrenees concluded in a small group sprint across the finish line in Foix. Barguil managed to create a sufficient advantage in the sprint for him to be able to raise his arms in the air while crossing the line followed by Nairo Quintana (Team Movistar), who had animated today's stage, and Alberto Contador (Team Trek-Segafredo), who had used the day to show competitors and spectators he's still a factor to be counted with.
"This is an incredible victory to take, it hasn't properly sunk in yet," a thrilled Barguil told Roadcycling.com after well-deserved celebrations on the podium. "We were close last Sunday already, but we kept our confidence and decided on an offensive strategy from the beginning today."
"After I made it up the first climb I knew that I wasn't going to give up. Before I knew it I was at 800 meters to go, looking at the other guys and realizing who would attack and when and I used this knowledge to my advantage in the sprint that would decide the outcome of the stage. I've been so close to the win quite a few times now, so to have that winning feeling inside me today is incredible. Of course a victory on Bastille day makes this even more special for me and for France."
Romain Bardet, who is in second place in the general classification for his AG2R-La Mondiale team, raised concerns about the way the other general classification favorites contest the Tour stages. "It was a very tactical stage, more so than physically challenging, and there were a lot of guys marking each other, especially the guys high up on the general classification. It's a shame that there is so much careful calculating going on in the middle of the second week of this year's Tour de France. There is still a lot of the race to go and we opened the door again to riders that we had already managed to distance, so I hope we won’t be biting our fingers nervously in Paris."
"Personally I felt very good, but it will be difficult to find any freedom to relax now. And besides that, this stage final was unfavorable for attacks. I just had to follow all day. It was a great race with real champions like Quintana and Contador, who have had their pride hurt a little these last few days. So they fought to come back into the game, as well as Mikel Landa, who is going to be very dangerous now. Behind, there was a lot of marking going on. It is a bit of a shame, but it should make the race even more exciting."
Orica-Scott's 24-year-old Simon Yates finished fifth in today's stage and thereby gained nine seconds on race leader Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team) and closest best young rider rival Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates). Yates now sits seventh overall.
"I enjoy days like today where you can really get stuck in and give it a go," Yates explained. "It was a short stage, very aggressive and I'm sure it was exciting to watch. Yesterday was more about survival because it was such a long day and you really have to worry about a lot of things and saving the legs."
Stage 13 results:
1 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb 02:36:29
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
3 Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
4 Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky Pro Cycling 0:00:02
5 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:01:39
6 Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors
7 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky Pro Cycling 0:01:48
8 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky Pro Cycling
9 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team
10 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Team Cannondale - Drapac
11 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
General classification following stage 13:
1 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 55:30:06
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky Pro Cycling 0:00:06
3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:25
4 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Team Cannondale - Drapac 0:00:35
5 Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky Pro Cycling 0:01:09
6 Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors 0:01:32
7 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:02:04
8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:07
9 Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team Emirates 0:04:51
10 Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:05:22
11 George Bennett (NZl) Team Lotto NL-Jumbo 0:06:24
12 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky Pro Cycling 0:09:50
13 Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:10:33
14 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:11:13
15 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb 0:14:05
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