Tour de France 2014 Favourites stage 19: Sprinters or escapees?
Friday July 25th 2014 – On an undulating terrain the stage leads in 208.5 kilometres from Maubourguet to Bergerac. The mountains are done and sprinters are up for some last rehearsals in regard to the the Champs-Élysées finish in two days. Or will it be the escapees today? After three tough weeks in the saddle it wouldn't come as huge suprise... (Slideshow route/profile)
The rolling route is perfect for a bunch of escapees. With 13 kilometres left the only categorised col lays waiting (1.3 kilometre at 7.6%), an ideal spot for the strongest rider to say goodbye to his compatriots and solo on. It remains to be see if the spinter teams will have strength to hunt down such a break away. If not, the list of possible finishers is large. Let’s start with the strong men from the Critérium du Dauphiné…
In the Dauphiné was active in a number of break away. If he has still got his form after three weeks in France he can do exactly the same ting he did in Dauphiné stage-4. Escaping to victory from a break of 13 riders.
Jan Bakelants (image)
In the Critérium du Dauphiné Bakelants was even more active then the Russian. Being present in the Trofimov-break it took the Belgian rider two more days to find luck. He initiated the break with Lieuwe Westra and the two of them finished the break also, with Bakelants outsmarting the Dutchman.
Was furious at himself after his defeat, but he didn’t take long to celebrate his moment of glory. The day after he was the glorious victor in the Dauphiné’s Queen Stage. Always a man of action and break aways, Westra was brought to Astana to help Nibali secure a Tour de France-podium, but when given the opportunity the strong Dutchman will surely take his chances. Excespt for that Dauphiné-stage he was victor in the Barcelona-stage in Catalunya as well.
If the spinter teams are awake, the 26-year old German obviously is topfavourite to finish the work that’s been done. A successful rehearsal will boost his confidence for the ‘Queen Sprint’ in two days at Champs-Élysées.
Tour de France 2014 stage 19: Images and more
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