News 07/17/2017

Tour de France stage 14: Nervous final, Minnaard and Martin keep up, Degand rises in GC

The 14th stage of Tour de France was animated by an early breakaway of five riders. The last survivor Thomas De Gendt was caught 11 kilometers before the finish.

The peloton was strung out heading to the final climb Côte de Saint-Pierre in Rodez. After an animated final Michael Matthews was the strongest. The Wanty-Groupe Gobert riders were not in the first part of the peloton at the foot of the final climb. Marco Minnaard kept up and finished 40th, Guillaume Martin 41st. Despite the slight loss of time Martin remains 19th. Thomas Degand rises to the 29th place in the general classification.
 
Hilaire Van der Schueren (sports director):

"On paper it was an easy stage. The peloton rides together to the final climb and over there the fight for the stage victory begins. Then you see during the stage that there is wind and the road is never flat. It went up and down the whole day, with many turns and on narrow roads. You had to be in front during the whole stage. In the peloton the decisive gap already was made before the final rise in Rodez."

"We miss a rider that can put Martin in a good position at the front. Minnaard and Backaert have done what they could. But Degand also loses more than 1 minute because of the gaps. But our GC remains unchanged with a 19th place for Martin. Now we have to survive tomorrow and then get to the rest day to recover."