Lyon, France, Sep 12 (efe-epa).- Soren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb) disrupted what was shaping up to be battle of the sprinters in Stage 14 of the Tour de France, launching an attack in the final 3km (1.9mi) to claim the laurels here Saturday.
“I’ve dreamed about this but it’s always hard to say ‘I’m good enough’ before you’ve done it. I’m amazed and full of emotions,” the 26-year-old Dane said after the 194km ride from Clermont-Ferrand to Lyon.
Sunweb’s second stage win of the 2020 Tour came on a day that saw no changes in the top 10 of the General Classification, with Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) retaining the yellow jersey and his 44-second advantage over Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates).
Along with the two Slovenians in first and second, the GC top 10 includes a quartet of Colombians, two Spaniards and a Briton.
Kragh Andersen’s teammate Marc Hirschi prevailed on Thursday with an impressive ride that cemented his status as one of cycling’s emerging stars.
Just weeks after turning 22, the Swiss rider won the longest stage in this year’s Tour, a victory Kragh Andersen described as an enormous boost to the morale of Team Sunweb.
“It gives the whole group motivation and we believe in ourselves,” the Danish rider said Saturday. “When you see this young guy doing these amazing things I also get inspired and I believe a little bit more in myself.”
Peter Sagan, whose Bora-Hansgrohe teammates worked hard to put him in position to win in a sprint, could do no better than fourth, 15 seconds behind the stage winner, and continues to trail Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick Step) by 43 points in the battle for the green jersey.
The Slovakian three-time world champion has won the green jersey all seven times that he has finished the Tour de France.
Romain Bardet (AG2R) did not start Saturday’s stage after an MRI scan determined that he suffered a “small hemorrhage” in his brain as a result of a crash on Stage 13.
The Frenchman began Friday’s stage fourth in the GC, but ended up losing more than 2 minutes to Roglic after taking a tumble on a descent.
Though Bardet, 29, was able to ride the remaining 86km, he complained of headaches and nausea following the stage and doctors concluded that he had a concussion.
Sunday will belong to the climbers and the GC men, as the Stage 15 route includes stretches of three of the four access roads to Grand Colombier with a finish at the summit of the 1,501m (4,921ft) mountain. EFE soc/dr