Wednesday, 23 July 2014
2014 Tour de France: Tough mountain stage – big battle for podium
As expected today's stage produced another exciting race with Rafal Majka taking his second stage win this Tour and consolidating his hold on the Climbers Jersey. He now has 149 points to Vinzenzo Nibali's 118. Its a healthy but not invincible lead. There was a further shake up of the Overall Classification with AG2R coming off best in the Podium Stakes, while Vincenzo Nibali further tightened his hold on the Yellow Jersey. He is now 5:26 ahead of Alejandro Valverde and is clearly a level above everyone else in the race.
Romain Bardet's successful attack on the last descent forced Thibaut Pinot to chase on the ascent of Pla d'Adet, which then allowed Jean-Christophe Peraud to follow Nibali's attack and Pinot lost some ground with Peraud only 8 seconds behind him. Valverde looked to be in trouble but recovered, caught and overtook Pinot and gained 5 seconds. Because of his time trialling ability Peraud is looking good for a podium place but there is still, of course, the last mountain stage to come tomorrow. Expect further changes!