Tour de France 2018 Recap and Results: Stage 14

Fraile takes the stage, Thomas holds on to yellow

RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini

Spaniard Omar Fraile ended Belgian hopes of a Tour de France victory on their national holiday with a gutsy, maiden victory on the race on the 14th stage Saturday. Britain’s Geraint Thomas, of Team Sky, retained the race leader’s yellow jersey after crossing the line with teammate Chris Froome and Dutch rival Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) just over 18 minutes in arrears.

Froome, the four-time champion, remains 1:39 behind with Dumoulin, arguably Team Sky’s biggest threat over the final stages, at 1:50. “I felt good today. Obviously it was tough, but it was pretty good,” said Thomas. “I think we can be satisfied with our run.”

With four days of climbing in the Pyrenees yet to decide the outcome of the yellow jersey, the main peloton and all the race favorites were happy to allow an early breakaway escape in the opening kilometers. Intentions seemed clear on Belgium’s national holiday after seven Belgians got in among a group of 32 front runners including Philippe Gilbert and former yellow jersey holder Greg Van Avermaet. But Astana rider Fraile, who claimed his maiden Giro d’Italia stage last year following a long breakaway, was desperate for a repeat. “It was one of the stages I had marked and when I saw the breakaway go, I told myself that I had to get in it,” he said.  “It’s a dream. Soloing over the finish line was incredible. I think when a cyclist wins on the Tour de France it’s fabulous. It’s the most important race in the world. I dedicate this victory to my girlfriend, to my family and to all those who have supported me.”

When Jasper Stuyven (Trek) capitalized on a mid-race spat between Izagirre and Slagter  to break away on his own with over 30 kilometers to race, it looked like Belgium would have an extra reason to celebrate. But Stuyven, a one-day classics specialist who finished in the top ten of Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders earlier this season, fell victim to his lack of climbing prowess. He held a 1:40 lead on a group of chasers with 10 kilometers to race, with the main peloton and Thomas at over 20 minutes in arrears.

14th stageSaint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux – Mende – Tom Dumoulin (NED – Team Sunweb) – Christopher Froome (GBR – Team Sky) – Geraint Thomas (GBR – Team Sky)

On the final, 3 kilometer climb leading to the flat finish at Mende, Fraile launched an audacious counter-attack. The Spaniard dug deep on the climb, whose average gradient is a punishing 10.1%, and soon had Stuyven in his sights. When he overtook Stuyven with two kilometers to race, Fraile did not look back. He came over the finish line with room to spare, finishing six seconds ahead of Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step), with Stuyven in third place.

Final Stage Results

1. Omar Fraile (ESP/AST) 4hr 41min 57sec
2. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA/QST) at 6.
3. Jasper Stuyven (BEL/TRE) 6.
4. Peter Sagan (SVK/BOR) 12.
5. Damiano Caruso (ITA/BMC) 17.
6. Simon Geschke (GER/SUN) 19.
7. Nicolas Edet (FRA/COF) 19.
8. Lilian Calmejane (FRA/DEN) 23.
9. Daryl Impey (RSA/MIT) 30.
10. Thomas De Gendt (BEL/LOT) 37.
11. Pierre Rolland (FRA/EFD) 51.
12. Daniel Martínez (COL/EFD) 1:06.
13. Anthony Perez (FRA/COF) 1:18.
14. Gorka Izagirre (ESP/BAH) 1:26.
15. Philippe Gilbert (BEL/QST) 1:46.
16. Thomas Degand (BEL/WGG) 1:46.
17. Stefan Kung (SUI/BMC) 2:07.
18. Audrey Amador (CRC/MOV) 2:07.
19. Tom Slagter (NED/DDT) 2:25.
20. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) 2:25.
21. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/DEN) 2:53.
22. Julien Vermote (BEL/DDT) 3:23.
23. Michael Hepburn (AUS/MIT) 3:23.
24. Kristjan Koren (SLO/BAH) 3:37.
25. Anthony Turgis (FRA/COF) 3:57.
26. Jérôme Cousin (FRA/DEN) 6:35.
27. Yves Lampaert (BEL/QST) 6:35.
28. Maciej Bodnar (POL/BOR) 7:11.
29. Primoz Roglic (SLO/LNL) 18:01.
30. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 18:09.
31. Tom Dumoulin (NED/SUN) 18:09.
32. Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) 18:09.
33. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 18:19.
34. Steven Kruijswijk (NED/LNL) 18:23.
35. Egan Bernal (COL/SKY) 18:23.
36. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 18:23.
37. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS/KAT) 18:33.
38. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 18:38.
39. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/BAH) 18:38.
40. Jakob Diemer Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 18:38.
41. Mikel Landa (ESP/MOV) 18:38.
42. Bob Jungels (LUX/QST) 18:53.
43. Pierre-Roger Latour (FRA/ALM) 18:56.
44. Mikel Nieve (ESP/MIT) 19:03.
45. Tanel Kangert (EST/AST) 19:04.
46. Guillaume Martin (FRA/WGG) 19:25.
47. Damien Gaudin (FRA/DEN) 19:28.
48. Bauke Mollema (NED/TRE) 19:35.
49. Antwan Tolhoek (NED/LNL) 19:52.
50. Dan Martin (IRL/EAU) 19:52.

Overall Standings

1. Geraint Thomas (GBR/Sky) 58hrs 10min 44sec.
2. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) at 1:39.
3. Tom Dumoulin (NED/SUN) 1:50.
4. Primoz Roglic (SLO/LNL) 2:38.
5. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 3:21.
6. Mikel Landa (ESP/MOV) 3:42.
7. Steven Kruijswijk (NED/LNL) 3:57.
8. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 4:23.
9. Jakob Diemer Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 6:14.
10. Dan Martin (IRL/EAU) 6:54.
11. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 9:36.
12. Bob Jungels (LUX/QST) 9:53.
13. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS/KAT) 10:01.
14. Mikel Nieve (ESP/MIT) 16:22.
15. Pierre-Roger Latour (FRA/ALM) 17:28.
16. Guillaume Martin (FRA/WGG) 19:55.
17. Damiano Caruso (ITA/BMC) 21:26.
18. Tanel Kangert (EST/AST) 21:36.
19. Egan Bernal (COL/SKY) 23:44.
20. Warren Barguil (FRA/FST) 25:45.
21. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) 29:02.
22. Simon Geschke (GER/SUN) 29:56.
23. Pierre Rolland (FRA/EFD) 32:22.
24. Lilian Calmejane (FRA/DEN) 34:54.
25. Rafal Majka (POL/BOR) 35:52.
26. Bauke Mollema (NED/TRE) 39:05.
27. Adam Yates (GBR/MIT) 39:56.
28. Serge Pauwels (BEL/DDT) 41:01.
29. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/BAH) 41:40.
30. Gorka Izagirre (ESP/BAH) 42:41.
31. Jon Izagirre (ESP/BAH) 43:01.
32. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA/QST) 48:04.
33. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/DEN) 54:08.
34. Daniel Martínez (COL/EFD) 54:53.
35. Stefan Kung (SUI/BMC) 55:55.
36. Philippe Gilbert (BEL/QST) 56:23.
37. David Gaudu (FRA/FDJ) 56:51.
38. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 57:30

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