Tour de France: Sensational climb in Mende sees Matthews win stage 14

By Sports Desk July 16, 2022 392

Michael Matthews held off a challenge from Alberto Bettiol to win stage 14 of the Tour de France, while Jonas Vingegaard kept Tadej Pogacar's challenge for the yellow jersey at arm's length.

The 192.5km race from Saint-Etienne to Mende saw a leading group of Matthews, Luis Leon Sanchez and Felix Grossschartner pull away with a few kilometres remaining, only for the chasing group to reach them inside the final 3km.

Bettiol then produced an impressive effort to not only catch Matthews, but overtake him, though the Australian came back to ultimately take the victory, his first in the Tour de France in five years.

The Team BikeExchange–Jayco rider had already finished second twice in this year's tour at Longwy and Lausanne, but showed immense grit to climb to the win on Saturday, producing a second wind to fight off the challenge of Bettiol and go one better.

Matthews achieved an average speed of 45.6km/h in the last 52km, and said after his win: "“I think it's pretty much the story of my career. I've had so many rollercoasters up and down but my wife and my daughter kept believing in me. How many times have I been smashed down but I always get back up? 

"This was for my daughter today; she's four years old and I really just wanted to show her why I'm away all the time and what I do it for. And today was that day.

"Today was that day. I wanted to show everybody I'm not just a sprinter. I can ride like I rode today."

The battle for the yellow jersey saw Pogacar try to pull away from Vingegaard to make up some of the 2:22 second deficit on the General Classification leader, but the duo eventually finished with the same time, over 12 minutes behind Matthews.

The efforts of both against one another did see them pull away from Geraint Thomas, who remains in third place in the GC, though lost 17 seconds on the two ahead of him.

Mixed day for Aussie riders

It has been a bad time of late for Lotto Soudal rider Caleb Ewan, with a nightmare Giro d'Italia earlier in the year and a Tour de France to so far forget, including a crash during Friday's stage 13 leaving him injured.

The Australian did not have quite the Saturday his compatriot Matthews enjoyed, but Ewan's mission was simply to make it through within the cut-off time, which he was able to do, albeit nearly 40 minutes after Matthews had sealed victory.

STAGE RESULTS

1. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange–Jayco) 4:30:53
2. Alberto Bettiol (EF Education–Easypost) +0:15
3. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +0:34
4. Marc Soler (UAE–Team Emirates) +0:50
5. Patrick Konrad (BORA–hansgrohe) +0:58

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS 

General Classification

1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 55:31:01
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) +2:22
3. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) +2:43

Points Classification

1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 333
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) 164
3. Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 155

King of the Mountains

1. Simon Geschke (Cofidis) 46
2. Louis Meintjes (Intermarche–Wanty–Gobert Materiaux) 39
3. Neilson Powless (EF Education–Easypost) 37

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Last modified on Saturday, 16 July 2022 12:17
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.