It was shocking to see on stage 14 of the Tour de France yesterday that unknown perpetrators threw nails onto a 4-kilometer section of road on the final climb up the “Mur de Péguère”. This caused around 30 riders to puncture. Several riders even had two or three nails in their tyres, including Luca Paolini, who lost several minutes due to these punctures.
Nearly every team had at least one rider who punctured due to the nails on the road. The Astana team was particularly badly hit with one rider, according to an initial diagnosis, fracturing his collar bone.
“This was a very stupid gag and potentially fatal”, said an incensed Tour Director Christian Prudhomme.
It is very sad to see that there are still people who just don’t think about the potential consequences of their actions and how they are endangering the lives of others. We hope that this will be completely cleared up soon.
Apart from the unpleasant incident it was an exciting stage with an impressive solo victory from Rabobank rider Luis Leon Sanchez. Eduard Vorganov was also in good form and finished 9th on the 191 km stage as well as moving into 22nd position in the overall classification.
A bitter after taste remains,
but now it’s all about giving everything for Denis Menchov and his team before the second rest day tomorrow, which is the final rest day of this year’s Tour de France.
Today the peloton most complete the 158.5 km from Samatan to Pau. “One day before the Queen’s stage of this year’s Tour the captains of the teams will be keeping a very close eye on each other. Although it’s not a mega flat stage, the big climbs are also missing. Therefore one can hardly expect any major changes at the top of the general classification”, commented Team Liaison Manager Andreas Walzer.
After the rest day the Queen’s stage consists of 197 km, 90 of them uphill.
Four climbs in total must be overcome. The Col d’Aubisque, the Col de Tourmalet, the Col d’Aspin and the Col de Peyresourde. This stage is one for the true mountain goats and superb terrain for the Russian top rider Denis Menchov!
We wish our team all the best and success in the forthcoming tough stages!
Canyon and Katusha: learn from each other, win together!