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"The @Ride_Argyle boys were perfect but I wasn't. Never nice having a day like today but time to move onwards, plenty more mtns coming."

Photo: Sirotti








15.07.2015 @ 03:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Cannondale-Garmin had high hopes for the high mountaintop finish – the first at the 102nd edition of the Tour de France. Stage 10 followed the first rest day of the Tour and marked the race’s first foray into the Pyrenees. With the first week of racing featuring flat roads, classic-like course and time trials, Tuesday’s race was always going to be a shock to the system. How would the legs respond?


The stage was all about the hors categorie La Pierre-Saint Martin climb – a 15.3 kilometer monster of a climb at 7.4%, with the steepest bits in the middle averaging 10-12%.


Frenchman Pierrick Fédrigo (Bretagne – Seche Environnement) went away solo on this Bastille Day. Kenneth van Bilsen (Cofidis) bridged across in the second hour of racing.


The leading duo stretched out their advantage to nearly 15 minutes under the watchful eyes of the general classification team. Cannondale-Garmin massed on the front on the run-in to lower slopes of La Pierre-Saint Martin bringing Dan Martin and Andrew Talansky into position before the roads rose. At the foot of the summit finish, the leaders advantage had fallen to just under three mountains.


The climb immediately did damage to the peloton with splits forming from the start. Ten kilometers from the finish, a small group of 12-15 riders had taken shape. Three kilometers later only Chris Froome (Team Sky), Richie Porte (Team Sky) and Nairo Quintana held court at the head of the race.


Ryder Hesjedal was the first Cannondale-Garmin rider to reach the top of La Pierre-Saint Martin. The Canadian crossed the finish line with a small group and was followed by Martin and Talansky who finished side-by-side.


"The @Ride_Argyle boys were perfect but I wasn't. Never nice having a day like today but time to move onwards, plenty more mtns coming," Talansky tweeted after the stage.


“There’s more to bike racing than the GC, so I think we will definitely rally for everything else there is out there to go for,” Hesjedal told Velonews. “I want to come into the form I know I’m capable of having and try to win a stage and see what else I can do in the process.”


The Tour de France continues on Wednesday with a188km stage between Pau and Cauterets. The second day in the Pyrenees, stage 11 includes six categorized climbs including a category one and a hors categorie. The race finishes uphill with a category three kick to the line.


“I think we have to have a look and see how Andrew [Talansky] is tomorrow, what his condition is and what we can do with it,” sports director Charles Wegelius said.



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