Tour de France stage 14: Carlos Rodríguez takes maiden Grand Tour stage win in Morzine

Vingegaard takes one second on Pogačar on an epic day in the Alps

Clock17:27, Saturday 15th July 2023
Carlos Rodríguez takes his first Tour de France stage win

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Carlos Rodríguez takes his first Tour de France stage win

On a day that many thought would be a showdown between the two Tour de France favourites, Carlos Rodríguez (Ineos Grenadiers) took advantage of the cat-and-mouse racing between Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) to get away on his own and take a big win in Morzine.

Whilst Vingegaard and Pogačar played a game for bonus seconds on the Col de Joux plan, the young Spanish star managed to recover from behind to rejoin the pair over the top, before attacking them on the descent and soloing to victory on the line.

The top two were then left to duke it out for second and third, with Pogačar claiming runner up on the stage but conceding a second to Vingegaard on the overall after the Dane won the sprint for bonus seconds on the final climb.

“It’s incredible,” Rodríguez said. “I have no words. Being here was a dream, getting a victory in the best race in the world is incredible. It’s something I’ve always wanted to achieve, and now I’ve got a victory. I’m super happy, super grateful to the team, for all the work, for believing in me. It wouldn’t have been possible without them."

“I just focused on doing the best climb I could,” he said of his return on the climb. “Going at my own rhythm, and then doing the descent as fast as possible. They started looking at each other and I thought, going full gas to the finish I could descend well, so I wanted to take advantage of it. I took some risks without going to the absolute limit because I didn’t want to crash, although I was close in a couple of corners that I thought weren’t so sharp.”

Thanks to his efforts, Rodríguez moves up to third overall, displacing Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) for a spot in the podium places. The victory also makes it two in two days for Ineos Grenadiers, after Michał Kwiatkowski's triumph on stage 13.

The first big Alpine test

Stage 14 of the Tour de France presented a huge day in the mountains for the riders to tackle. A few leg-stretching climbs early on led to the double header of the Col de la Ramaz and the monstrous Col de Joux Plane and then a fast and technical descent into Morzine and the finish line.

Shortly after the start of the stage, there was a huge crash that caused the race to be halted whilst medical staff saw to riders. Unfortunately it saw the abandonment of Antonio Pedrero (Movistar), Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) and Esteban Chaves (EF Education-EasyPost). Shortly after racing restarted, Romain Bardet (dsm-firmenich) and James Shaw (EF Education-EasyPost) also crashed on a descent and had to abandon.

There was a battle for the breakaway meanwhile and a group of strong climbers got away at the front, which ended up being a group of 21 men, including the King of the Mountains, Neilson Powless of EF Education EasyPost. The group got a gap of around a minute but Jumbo-Visma behind were keeping them in their sights.

Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) made an effort on the Col de Feu to grab some mountains points and then before the start of the Col de la Ramaz, the lead group was down to 11 riders. Ciccone and Mike Woods (EF Education-EasyPost) tried to go clear on the climb but by now the chasing peloton had caught them and passed with the duo 8km from the top, led by a strong Jumbo-Visma train.

Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) found the pace too much and was dropped before the top of the climb. A reduced group of 15 riders then started the descent led by Wout van Aert and Jumbo-Visma and into the valley road.

On the Col de Joux Plane, there was an infernal pace set by Jumbo-Visma but UAE Team Emirates, working for Tadej Pogačar were looking strong too and each team was shelling riders out the back. Seven riders then were following behind Rafal Majka of UAE until around 5km to go when Adam Yates came to the front and managed to distance Sepp Kuss of Jumbo-Visma.

It was now three at the front with Yates leading Pogačar and the yellow jersey of Jonas Vingegaard behind.

Pogačar managed to put in an attack but he sat up before the top so he could fight for the bonus seconds at the top of the climb. In the end, he attacked as a moto was in front of him, which Vingegaard countered to pick up the seconds instead.

Carlos Rodríguez managed to catch back on over the descent off the Joux Plane and sailed past the lead two down towards the finish. Pogačar and Vingegaard never let the gap out beyond a couple of seconds but the young Spanish rider managed to hold on and take his first stage of the Tour de France and Ineos’s second stage in a row.

Pogačar managed to sprint to second ahead of Vingegaard but due to bonus seconds he now loses one second overall to now sit behind yellow by ten seconds.

With his stage win bonuses, Rodgríguez jumped past Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) onto the third step on the podium by just one second. Another huge day is in store tomorrow with another summit finish up to Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc.

Race Results

1

es flag

RODRIGUEZ Carlos

INEOS Grenadiers

3H 58' 45"

2

si flag

POGACAR Tadej

UAE Team Emirates

+ 5"

3

dk flag

VINGEGAARD Jonas

Jumbo-Visma

"

4

gb flag

YATES Adam

UAE Team Emirates

+ 10"

5

us flag

KUSS Sepp

Jumbo-Visma

+ 57"

6

au flag

HINDLEY Jai

BORA-hansgrohe

+ 1' 46"

7

at flag

GALL Felix

AG2R Citroën Team

"

8

es flag

BILBAO Pello

Bahrain Victorious

+ 3' 19"

9

gb flag

YATES Simon

Team Jayco-AlUla

+ 3' 21"

10

fr flag

MARTIN Guillaume

Cofidis

+ 5' 57"

Provided by FirstCycling

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