Already ninth, sixth and third again in Malaucène on Wednesday, Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) finally transformed the test on this Tour de France 2021 by winning the 14th stage on Saturday July 10. The route between Carcassonne and Quillan promised an intense, fierce battle on a hilly course. She did not disappoint with a solo victory for the Dutchman after a 42 kilometer raid.
He beat Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Sergio Higuita (EF Education-Nippo). The French Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) made a magnificent operation in the general classification by climbing from ninth to second place behind Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) thanks to his 11th place of the day.
>> Find all the videos of the Tour de France 2021 on france.tv
Winner of the Tour of Lombardy in 2019 and a Tour stage in 2017, Bauke Mollema has found a profile that perfectly matches his qualities as a strong rider. The member of the Trek-Segafredo lost company to his thirteen escape companions in the descent of the coast of Galinagues, 42 kilometers from Quillan.
The lonely business seemed so daring that no one thought it appropriate to take his wheel. The sixth of the Tour de France 2013 may also have taken advantage of the lack of lucidity of the fugitives, tired by a grueling first part of the race, to glean their 17th professional victory.
Like every day of this Grande Boucle, and even more on a route suitable for backpackers, the fight to take the breakaway has burned the thighs. The first hour of racing was swallowed up at an impressive average speed of 48 km / h. A first group tried their luck. But he never managed to pass a minute ahead and was caught by a peloton led by the teams not represented at the front, 106 kilometers from the finish.
Six kilometers further, on the first slopes of the Montségur pass (4.2 km at 8.7%), Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Wout Poels (Bahrain-Victorious), motivated by the goal of the jersey polka dots and accompanied by Mattia Cattaneo finally initiated the good breakaway. They were joined 70 kilometers from the finish by a group of pursuers made up among others of Bauke Mollema but also of Frenchman Guillaume Martin, on the lookout for a good shot in the general classification.
After 60 kilometers together, and once the summit of the Côte de Galinagues has passed, Bauke Mollema has made use of his qualities as a descender to give away company to his opponents. And he did not get stuck in the formidable and unprecedented Col de Saint-Louis (4.7 km at 7.4%). Despite the relentless offensives of the pursuers Sergio Higuita (EF Education-Nippo), Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Michael Woods (new polka dot jersey), the Batavian managed to rock to the top , at 17 kilometers, with a lead of 1’07 ”. The victory was then outlined in front of Mollema especially as the pursuers were marked behind him.
Among these pursuers, the French figured well. Élie Gesbert took 7th place on the stage, just ahead of Quentin Pacher. Eleventh, Guillaume Martin realizes the nice coup of the day in the general classification by climbing to second place, behind Tadej Pogacar.
The Norman took more than five minutes on Rigoberto Uran who descended on the last step of the podium. Martin is 4’04 ” behind the yellow jersey and 1’14 ” in front of the Colombian. The climber of the Cofidis gives French spectators a bit of a smile in a dying Tour de France for the Tricolores.