Thursday, May 26, 2022
HomeDiariesLe Tour de France 2014 - Stage 16; Carcassonne - Bagnères-de-Luchon, 237...

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 16; Carcassonne – Bagnères-de-Luchon, 237 km

-

Bagnères-de-Luchon

We’ve left Carcassonne and heading for Bagnères-de-Luchon. But first, our favourite picture of the Tour so far ?

L’Équipe’s shot of F des J manager Marc Madiot kissing Arnold Jeannesson after Stage 16 for all the good work he did for Pinot during his six-and-a-quarter hour 16 shift.

Some folks poke fun at Madiot; we like his style – committed, passionate and outspoken.

As a rider he was brilliant; a French Pro champion, two wins in Paris-Roubaix and top tens in Flanders – he’s got the T-shirt, in our book.

And his boy Thibaut has the white jersey and a foot solidly on the podium.

Stage winner, Mick Rogers was impressive yesterday; taking his third Grand Tour stage within a few weeks.

And proving – if it were needed – that Tinkoff-Saxo is not just Alberto Contador.

We were on the final descent – just for a wee change.

Truth is that we couldn’t find a spot to stop on the Bales so, like the flexible journos that we are we holed up on the descent.

It’s actually something we’ve talked about doing for ages, so Stage 16 was the day.

The speed is pretty breath taking – and for a ‘poor descender’ Marc’s boy Thibaut does not bad at all.

Bagnères-de-Luchon
Thibaut Pinot Is descending rather well actually. Photo©B.Bade/ASO

He gets up them pretty good too – even distancing Nibali on the last climb albeit was Movistar who did the bulk of the damage with Visconti, Izaguirre and Gadret all burning big watts for Valverde.

By the time the race passed us Nibali was back with Pinot – Valverde was there too, of course and Peraud.

Bagnères-de-Luchon
They’re all great bike handles, but Nibali is exceptional. Photo©Ed Hood

Two jerseys we immediately noticed as MiA were the red of Tejay van Garderen and white of Romain Bardet.

Bardet came first, the worry on his face was all to obvious as his diminutive team mate Sam Dumoulin guided the then best young rider in the race down the rapid and at times very technical descent.

Bagnères-de-Luchon
Bardet wasn’t on a good day. Photo©Ed Hood

Tejay and his BMC amigos were beyond worried, there was panic in their eyes as they tried to limit the BMC man’s losses – and were on the ragged edge – but with Thibaut rampant that was always going to be difficult.

Bagnères-de-Luchon
Tejay had some teammates around him.

The top ten in this race has been anything but cast in stone and these stages are throwing up all sorts of surprises but most importantly we still have three Frenchmen in the top five in Pinot, Peraud and Bardet and that has to be the best thing that’s happened to le Tour in years.

Bagnères-de-Luchon
Kevin Reza of Europcar. Photo©Ed Hood
Bagnères-de-Luchon
Porte has fallen out of the top ten. Photo©Ed Hood
Bagnères-de-Luchon
We took some time to visit the Fabio Casartelli memorial on the descent of the Col de Portet d’Aspet. Photo©Ed Hood
Bagnères-de-Luchon
Mick Rogers heads for a stage win in another Grand Tour, after his fantastic victory in Stage 20 of the Giro. Photo©B.Bade/ASO

Our base camp is in Lourdes it’s a funny old town; a place for respect, reflection and hope – one of the world’s most important catholic shrines.

The fact that it’s perhaps the most commercialised, tacky, over priced place in France, if not Europe and at night could be part of the set of “Blade Runner in Blackpool” rather takes you by surprise.

But it’s a good base for our Pyreneean adventure and we’re there for three nights; which is cool, saving a lot of packing and unpacking.

Bagnères-de-Luchon
It wouldn’t be the Tour without the sunflower shots. Photo©B.Bade/ASO

Tomorrow we’ll be on the Col de Val Louron-Azet, hours ahead of the race – no slip-ups for this stage.

The sun is baking but Dave has cheered us up no end by checking the weather forecast – ‘chances of thunder storms.’

Wish us luck…

A demain.

Bagnères-de-Luchon
The time-gap gal has a bit of fun. Photo©B.Bade/ASO
Ed Hood
Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 47 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, a team manager, and a sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days for some of the world's top riders. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Le Tour de France 2009 – Stage 14: Colmar > Besançon, 199km

"Bonjour," really that should be the German equivalent there of, but my German is even more limited than my French. We spent the night in Freiburg here at Le Tour de France - just across the German border, the hotel room is huge, if a tad Spartan; but that didn't stop us from sleeping like bricks, before starting our day to Besançon.

Le Tour de France 2013 – Stage 10: Saint-Gildas-des-Bois > Saint-Malo, 193km. Kittel’s Second Win

It's not often he gets it wrong, but he did today on the stage from Saint-Gildas-des-Bois to Saint Malo. Cav let Steegmans go and decided to go 'in the wheels' with Greipel and Kittel, tangled with Veelers - taking the Dutchman down - and ended up third.

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 13; Saint-Étienne – Chamrousse, 200 km. Vincenzo Nibali scores a Third

10 years ago we’d have been knocked out by the riding of Vincenzo Nibali – now we question. It’s not a case of cynicism or love of the ‘D-word’ gossip, it’s just that we were fooled for so long and so comprehensively that if a rider is dominating in the fashion of ‘The Shark’ then one does wonder – it’s impossible not to.

Le Tour de France 2017 – Stage 16: Le Puy-en-Velay – Romans-sur-Isère, 165km. Michael Matthews inches closer to Green

In his classic song, ‘Pink Houses’ John Mellencamp says;  ‘And there's winners, and there's losers - but they ain't no big deal.’ We’re not sure that Sunweb or QuickStep, the biggest winners and losers of the day would agree. Sunweb’s day was perfect; they isolated Kittel; took Matthews to the intermediate sprint win and then the stage win.

Le Tour de France 2017 – Stage 15: Laissac-Sévérac l’Église – Le Puy-en-Velay, 189.5km. Mollema in the mountains

Sunday, Stage 15 and VeloVeritas’s last shift on Tour - so we headed for the biggest hill we could find to remind ourselves how special and beautiful France and this race really are. Today we’re in the heartland, perhaps not deepest agricultural ‘France Profonde;’ the rural, simple, beautiful heart of the nation, not with the gorges and cols - but it’s quiet, lovely and some of the simple, striking images surprise as you drive the parcours.

Le Tour de France 2017 – Stage 17: La Mure – Serre-Chevalier, 183km. Primož Roglič ahead of the ‘Royal’ party

A decisive battle? No. A day of attrition? Absolutely. The ‘Royal’ group at the head of affairs behind winning LottoNL ski jumper turned cyclist Slovenian, Primož Roglič speaks for itself; Christopher Froome ((Sky & GB) is back in his usual position, at the front with a hugely strong team to back him and a time trial ‘buffer’ if he needs it.

At Random

One More Bunchie (Preview: TDF 2012 Stage 6)

One More Bunchie... Today we see the closing stage of the opening flurry of salvos fired in the battle for the Green Jersey. This will be another bunch kick stage that covers 210km, and brings the race in range of the mountains and hills that will play a role in deciding the final order of the overall contenders.

Le Tour de France 2010, Stage 13: Rodez-Revel; Vino’s Day

Bonjour from Le Tour de France in Rodez-Revel! Vino - he's a boy. Born 16-09-1973 in Petropavlosk, he was a stagiere with Casino in 1997; he won the Dunkirk Four Day in his first full season and finished that year with six wins - an impressive debut.

The Finale: Stage 20 (bunchie) Very Tardy!

The strangest stage of the whole race from the point of view of the staff is the finale into Paris. Our team base is in northern Spain, and so all non-essential equipment went from Bordeaux back to Spain (rather than go to Spain from Bordeaux via Paris — a 1200km detour). Thus we were truckless (or untrucked?) for the only time in the race. Very Tardy.

Giro d’Italia 2013 – Stage 10: Cordenons – Montasio 167km. Sky’s Rigoberto Uran Prevails

The Giro isn’t over for Bradley Wiggins, but every day he has like today makes it harder to envisage that he’ll make the podium in Brescia. He lost time again today as team mate Uran launched an attack with five miles to go and no one could get him back; the plan looked to be that all Brad had to do was sit on the other GC riders as they chased Rigoberto Uran.

John Herety – Gearing up for Girvan

John Herety has won a Peace Race stage, French amateur classics, the British pro road champs and was robbed of the GP Pino Cerami-the judges gave it to local hero Rony van Holen-but photos later showed that the Englishman's wheel was first across the line. Now he's passing all that experience on to a new generation through his role as team manager of London squad Rapha-Condor Recycling, who are north of the border to recce the hills, gravel, rain, wind farms and sheep that are-Girvan.

Ross Lamb – With Swift Carbon Pro Racing for 2020

It was this time last year when we last spoke to Ross Lamb; he told us he was going to be enjoying a change of scenery in 2019, to the Toulouse suburbs to race with GSC Blagnac–Velo Sport 31. Nice, we thought – but as oor Rabbie said; 'the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley'. In modern parlance; ‘s##t happens!’