Wednesday, October 27, 2021
HomeDiariesLe Tour de France 2014 - Stage 19; Maubourguet Pays du Val...

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 19; Maubourguet Pays du Val d’Adour – Bergerac, 208 km. Navardauskas Solo


NavardauskasThere’s always drama when you work le Tour.

We’ve followed Tour time trials for years; roll up at the start, tell the dude which rider you’re following, they give you a windscreen sticker, marshall you into position at the appointed time and off you go.

This year, however we were notified that we had to attend a meeting on Friday evening at the Permanence after the stage if we wished to follow a rider.

Fair enough – but then they changed the venue a few hours before the meet was due.

We got caught in one of those horrendous Tour de France traffic jams then couldn’t find the damn venue so I guess it’ll be ‘Plan B’ – work the start then take the ‘off course’ route north to where it ‘kisses’ the parcours then set up camp to time check/take pix.

You gotta be flexible.

We worked the start today, at Maubourguet; it was nice to be among the busses, bikes and riders.

And to catch up with the guys we’ve known for years – Charly Wegelius for example.

Charly Wegelius. Photo©Ed Hood

He’s always glad to see us and chat away.

We asked him what his take was on the current; ‘what’s Nibali taking ?’ frenzy.

A school of thought which we don’t subscribe too, I might add.

“All you have to do is look at his track record in Grand Tours in recent years; it’s not like he’s come from nowhere.

And the fact is that every Grand Tour winner for the next 50 years who’s a level above the rest will have the same things said.”

And we have to tell you that we weren’t surprised when Navardauskas won, today.

Charly told us that they were really going for it, Stage 19 was their last chance with just the time trial and Champs Elysees to go.

Tom Jelte Slagter. Photo©Ed Hood

But the man who did the groundwork for the big Lithuanian to win was Netherlands champion, Tom Jelte Slagter.

Craig Geater. Photo©Ed Hood

GreenEdge spanner ace Craig Geater was there too; he’ll be in Glasgow for the TT and road race as NZ team manager – we just hope the power doesn’t spoil him.

Jens Keukeleire. Photo©Ed Hood

We had a quick skek in the Tour Village – not many riders to report although GreenEdge’s Jens Keukeleire was there and getting directions from ex-pro Bart Leysens.

Elia Viviani. Photo©Ed Hood

Cannondale roadman sprinter and omnium rider, Elia Viviani – who we first encountered burning up the boards at Grenoble – is in support of Sagan here and must be a tired man – he rode the Giro too.

Brian Coquard. Photo©Ed Hood

Another fast man we first saw at Grenoble is Brian Coquard; Olympic omnium silver medallist and Worlds U23 Road Race silver medallist in Copenhagen.

He’s adapted to pro life well and has been winning; but the Tour is a different animal – maybe next year ?

Chava. Photo©Ed Hood

His ‘sell by’ may be approaching but Chava still exudes cool and is very popular.

Matthieu Ladagnous. Photo©Ed Hood

Matthieu Ladagnous seems to have been riding le Tour forever – and with Pinot’s current form he’s entitled to smile.

Vino chats. Photo©Ed Hood

Vino was in demand from the journos – to answer the same old questions about his past.

He kitted up was caught and served his ban – but he’s a pariah because he didn’t break down in tears and say, ‘sorry.’

If you do that then you’re a ‘good doper’ – it baffles me.

Ekimov. Photo©Ed Hood

If you check the UCI world track records pages you’ll find plenty mentions of ‘Ekimov V.’

Despite spending a lot of time in the company of a certain Texan, he’s Teflon coated and now a main man at Katusha.

Greipel. Photo©Ed Hood

No one asks le Gorille any questions they shouldn’t, though.

Stage 19 didn’t go his way so it’s all about Sunday and those cobble stones of the Place de la Concorde.

Chris Horner. Photo©Ed Hood

For a Grand Tour winner, there’s not much of a buzz around Chris Horner – but it has to be said that he’s riding into good form…

Hanseeno Shoes. Photo©Ed Hood

We grabbed a pic of Adam’s famous shoes – the new version looks much nicer but requires a bank raid to facilitate purchase.

Tony Martin. Photo©Ed Hood

Tony Martin was smiley en route the start – maybe the thought of saying ‘hello’ to his TT bike on Saturday ?

Jack Bauer. Photo©Ed Hood

And ever polite and grounded Jack was in demand from French TV just before the roll out.

And at that we could have headed for a bar; but instead we headed up the ‘off course’ route, Bastide d’Armagnac and the cyclists chapel in search of Luis Ocana.

Luis Ocana. Photo©Ed Hood

He was married here and his funeral service was conducted here; albeit his ashes were scattered back in the land of his birth – España.

The chapel. Photo©Ed Hood

Based on the Madonna del Ghisallo cyclists’ chapel in Lombardy it’s bigger and more reverential than it’s Italian equivalent.

Immortalised in glass. Photo©Ed Hood

Ocana is immortalized in stained glass which was painted and fired by former French Professional Road Race Champion Henri Anglade.

Henri has an image of himself up there to catch the light – he’s on his bike en route Santiago de Compostella; final destination on the ‘Way of Saint James’ pilgrimage and venue for the closing TT of this year’s Vuelta.

Among the huge amount of memorabilia on display is Tom Simpson’s leader’s jersey from Paris-Nice.

Jersey display. Photo©Ed Hood

Tom’s memorabilia. Photo©Ed Hood

A special place – but there are deadlines to meet and we have hightail it…

A demain.

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and 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. 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 19: Bourgoin-Jallieu > Aubenas, 178km

We left Bourgoin-Jallieu this morning, but first a quick run through some of the teams' performances; Cervélo: their Tour has been a good one, Haussler and Hushovd have won stages and Thor has made himself a whole load of new fans by the way he has ridden in pursuit of green.

Le Tour de France 2013 – Stage 18: Gap > Alpe-d’Huez, 168km. Riblon Saves AG2R’s Tour

I could never be a ski bum, 60 Euros per night for the room here at the top of Alpe-d’Huez - but you have to pay extra for sheets - and towels - there's no toilet paper - then you have to clean the place at the end of it. A bit like borstal really, with off-hand, condescending staff.

Bernard Thévenet – the Man who Ended Eddy Merckx’s Reign at the Tour de France

By the mid-70’s Belgian, Eddy Merckx was well established as the “Cannibal”, an insatiable creature for whom only victory satisfied the hunger. In 1975 a handsome, smiling Frenchman ended Merckx’s reign of fear in one of the all-time great Tours. Bernard Thevenet is older now, but still handsome and affable, he took time-out from his role as “chef de piste” at the Grenoble Six Day race a year or two ago to talk to VeloVeritas. The interview was conducted in his office, he brought his chair round the desk so there were no barriers between us; I couldn’t help but notice that he had his shoes off…

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.

Paul Sherwen

‘Well Phil,’ the words that we all remember so well, used by Paul Sherwen when he was about to put co-commentator Phil Liggett right about something during one of the hundreds of Tour de France stages the pair covered for TV networks from England to Australia via the USA. Sadly, we’ll hear that catch phrase no more, the 62 year-old Briton having passed away in his sleep at his home in Kampala in his adopted nation of Uganda on Sunday.

Same, but so different (TDF 2012 Stage 13)

So if you looked at the result of last night and saw Greipel from Sagan from Boassen Hagen, you’d likely think “Aaah just another bunchie” – it was certainly the finale that I was expecting! And was far from the finale that actually happened. BMC took advantage of the stiff crosswinds and tough little wall 25km from the finish to send Cadel shooting off the front of the bunch.

At Random

Andrew Underwood – Scottish 100 Mile TT Champion 2019

There’s been a ‘changing of the guard’ in Scottish middle distance time trialling in 2019; Iain Macleod [Aberdeen Wheelers] in the '50' and now the ‘100’ with Andrew Underwood [Carse of Gowrie Velo] topping the podium he stood on a lower step of last year.

World Road Race Championships 2012 – Mens Road Race

The ‘best world championships ever’ the organisers are saying – but I guess they would say that? The Mens Road Race was certainly a good race; and if last year’s race in Copenhagen was a model of GB team work for Cav, then this year was all about Belgium and ‘Phil.’

Aidan Duff – Part One; Six Years Racing in France, Victories and Voeckler

Continuing on our recent Irish theme we caught up with Aidan Duff, former Vendee U professional and now owner of Fifty One Cycles – building bespoke carbon frames. 'Fifty One?' we hear you say... The race number for Merckx, Ocana, Thevenet and Hinault when they won the Tour de France. With tales of Jean Rene Bernadeau, Tommy Voeckler and building custom carbon – not ‘off the peg from Taiwan’ - we cover some interesting ground. Let’s go...

The VeloVeritas Years – 2018: John Archibald’s National ’10’ Championships

A National Champs in Scotland? We weren't going to miss that! Together with the strong possibility that one of our 'own', Ribble's John Archibald could take the win in the RTTC '10' Championships on roads we know so well meant that we were up and out early to be able to catch the early starts as well as the 'bigs'. This day exemplifies what VeloVeritas is all about - standing at the roadside with cameras and stopwatches, discussing form and equipment, weather and traffic volumes, capturing the effort and bringing the day to our readers, and is our pick for 2018.

Pete Smith

British cycling recently lost one of its unsung but great riders and personalities with the sad news that Pete Smith has died at the age of 76 after being in collision with a motor vehicle.

Tour de France 4 Stages In, 4 Contenders

Tour de France 4 Stages... We have finally made it to the first of two stages that have loomed large over this whole race, and will play a huge role in determining who is the 2011 Tour de France champion. Today is officially a filthy stage on the bike. 200km, three hors categorie climbs, approximately 470om vertical gain through the stage, including a single climb from 335m above sea level to 2744m! Holy smokes.