- Published: Wednesday, 23 July 2014 13:35
- Written by Jamie Naragon
The second Tour stage in the Pyrenees was a tough one. With 124.5 kilometers it was the shortest stage, except for the time trial, but there were three climbs of first category to cover and the finish line was drawn at Pla d’Adet after an hors catégorie climb. Jurgen Van den Broeck attacked on the Col du Portillon and got in the front group. Rafal Majka turned out to be the strongest.
Van den Broeck in the breakaway
Immediately after the official start eight riders took off. Katusha made sure they didn’t get too much advantage. On the Col du Portillon several riders attacked from the peloton, one of them was Jurgen Van den Broeck. After the top a front group of 22 was formed. Van den Broeck had company of among other Kiryienka, Majka, Mollema, Rodriguez, Rolland and Schleck. Jurgen accelerated on the Peyresourde, while Kiryienka had gone solo. The White-Russian reached the top 1’13” before Herrada and Roche, the group with Van den Broeck followed at 1’48”. Herrada and Roche were caught on the next climb.
Van den Broeck lost contact on the Col de Val Louron-Azet, but could come back in the descent. In the meantime Kiryienka was reeled in. Moinard, Roche, Rolland and Visconti started the final climb to Pla d’Adet together. Visconti attacked first. Rafal Majka bridged from the background and would finish solo. Visconti became second. The group of favourites fell apart on the last climb and the yellow jersey group picked up almost all escapees. Nibali even got third. Van den Broeck crossed the finish line as 19th and moves up one place in GC, he’s now twelfth.
Jurgen Van den Broeck: “I actually didn’t feel so well today. Beforehand I had the intention to join an interesting breakaway. As expected Movistar wanted to make the race hard and send a man in the break. On the way to the Col du Portillon I didn’t think I would succeed, but I could jump away after all. Majka and Rolland were the better riders in front. It wasn’t a surprise Majka won the stage.”
“I never had the feeling I was strong. Nevertheless I showed myself in a different way and animated the race. It wasn’t a surprise that I wasn’t 100% of course, now I know what’s the problem. It won’t be easy to recover during this Tour or even get better. Still I want to show myself instead of riding to Paris anonymously. Like I said before the GC isn’t a goal in itself anymore, but today I could maintain my position.”