During the weekend of the Tour there were a few changes that took place. The rain subsided finally and the topography added more inclines.
Stage 13 was a very complex stage to deal with. It is the one that rises into the high mountains from Saint-Étienne to Chamrousse. Seeping into the Alps, the course ran for 197.5km. It was a banner day for Vincenzo Nibali. The weather may have been scorching, but it was a breeze for the Italian as he pedaled his way to win the 13th stage. Considered the race’s toughest category climb on Friday, he came in at 5 hours 12minutes 29 seconds.
Nicknamed “The Shark,” Nibali holds a healthy lead. But it only takes one stage gone wrong in the days ahead will change the faces of the overall leader board. The Top Five for Stage 13 were:
1. Vincenzo Nibali of Italy
2. Rafal Majka of Poland
3. Leopold Konig of Czech Republic
4. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte of Spain
5. Thibaut Pinot of France
Continuing in a mountainous region at a 177km from Grenoble to Risoul, the course hit the highest point of the Tour at over 7500 feet.
Rafal Majka of Poland won Stage 14 at a time of 5 hours 8 minutes 27 seconds. Early on in the stage, Majka was part of a large 17-man breakaway group. The entire group held the lead but on the final climb it fell apart. This gave Rafal Majka the advantage point to take the win. The heat continued on, not only with the higher than normal temps, but by Vincenzo Nibali still holding onto the Yellow Jersey.
The Top Five for Stage 14 were:
1. Rafal Majka of Poland
2. Vincenzo Nibali of Italy
3. Jean-Christophe Peraud of France
4. Thibaut Pinot of France
5. Romain Bardet of France
Stage 15 in the Tour de France 2014 ran for the full run of 222km and commenced in Tallard and finished off in Nîmes. The race began with several small inclines early in the race, but much of the region was flat. There was a break from the previous days and a welcome relief to the participants of a slight downhill decline from the Alps towards the finale of the race. A break from the heat prevailed with the riders thrilled when the clouds rolled in with showers, thus cooling down. The last few stages were so hot that the asphalt was melting.
Alexander Kristoff of Norway was the winner of Stage 15 clocking in at 4 hours 56 minutes 43 seconds. Vincenzo Nibali has proved his standing with a total time Sunday of 66 hours 49 minutes 37 seconds.
The Top Five for Stage 15 as of July 20th were:
1. Alexander Kristoff of Norway
2. Heinrich Haussler of Australia
3. Peter Sagan of Slovakia
4. André Greipel of Germany
5. Mark Renshaw of Australia