Dan Martin suffers on brutal slopes of the Tourmalet
Julian Alaphilippe keeps hold of yellow jersey as Geraint Thomas loses time
France’s Thibaut Pinot celebrates as he wins the 14th stage of the Tour de France cycling race at Tourmalet Bareges. Photo: Getty Images
Dan Martin was left stunned by how things played out on stage 14 of the Tour de France, with the Irish professional initially feeling very good before getting into difficulty on the gruelling climb of the Tourmalet and losing a chunk of time.
Martin had started the day 11th overall and expected to move up the general classification. However his weakness inside the final 15 kilometres of the 2115-metre high finishing climb saw him finish back in 24th place, losing five minutes and 35 seconds to the stage winner Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ). He was one of several big name riders to crack.
Martin had said to The Irish Times on Friday that he was looking forward to his favoured terrain, the big climbs, but after Saturday’s stage was confused as to how things played out.
“I don’t really know what happened, to be honest,” he said. “I felt really good on the first climb, felt good all day, and then on the last climb I had nothing. I just couldn’t push the pedals any harder. It happens in cycling. Obviously you saw a lot of very good riders have the same happen to them today.”
Martin is known for his fighting spirit and said he will try to return to his normal level in time for Sunday’s mountain stage to the top of the Prat d’Albis climb. “We will try to figure out what happened, and for sure we will come back and fight again tomorrow.”
However his dreams of a podium finish in this year’s Tour de France are almost certainly over. He has slipped from 11th to 16th overall, and is now nine minutes 50 seconds behind the ongoing race leader Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep). He is over seven minutes away from a podium place and, barring a successful but highly unlikely long-distance break that recoups the lost time, must now set his eyes on a stage win.
His first cousin Nicolas Roche finished 86th at the top of the Tourmalet. The Team Sunweb rider is chasing a stage win in the race and having shown strong form but being unsuccessful thus far in that aim, will try again in the days ahead.
Tour de France (WorldTour)
Stage 14, Tarbes to Tourmalet: 1, Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) 111 kilometres in 3 hours 10 mins 20 secs; 2, J. Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) at 6 secs; 3, S. Kruijswijk (Team Jumbo-Visma) same time; 4, E. Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 8 secs; 5, E. Arley Bernal Gomez (Team Ineos) same time; 6, M. Landa Meana (Movistar Team) at 14 secs
Irish: 24, D. Martin (UAE Team Emirates) at 5 mins 35 secs; 86, N. Roche (Team Sunweb) at 20 mins 19 secs
Sprint 1 - Pierrefitte-Nestalas, km. 79.5: 1, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) 20 pts; 2, E. Gesbert (Team Arkea-Samsic) 17; 3, V. Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) 15
Sprint 2 - Tourmalet Souvenir Jacques Goddet, km. 111: 1, Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) 20 pts; 2, J. Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 17; 3, S. Kruijswijk (Team Jumbo-Visma) 15
Mountain 1, De Labatmale (km. 11.5): 1, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) 1
Mountain 2, Col Du Soulor (km. 54): 1, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) 10 pts; 2, V. Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) 8; 3, E. Gesbert (Team Arkea-Samsic) 6
Mountain 3, Tourmalet Souvenir Jacques Goddet (km. 111): 1, Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) 40 pts; 2, J. Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 30; 3, S. Kruijswijk (Team Jumbo-Visma) 24
Young riders: 1, Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Team Ineos) at 3 hours 10 mins 28 secs; 2, L. De Plus (Team Jumbo-Visma) at 1 min mins 11 secs; 3, D. Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) at 2 mins 18 secs
Combativity: 1, Elie Gesbert (Team Arkea-Samsic)
Teams: 1, Team Jumbo-Visma, 9 hours 33 mins 23 secs; 2, Movistar Team, at 2 mins 13 secs; 3, Team Ineos, at 2 mins 31 secs
Other: 10, UAE Team Emirates, at 23 mins 56 secs; 21, Team Sunweb, at 58 mins 48 secs
General classification after stage 14: 1, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 56 hours 11 mins 29 secs; 2, G. Thomas (Team Ineos) at 2 mins 2 secs; 3, S. Kruijswijk (Team Jumbo-Visma) at 2 mins 14 secs; 4, E. Arley Bernal Gomez (Team Ineos) at 3 mins; 5, E. Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 3 mins 12 secs; 6, T. Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) same time
Irish: 16, D. Martin (UAE Team Emirates) at 9 mins 50 secs; 30, N. Roche (Team Sunweb) at 34 mins 44 secs
Points classification: 1, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 284 pts; 2, S. Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) 191; 3, E. Viviani (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 184
Mountains classification: 1, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) 64 pts; 2, T. Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) 42; 3, T. De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) 37
Young riders classification: 1, Egan Bernal Gomez (Team Ineos) 56 hours 14 mins 29 secs; 2, E. Mas (Deceuninck-QuickStep) at 2 mins 38 secs; 3, D. Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) at 8 mins
Teams classification: 1, Movistar Team, 169 hours 2 mins 15 secs; 2, Trek-Segafredo, at 11 mins 5 secs; 3, Bora-Hansgrohe, at 25 mins 10 secs
Other: 8, UAE Team Emirates, at 45 mins 20 secs; 13, Team Sunweb, at 1 hours 34 mins 19 secs