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Tour de France: Soren Kragh Andersen wins stage 14

Soren Kragh Andersen secured Sunweb’s second win in three days after Marc Hirschi claimed stage 12

Soren Kragh Andersen took a surprise win on stage 14 of the Tour de France to cap a sublime tactical ride by Team Sunweb.

The Dane attacked with three kilometres to go in a frantic finale and stayed away to claim his first stage win.

Primoz Roglic maintained his 44-second lead in the yellow jersey.

Peter Sagan finished fourth in Lyon to cut Sam Bennett’s green jersey lead to 43 points after Sagan’s Bora-Hansgrohe team dropped the Irishman earlier on.

Luka Mezgec finished second, with Simone Conssoni third, as the peloton arrived 15 seconds behind Kragh Andersen.

“I feel very emotional. I’ve dreamed about this but it’s hard to say you’re good enough until you do it. I’m amazed,” said Kragh Andersen.

“I had really good legs the whole day but you never know how good the other guys are. It took me a long time in the Tour to get confidence in myself but I knew if I was suffering then they were suffering.”

With two short but sharp climbs in the finale of the 194km stage from Clermont-Ferrand, Sunweb played their cards perfectly to beat the favourites for the win.

Tiesj Benoot attacked over the top of the first climb, forcing Sagan’s team-mate Lennard Kamna to chase before Kamna got a lead of his own but was also reeled back in.

Julian Alaphilippe tried to get clear in search of his second win of the race but was marked by Sunweb’s Marc Hirschi, who then attacked himself.

Stage 12 winner Hirschi’s kick forced Sagan to do the chasing and, as soon as the group came back together, Kragh Andersen went and could not be caught, with his team-mates working to prevent counter-attacks.

Sunweb initially sent two riders up the road to join the early breakaway of Stefan Kung and Edward Theuns, but realised a four-man group would not stay the distance and adjusted their plans superbly.

Bora-Hansgrohe also rode a fine race, with Sagan using the first climb of the day to get away and take back four points on Irishman Bennett at the intermediate sprint before his team managed to drop Bennett on the second climb.

Bennett gamely tried to bridge the gap but sat up with 115km to go and rolled in almost 20 minutes down.

Record seven-time green jersey winner Sagan ultimately only gained 23 points on Bennett and will have to continue to take opportunities on hilly terrain, with Bennett consistently faster in the sprint.

It was a relatively quiet day for the general classification, except for a late attack by Ineos Grenadiers’ defending champion Egan Bernal – who lost 38 seconds to Roglic on stage 13 – that was quickly shut down.

Sunday’s 174.5km stage is crucial for the overall contenders as it features three major climbs, including a summit finish to Grand Colombier.

France’s Romain Bardet did not start stage 14 after abandoning the race on Friday night because of concussion and said on Saturday that an MRI scan had revealed a small haemorrhage.

The AG2R La Mondiale rider crashed heavily on stage 13 and appeared to fall as he tried to stand up before resuming and struggling on the last two climbs as he slipped from fourth to 11th overall.

Stage 14 result

1. Soren Kragh Andersen (Den/Team Sunweb) 4hrs 28mins 10secs

2. Luka Mezgec (Slo/Mitchelton-Scott) +15secs

3. Simone Consonni (Ita/Cofidis) Same time

4. Peter Sagan (Svk/Bora-Hansgrohe)

5. Casper Pedersen (Den/Team Sunweb)

6. Jasper Stuyven (Bel/Trek-Segafredo)

7. Matteo Trentin (Ita/CCC Team)

8. Oliver Naesen (Bel/AG2R La Mondiale)

9. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita/Bahrain McLaren)

10. Marc Hirschi (Swi/Team Sunweb)

General classification after stage 14

1. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) 61hrs 03mins 00secs

2. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) +44secs

3. Egan Bernal (Col/Ineos Grenadiers) +59secs

4. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Pro Cycling) +1min 10secs

5. Nairo Quintana (Col/Arkea-Samsic) +1min 12secs

6. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana) +1min 31secs

7. Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +1min 42secs

8. Mikel Landa (Spa/Bahrain McLaren) +1min 55secs

9. Richie Porte (Aus/Trek-Segafredo) +2mins 06secs

10. Enric Mas (Spa/Movistar) +2mins 54secs

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