LYON – Soren Kragh Andersen broke clear in a fast-changing finish on the roads of Lyon to win Stage 14 of the Tour de France on Saturday.
Primoz Roglic, the overall leader, had a drama-free day to finish safely after a 4 1/2-hour ride, and was given the same time as his nearest challengers to keep the yellow jersey he claimed last Sunday.
After two sharp climbs and several attacks in the last 10 kilometers (six miles), Andersen broke away with three kilometres (two miles) left to finish 15 seconds ahead of the chasing pack.
“I’m just amazed,” the Dane said of his career-best win. “It’s always hard to say I am good enough before I have done it.”
In a stellar Tour for Slovenia, Luka Mezgec took the sprint for second and Simon Consonni was third.
Peter Sagan finished only fourth on a stage he targeted to close the gap in the points classification to green jersey wearer Sam Bennett.
Roglic, the former ski jumper, remained 44 seconds ahead of his fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, and 59 clear of Egan Bernal, the defending champion.
The yellow jersey battle is sure to reignite on Sunday. A 174.5-kilometer (108-mile) trek from Lyon ends with a gruelling ride up Grand Colombier in the Jura mountains suited to creating time gaps.
The Slovenia vs. Colombia contest atop the general classification will play out over two category 1 summits before approaching an even tougher final climb that stretches for more than 17 kilometers (10 miles).
Andersen's win was another tactical victory for the Sunweb team which has made Marc Hirschi of Switzerland a breakout star of the race. Hirschi won Stage 12 in a solo ride.
“When you see this young guy (Hirschi) doing these amazing things, of course I am also getting inspired," Andersen said of his teammate.
Hirschi and another Sunweb rider, Tiesj Benoot, also led with surging bursts in the dynamic closing stages that helped set up Andersen's decisive move.
Sagan, chasing an eighth green jersey in the past nine Tours, worked hard to close down each move, and did not have the speed to hold second place in the final meters.
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