Matteo Trentin wins one for the breakaway

Riders are part of teams, but unofficial alliances form on the road and the most obvious of these is the breakaway. I like to think of the breakaway as being a team in its own right – even if it’s one where in-fighting becomes torrid as the finishing line approaches. Matteo Trentin racked up what could be considered the first win for the breakaway team during this Tour on stage 14.

The break

We’re now deep enough into the race that breaks can comprise many riders and it’s increasingly common for them to feature guys you’ve actually heard of. Jens Voight, Blel Kadri and David Millar were all involved, as were one-time general classification contenders Andrew Talansky and Tejay Van Garderen. The fact that the peloton didn’t chase them with any degree of seriousness is a sign of how poorly the race has gone for this pair, in particular.

Stage two winner, Jan Bakelants was in there too and it would have been nice if he’d won, because he’s a bit nuts and so you get decent quotes out of him. However, that’s not what breakaway’s are about. They’re about some nobody winning a massive race out of nowhere.

Who’s Matteo Trentin?

Matteo Trentin’s biggest claim to fame prior to this stage was that he’s Mark Cavendish’s room-mate and served as his lead-out man at the Giro d’Italia. He certainly has a sprint, going from a long way out and having to pass pretty much everyone else in the break in order to win.

General classification news

The only thing of significance that happened was that Talansky regained seven minutes on the yellow jersey and is now less than six minutes behind. However, he won’t be allowed in any more breaks and you might like to ponder how he managed to lose those 13 minutes in the first place.

Stage 15

This is the one. This is THE ONE. Here’s the profile.

Only six stages top 200km in this year’s Tour and stage 15 is the longest at 242.5km. In my preview of the major stages, I described it as being 200km of flat and then 20km of mountain, but actually it’s even harder than that. The first 200km are decidedly bumpy and this segment is harder than many of this year’s stages in itself. But yeah, there’s a mountain tacked onto the end.

And it’s Bastille Day. The French riders are going to be nuts. According to the ever-reliable Inrng, FDJ team manager, Marc Madiot (who you may remember for this) is planning a stirring speech soundtracked by La Marseillaise. He’s bought the CD especially.