France has yet to win a Tour stage this year, and today it came close to happening– screamingly close. Crowds lining the streets of Lyon cheered for their countryman to bring home the victory on this eve of Bastille Day, and Sojasun’s Julien Simon appeared determined to deliver here in stage 14. Unfortunately for him, the gap that kept getting smaller in those last stretches finally closed at just one kilometer to the finish line.
So goes the final attack in just about any flat stage finish. Ironically enough, seeing as there’s been no American stage win either this year, we came even closer to one in today’s last seconds with Garmin-Sharp’s Andrew Talansky finishing a strong third. The early 18-man breakaway stayed away– sans our usual sprint favorites– handing le triomphe du jour to the Missile’s roommate and first Italian stage winner since 2010, Omega-Pharma’s Matteo Trentin.
As usual, anything can change at any moment, as one more kilometer– let alone one more meter– makes all the difference.