Australia’s Michael Matthews wins stage 14 and Vingegaard keeps yellow

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Tadej Pogacar attacked through the stage, but was unable to assert his strategy on the race leader. (Photo: A.S.O/Charly Lopez, Pauline Ballet, Jered & Ashley Gruber)
Tadej Pogacar attacked through the stage, but was unable to assert his strategy on the race leader. (Photo: A.S.O/Charly Lopez, Pauline Ballet, Jered & Ashley Gruber)

Australian Michael Matthews completed a vintage ride to win stage 14 of the Tour de France on Saturday.

The route was a hilly trek from Saint Etienne to Mende. Denmark's Jonas Vingegaard held off defending champion Tadej Pogacar to retain the yellow jersey.

Matthews went solo from the day's breakaway with 51km to go. After being caught by a trio of chasers, he attacked again on the final ascent, a brutal 3km climb at 10.2% gradient.

Tour de France
Michael Matthews executed a bold breakaway, defending his advantage, all the way to the finish. (Photo: A.S.O/Charly Lopez, Pauline Ballet, Jered & Ashley Gruber)

A chase – but the Australian escaped

Alberto Bettiol managed to rein him in once more, only for Matthews to come back and go solo again to beat the Italian by 15-seconds.

Thibaut Pinot came home third as the race's French riders continue to fight for their first stage win this year.

The group of top contenders was lagging far behind. Pogacar again attacked in a bid to unsettle Vingegaard on the last climb, only for the Dane to follow easily and cross the line on the defending champion's wheel, nullifying his strategy.

Tour de France 2022
The peloton speeds through a French village, on stage 14. (Photo: A.S.O/Charly Lopez, Pauline Ballet, Jered & Ashley Gruber)

The Slovenian’s strategy did not work

Pogacar had tried to shake things up before, 10km into the 192.5-km stage, splitting the bunch with a burst of acceleration on a short hill.

Vingegaard was briefly trapped behind but rapidly recovered. He still leads Pogacar by 2:22 overall, with Geraint Thomas of Ineos in third place, 2:43 off the pace.

The 2018 champion could not follow Pogacar and Vingegaard on the Cote de la Croix Neuve but limited the damage. Thomas lost 17-seconds to the leading duo while extending his lead over fourth-placed Romain Bardet by nine seconds.

Sunday's 15th stage is a 202.5-km ride from Rodez to Carcassonne before a rest day on Monday.

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