Tour de France stage 14 report: Rodríguez descends to stage win and climbs onto GC podium

Carlos Rodríguez makes it two from two for Ineos Grenadiers with his first pro win outside his home country of Spain on the biggest stage there is.

Carlos Rodríguez (Ineos Grenadiers) wins stage 14 of the 2023 Tour de France. Photo: © Cor Vos

Kit Nicholson
by Kit Nicholson 15.07.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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The first day of a Battle Royale in the Alps reduced the race for yellow even further as the top GC contenders took chunks out of one other on the way to Morzine. And it wasn’t just the Big Two, though Tadej Pogačar and Jonas Vingegaard were naturally key protagonists, with Carlos Rodríguez entering the picture as a star in the mountains, both climbing and descending.

The 22-year-old Spaniard never had a significant gap on the descent, but he held on to take the biggest win of his career, making it two consecutive wins for the Ineos Grenadiers. As a bonus, he is now in third overall, one second clear of Jai Hindley for the final spot on the podium.

Brief results

  1. Carlos Rodríguez (Ineos Grenadiers) 3:58:45
  2. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) @ :05
  3. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) @ same time
  4. Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) @ :10
  5. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) @ :57

General classification

  1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 57:47:28
  2. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) @ :10
  3. Carlos Rodríguez (Ineos Grenadiers) @ 4:43
  4. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) @ 4:44
  5. Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) @ 5:20
Wout van Aert did his best imitation of a motorbike to bully Rafał Majka off the front on the hors-category Col de Joux Plane.

Brief analysis

Giulio Ciccone was fierce in his quest for KOM points. It didn’t last as long as he would have liked on stage 14, but he’s moved up to fourth in the standings, 12 points down on the leader.

Quote of the day

Carlos Rodríguez was the surprise champion on a day that looked set to reward one or other of the top two on GC, but a dogged fight back after being dropped on the climb and an assured descent saw the 22-year-old Spaniard step into the spotlight, and into podium contention, surprising even himself.

“To be honest, I was just focused on doing the best climb I could, going for my own freedom and doing the descent as fast as possible,” said a still out-of-breath Rodríguez. “They started looking at each other. And I thought, if I pull them back I can go to the finish. I was thinking I can descend more or less well, so I wanted to take advantage of it. I took some risks without going to the absolute limit because I didn’t want to crash but I was close in a couple of corners that I though weren’t so sharp. Super happy.”

His victory comes just 24 hours after his teammate Michał Kwiatkowski took a spectacular breakaway win on the Grand Colombier. Did it inspire Rodríguez?

“Yeah, not only his victory but also his work. All the team. For example, today he was in the break, he dropped to come back and went to the car three times to get us bottles. That’s incredible. And it’s just those details that make the difference. I think that helped me accomplish this victory.”

Best of social

It’s not all attacks and moto madness. Benoit Cosnefroy got quite the greeting on the Joux Plane.

Further reading

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