Electric Battle Unfolds Between Tour De France Leaders After Motorcycle Sparks Controversy By Blocking Attack

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Five riders are in serious contention to win the Tour de France. Jonas Vingegaard entered Sunday’s Stage 15 as the leader with Tadej Pogačar just 10 seconds behind in the standings. Carlos Rodríguez Cano and Jai Hindley were both more than four minutes and 40 seconds back from the top two, with Adam Yates 30(ish) second back from there.

Although Vingegaard and Pogačar are best set up to win by a large margin, all five guys technically have a chance depending on how things go from here on out. Regardless of what happens, the entire standings might have been different if not for a motorcycle.

Stage 14 of the Tour de France came with controversy.

Saturday’s stage was a grueling 151.8-kilometer climb (about 94 miles) from Anemasse to Morzine Les Portes du Soleil. It is one of the most beautiful backdrops on the Tour.

Stage 14 got started with a huge crash that paused the race for upward of 30 minutes and forced multiple riders to drop out. Just not Adrien Petit!

From there, an epic battle proceeded to unfold as the climb began.

Yates eventually pushed the pace and brought Pogačar and Vingegaard with him. Everybody else dropped off of the lead group.

Yates eventually pulled back, which left Pogačar and Vingegaard out alone. The latter was in the yellow jersey and the former led the first attack.

Amid all of the back-and-forth, Pogačar went on the attack during a tight, narrow portion of the uphill. He tried to get out in front and separate himself from the leader, but a motorcycle blocked him in.

Pogačar had to pull off of his attack as direct result of the motorcycle in his way.

Controversy immediately ensued. Some people felt as though the fans were at fault, because they did not allow space for the motorcycle to accelerate in front of Pogačar’s effort. Others blamed the motorcycle.

Overall, the majority of the blame landed on the organisation for a lack of organization. Perhaps there should have been barriers at a bonus second sprint. Perhaps that wasn’t possible because there is not enough room.

Whatever that solution might be, it is the organisation’s job to figure it out and prevent such an occurrence. Pogačar’s attack was neutralized at the mercy of the motorcycle— not Vingegaard or the race itself.

Had it been successful, Pogačar may have been able to get out ahead of Vingegaard and take the yellow jersey. Instead, they were kept together.

Both the photographer and TV motorcycles that caused the issue were not allowed back on the Tour on Sunday.

Neither rider won.

Vingegaard, with help from the motorcycle, fended off the attack and countered with one of his own. Pogačar stuck with him and immediately pushed back.

Pogačar and Vingegaard’s game of cat and mouse continued up the climb. It was a tremendous display.

Unfortunately for them both, Rodríguez caught them on the downhill.

He later took a lead that he did not give back.

Pogačar and Vingegaard battled up the final climb and finished together. It was one of the better stages in Tour history.

Tension between the two was high.

Both riders were disappointed after the race. For Pogačar, it felt like a lot of work for nothing.

Although he admitted that he didn’t execute as he had hoped, there was some anger at the motorcycle situation.

It’s a shame [as] I think my first sprint was for nothing. That’s a pity. But it wouldn’t have changed the [final standings] outcome I don’t think.

I still felt that I lost effort in my legs because I could no longer sprint for the bonus. I screwed that up. But it is what it is.

— Tadej Pogačar

Rodríguez got time back to keep himself in the mix. However, Vingegaard and Pogačar are in a two-way battle at this point. It may have been even closer without the motorcycle!

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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