France — Garmin-Slipstream rider Martijn Maaskant finished fourth in a dramatic Stage 14 of the Tour de France that saw a breakaway group spoil the day for the sprinters. Maaskant, a 25-year-old second-year pro from The Netherlands, was part of a 13-man break that went away just 14km into the 199km stage from Colmar to Besancon.
The break stayed away and Russian Serguei Ivanov attacked the group 11km from the line to take the solo victory in Besancon. With another rider in the break, American George Hincapie, chasing the yellow jersey, the group sped to the finish behind Ivanov, and Maaskant came across the line fourth. It was the latest in a string of impressive finishes for the young Dutchman, who was fourth at Paris-Roubaix last year and fourth at the Tour of Flanders earlier this season.
Sunday’s Stage 15 heads into the mountains, and a shake-up in the overall classification is expected. Italian Rinaldo Nocentini held a tenuous grip on the yellow jersey after Saturday’s stage, as Hincapie closed to within 5 seconds of him. Garmin-Slipstream’s two GC men, Bradley Wiggins (sixth) and Christian Vande Velde (ninth) hope to hold their high standings on the summit finish in Verbier.
TOUR DE FRANCE STAGE 14 RESULTS
Colmar to Besancon, 199km
1. Serguei Ivanov (Rus), Team Katusha, 4:37:46
2. Nicolas Roche (Irl), AG2R, at 0:16
3. Hayden Roulston (NZ), Cervelo Test Team, same time
4. Martijn Maaskant (Ned), Garmin-Slipstream, same time
5. Sebastien Minard (Fra), Cofidis, same time
OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER STAGE 14
1. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita), AG2R, 58:13:52
2. George Hincapie (USA), Columbia, at 0:05
3. Alberto Contador (Spa), Astana, at 0:06
4. Lance Armstrong (USA), Astana, at 0:08
5. Christophe Le Mevel (Fra), Francaise des Jeux, at 0:43
6. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Garmin-Slipstream, at 0:46
9. Christian Vande Velde (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, at 1:24