Leo König faces setback due to crash on the first summit finish

Tour | 12.07.2014

After the first week, the eighth stage of the Tour de France was on the calendar for today, taking riders 161 kilometers from Tomblaine just outside Nancy to the Vosges Mountains. On the final stretch in Gerardmer, riders had to battle their way up a 1.8-km climb with a gradient of up to 13%. Bel Kadri (Team AG2R) clinched the win of the day on the first summit finish of this year’s tour with a solo ride. Tiago Machado and Leo König of Team NetApp – Endura reached the finish line in 34th and 38th place respectively. König crashed on the rain-covered road just before the finish line and lost valuable time in the general classification.


“Today our riders worked well together and everything worked out just the way we had planned. Leo’s legs were good, and I think it was easy to see that he was in a good mood. He rode into a good position up until his unfortunate crash. He lost three minutes to the other riders in the general classification, which is of course a lot. We will now have to see how the injury this morning will affect him. Then we will decide what to do about the general classification, i.e., if it makes sense to continue pursuing this goal or if we should instead focus on the individual stages. Right now, I am assuming that we will still have our eyes set on finishing in the top 15 overall,” said Enrico Poitschke, drawing his conclusion about today’s stage.

The positions in the lead group were hotly contested today, with it taking 25 kilometers for the field to allow a duo to pull away. Three other riders took up the chase and were able to join the lead duo 15 kilometers later. The peloton seemed satisfied with this situation and allowed the breakaway riders to build up a comfortable 11-minute lead. Three mountain classifications had to be completed over the last 30 kilometers of the stage. As it began to rain, the pursuers picked up the pace and were able to cut the lead in half before reaching the first climb. Attacks at the front caused the group to break up heading into the first mountain classification. The climbing specialists in the peloton put on the pressure during the final stretch to recover valuable seconds in the general classification and catch the last breakaway rider. König, who was in the group of favorites, crashed in one of the last curves before the final climb and was thus forced to allow the other favorites to pull ahead. The winner of the day was ultimately able to hold onto a big lead all the way to the finish line and celebrate a solo win. 

Paul Voss, who crashed yesterday, started the stage today with a broken nose and a broken small finger on the left hand. He was observed by the sport directors constantly during the stage. The stage went better than expected for Voss. Only the stabilized finger affected him during the day when braking. At no point during the stage it was considered that he abandons.

Tomorrow’s stage will continue through the Vosges Mountains. After starting in today’s destination of Gerardmer, the riders will reach Mulhouse in Elsass 170 kilometers further on. The day will feature six mountain classifications, including one category-1 climb. After descending the final mountain, the final 20 kilometers of the stage are flat all the way to the finish line.


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