Yellow-jersey-clad Nibali was not only going for the stage win, he was trying to increase his overall lead. He wasn't able to catch Majka, but he did add a minute on his overall lead on Alejandro Valverde after Valverde faded a bit on today's final climb. The image below shows an exhausted Majka after he crossed the finish line (click on the image for a larger view).
Kudos to Majka for a great ride up a final climb that made its debut in this year's Tour de France. It was exciting to see all the attacking taking place on that final category-1 climb. After thinking our prediction would be fast, I asked yesterday how many riders would come in under five hours. The answer is zero. We were fast as the comparison with Majka's winning time and our prediction below shows.
- Stage 14: 5h 08' 27" (actual), 4h 53' 38" (prediction), 14' 49" fast (-4.80% error)
I was worried watching the final climb that our error would eclipse 5%, so I'm glad we came in under that mark. Hitting three of the past four stages to better than 1% spoils us! We'll have lots to learn about today's grueling stage, which is what makes this work so much fun. Below is Majka's average speed.
- Stage 14: 9.564 m/s (34.43 kph or 21.39 mph)
- Stage 15: 4h 58' 57" (prediction)
Riders will enjoy a rest day on Monday before tackling the stages in the Pyrenees. Unlike today, we expect to see cyclists coming in under five hours tomorrow!