Top Banana: Tour de France stage 14 – David Gaudu
If Thibaut Pinot took the plaudits at the end of a tremendous stage finish atop the Tourmalet, then it was his young team-mate and second-year Tour rider David Gaudu who really caught the eye.
Much-touted at the ‘next big thing from France’ – I know, how many times have we heard that? – the 22-year-old Breton actually does look like the real deal.
He’s been progressing nicely in a seemingly improving Groupama-FDJ team, including a tasty stage victory and fifth overall at Romandie in May against a world-class field.
Here on the Tourmalet, Gaudu dropped into a support role, whittling down the lead group for his leader Pinot. Contender after contender exited the bunch as the Frenchman pressed on with conviction: Uran, Dan Martin, Barguil, Valverde – all these and more could not match the searing pace of Gaudu.
Arguably, it was the work done by Gaudu that ultimately proved responsible for Geraint Thomas cracking higher up the mountain and losing time. The youngster even threw in a cheeky little attack of his own before peeling off, job done. It was a slightly perplexing end to his stint for the day, but either way, it worked. His captain triumphed.
Next big thing? Maybe. Hopefully.
Top Banana? Undoubtedly.
Rouleur Top Bananas 2019:
Stage 1 – Greg Van Avermaet
Stage 2 – Tony Martin
Stage 3 – Michael Matthews
Stage 4 – Max Richeze
Stage 5 – Toms Skuiņš
Stage 6 – Geraint Thomas
Stage 7 – Wout van Aert
Stage 8 – Thomas de Gendt
Stage 9 – Jasper Stuyven
Stage 10 – Luke Rowe
Stage 11 – Emanuel Buchmann
Stage 12 – Matteo Trentin
Stage 13 – Enric Mas
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