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Summary

  1. Chris Froome regains yellow jersey from Fabio Aru
  2. Aru caught out at end of stage
  3. Froome has lead of 19 seconds
  4. Michael Matthews wins uphill sprint to win stage 14

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All times stated are UK

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Farewell

OK, I'm off to put some meat on the bones of the report.

Hmm, wonder what my intro will be?

Maybe something about Chris Froome regaining the yellow jersey at the end of a stage that exploded into life on the long drag to the finish in Rodez.

And fair play to Michael Matthews, who saw off Greg van Avermaet to claim the stage win.

Patrick Jennings will be with you tomorrow to take you through stage 15 - the last before the second rest day.

And as Dan Martin just explained, boy do they need a rest.

Dan Martin: "We saw two years ago on the same finish that there was a lot of gaps.

"I lost the boys with 5km to go but knew I had to keep sprinting to the line even though the bar was screaming at me.

"It has been a brutal week. Everybody is tired, nobody is really feeling good, it is a battle of the mind."

Wow

Have I said that already?

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Stage 14 result

1. Michael Matthews (Aus/Team Sunweb) 4hrs 21mins 56secs

2. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel/BMC) Same Time

3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor/Team Dimension Data) +1sec

4. Philippe Gilbert (Bel/Quick-Step Floors) Same Time

5. Jay McCarthy (Aus/BORA-hansgrohe) Same Time

6. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) Same Time

7. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) Same Time

8. Daniel Martin (Ire/Quick-Step Floors) Same Time

9. Rigoberto Uran (Col/Cannondale-Drapac) Same Time

10. Tiesj Benoot (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) +5secs

Yellow jersey standings

1. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) 59hrs 52mins 09secs

2. Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana) +19secs

3. Romain Bardet (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale) +23secs

4. Rigoberto Uran (Col/ Cannondale-Drapac) +29secs

5. Mikel Landa (Spa/Team Sky) +1min 17secs

6. Daniel Martin (Ire/Quick-Step Floors) +1min 26secs

7. Simon Yates (GB/Orica-Scott) +2mins 02secs

8. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +2mins 22secs

9. Louis Meintjes (SA/UAE Team Emirates) +5mins 09secs

10. Alberto Contador (Spa/Trek-Segafredo) +5mins 37secs

'A dream come true'

Michael Matthews on ITV4: "I think it was as expected, we kept the breakaway close and I knew I wouldn't have many team-mates at the end there but had two or three guys still.

"Last time on this finish two years ago I had four broken ribs and skin missing all over my body.

"To now come back and win on the same finish is a dream come true."

Michael Matthews
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Edward Taylor: Brilliant and terrible tactics in equal measure respectively by Froome and Aru hand yellow back to Froome. Didn't expect that.

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Liam Watson: Such an intelligent ride by Froome, brilliant. Let's hope he stays in the yellow to Paris now.

Blimey

Just blimey.

"In the final bit it got quite windy - strange, you go through the Pyrenees and you get to a stage like this and you get bigger time gaps. All you need is 500m to take time when you're in the second week and legs are tired," says Luke Rowe on ITV4.

"It is just great to have Froomey back in yellow."

Back in yellow

The official Tour website is reporting Froome is back in yellow by 19 seconds.

"Where was Aru's team?" asks Rob Hayles. "Nowhere to be seen, what a complete mess up by Astana. When a man is down you kick him and that is what Sky did today."

Froome
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Froome in yellow?

We think so, still waiting for official confirmation.

Aussie Michael Matthews took his hands off his bars quite early in his sprint. Van Avermaet was closing at the end there.

Waiting to have that confirmed - but Fabio Aru struggled late on there.

"No question, Sky rode an absolute blinder there," says Rob Hayles.

Froome back in yellow?

Looks that way.

Second for Greg van Avermaet, third for Edvald Boasson Hagen.

Michael Matthews takes it

Finishing straight - splits emerging further back.

350m to go

Uphill now, really tough stuff, riders slugging it out.

Brutal speeds at the front of the peloton. 850m to go.

Lammertink, by the way, has been reeled in.

"There is the potential for Aru to lose a handful of seconds here," says Hayles.

2.5km to go

Quick-Step on the front of the peloton. Ron Hayles talking about gaps appearing and wondering where Fabio Aru is.

4km to go

Maurits Lammertink blasts off the front of the group of four, opens up a little bit of road.

There is wind, there are bumps. It is going to be a very interesting 4km.

5km to go

So, Van Avermaet? Matthews? Boasson Hagen? Someone else?

6km to go

Looking wonky for the four in front.

Pierre-Luc Perichon tries to get away from the other three, Damiano Caruso tries to close the gap.

Thomas de Gendt awarded most aggressive rider of the day. #obvs, surely?

8.5km to go

There are four riders with a 13-second advantage.

Lammertink (Katusha), Caruso (BMC), Arndt (Sunweb) and Périchon (Fortuneo).

10km to go

Hold on, Team Sky on the front? Intriguing end to this stage.

De Gendt caught

Chapeau Thomas de Gendt but he is finally and inevitably caught.

Strong winds. More attacks off the front. This time a Katusha rider.

German Tony Martin tries to go off the front, he has two stabs at it.

He is the world time trial champion and is currently forcing BMC and Sunweb to chase harder than they want to at the moment.

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist at the Tour de France

Answering Craig - what will be Greg van Avermaet's strategy to win?

Cross the line first! To do that he will need to be kept right up near the front as he hits the final 500m.

He will need to be in the top 10 and try to keep as many team-mates with him as he can and then will have to surf and watch for other teams because Michael Matthews, for example, will also have team-mates with him.

He will have to get over the brow of the hill in fourth or fifth at worst - but it won't be a long line, it will be a real maul over the top.

If Van Avermaet can keep himself right there his build and power should help him over the top and down to the finish.

That said, Matthews has been out-powering Van Avermaet up to this point in the race.

Down to 37 seconds......

The sprint is on......and will happen fairly shortly.

16km to go

Don't fancy being a member of either Sunweb or BMC right now. Putting in a shift on the front as the kms tick right down. Thomas de Gendt at 50 seconds at the moment.

"You can only go so hard for so long," said Rob Hayles. "When you pull the plug, you completely empty out."

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Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist at the Tour de France

I would say Thomas de Gendt would need at least a 40-second lead with 3km or so left.

20km to go

BMC and Sunweb leading the chase at the moment, working hard. Thomas de Gendt's lead down to a minute. Slight downhill, low on the top tube.

Brotherton - Let's hope he doesn't go over a bump in the road

Hayles - He'll lose more than his teeth.

You cannot take any food on a flat stage with 20km or less to go. A couple of riders taking on drinks to take up to team-mates at the moment.

"Last orders at the bar," explains Rob Hayles.

Thoughts from Sky

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25km to go

All about the road to Rodez now (almost a Supergrass album).

Thomas de Gendt leads by just over a minute. Sun shining, wind blowing.

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What would be Greg van Avermaet's strategy to win?

Craig

Hmm, Tommy Voeckler, who attacked as soon as the flag dropped when the peloton left Blagnac, has now been swallowed up.

So Thomas de Gendt has a 90-second lead. Out on his own.

Behind the peloton is a ever-expanding green jersey group that is almost five minutes behind.