Lotto Soudal’s difficult Tour de France continued on Saturday when Andreas Kron missed out on the chance of a possible Stage 14 win after suffering a puncture.
Kron was part of the front group and looking strong as part of the lead group of four with Leon Sanchez (Bahrain Victorious), Felix Grosschartner (Bora–Hansgrohe) and eventual winner Michael Matthews (BikeExchange–Jayco) heading into the stage climax.
But with around 26km to go, disaster struck as his front wheel came a cropper, torpedoing his chances of glory.
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The incident comes a day after Caleb Ewan and a number of his teammates were involved in a heavy crash - the aftermath of which saw Ewan fined for drafting manoeuvres.
Rob Hatch on Eurosport commentary described Kron’s misfortune as a ‘sickener’.
“Bad news for Andreas Kron,” said Hatch. “A puncture has blown him out of the front group.
“It's an absolute sickener for Lotto Soudal. Yesterday the crash for Caleb Ewan when they were working so hard. Today, Kron, brilliant, but out the front after this incident.”
The problem appeared to be with Kron’s front wheel, which saw the slowly but safely roll to a stop on a corner ahead of the final climb in Mende. He eventually finished 2'02'' behind Matthews.
Robbie McEwen agreed that luck is currently not on the side of the struggling team.
“The punches are raining down on Lotto Soudal at the moment.”
Hatch labelled Kron’s accident a ‘nightmare’ to which Sean Kelly agreed.
“it's a real killer again, and up there in that group, he was looking really good”.

Tour de France Stage 14 highlights: Michael Matthews storms to solo victory in Mende

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