What was thought would be a quiet Sunday was not in the Tour de France. Stage 15, won by Jasper Philipsen, included the retirements of Primoz Roglic and Steven Kruijswijk in leader Jonas Vingegaard’s team; while Colombian Nairo Quintana maintained sixth place overall.
The fifteenth day marked the end of the second week, it was played on Sunday between Rodez and Carcassone, in a 202-kilometer journey, which had several ups and downs at the start, before the two third category ports that the day had. The final 13 kilometers were played on purely flat terrain.
The first news of the day was the Jumbo Visma announcement of the retirement of Primoz Roglic, who is preparing for the Vuelta a España. Only five kilometers passed from the start for the breakaway of the day to be formed, with Nils Pollit, Mikkel Honore and Wout van Aert, who managed to distance themselves from the large group.
After the warning with 160 kilometers to go, van Aert slowed down, said goodbye to his fellow escapees and soon joined the peloton to accompany their leader Jonas Vingegaard. With almost 2 minutes to go, Nils Pollit and Mikkel Honore were still ahead, riding in the dead calm for almost 100 kilometres.
News came back and forth; 65 kilometers from the end, the escapees eluded several protesters who crossed paths on the road, although they were soon removed by the police. Almost simultaneously, Steven Kruijswijk suffered a fall hard enough to bruise one of his shoulders and force him to retire.
The bad time for the Jumbo Visma continued and a few kilometers later Vingegaard himself and his teammate Tiesj Benoot ended up on the ground, although both recovered and soon reconnected with the peloton, which at full speed and with 53 kilometers to go gave up escape finished.
The compact group faced the last categorized climb of the day, the Cote de Cammazes (3rd category), a scenario in which Benjamin Thomas and Alexis Gougeard took the opportunity to attack and star in the second break of the day, taking a 25-second lead on the descent .
The French duo’s adventure was put at risk by the constant pace imposed by INEOS at the head of the pack, which not only reduced the difference, but also made the Packers get into the fight. With 4,000 meters to go Gougeard said “no more” and Thomas stayed ahead with a 13-second lead.
The Frenchman, multiple track champion, tried but 900 meters from the end he was caught. The disorderly peloton faced the end of the race at high speed and with a good comeback, Jasper Philipsen ended up beating Wout van Aert, while Mads Pedersen closed the podium of the day. The best Colombian of the day was
In the general the upper part had few changes; Jonas Vingegaard, despite the crash, remains in the lead followed by Tadej Pogacar, while Nairo Quintana is sixth.
Classification Stage 15
1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) – 4h:27m:27s
2. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) a m.t.
3. Mads Pedersen (Trek–Segafredo) at m.t.
33. Nairo Quintana (Arkéa Samsic) a m.t.
95. Rigoberto Urán (EF Education EasyPost) at 3m:47s
96. Daniel Galan (INEOS) at 3m:47s
1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) – 59h:58m:28s
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) at 2m:22s
3. Geraint Thomas (INEOS) at 2:43
6. Nairo Quintana (Arkéa Samsic) at 4m:15s
26. Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-EasyPost) at 1h:02m:56s
36. Daniel Martínez (INEOS) at 1h:19m:40s