Tour de France – Stage 15


Kristoff denies Jack Bauer childhood dream as former Endura Racing rider is caught within touching distance of the finish line

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Tour de France – Stage 15

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Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) claimed his second stage win in Nîmes after the peloton caught two courageous breakaway riders including Jack Bauer in a thrilling finale. The Norwegian triumphed like a gladiator as the outcome was cruel for Jack Bauer and Martin Elmiger who escaped from the start of the 222-km long stage and got caught in the last 50 metres!

Elmiger and Bauer, a long day in the wind
Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) was the first attacker of the day, right after the flag off and closely watched by four-time Dakar winner and WRC champion Ari Vatanen from the car of Tour director Christian Prudhomme. Jack Bauer (Garmin-Sharp) joined him quickly at the front. The duo took a maximum advantage of 8.50 at km 26.

Three teams took control of the peloton: Giant-Shimano, Lotto-Belisol and Katusha, representing sprint winners Marcel Kittel, André Greipel and Alexander Kristoff respectively. They maintained a deficit of approximately six minutes until the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team put the hammer down with 70km to go while a big storm was in sight at Cavaillon.

The last agonising kilometre

EN РThe Flamme rouge РThe last kilometre РStage 15 (Tallard > N̨mes) by Le Tour de France

Successively, AG2R-La Mondiale and BMC also tried to create echelons. None of them succeeded. At the intermediate sprint of La Galina, with 46.5km to go, the deficit of the peloton was reduced to 1.30. Rain and wind led the GC contenders to ride safely and avoid potential hiccups. Despite the pouring rain, sprinters’ teams were back in action with 30km to go after passing the Rhône river between Tarascon and Beaucaire when the gap was superior to two minutes again.


Photo: ASO/G.Demouveaux

Until the very end, it wasn’t clear whether or not the peloton would catch Bauer and Elmiger. The chase wasn’t perfectly organized, so the likes of Michal Kwiatkowski, Tony Martin and Jan Bakelants rode away from the peloton. Jack Bauer was very close to winning. The New Zealander was in tears at the finish as the sprinters passed him with 25 metres to go. Vincenzo Nibali retained the yellow jersey.

EN РSummary РStage 15 (Tallard > N̨mes) by Le Tour de France

Alexander Kristoff: “It was close, really close. The break was strong and at the end it was difficult to bring them back. Luckily we caught them on the line and I’m really happy. This is more than I could expect in this Tour de France. The team was great. In the middle of the race Simon worked in front to control the break and in the final Gatis pulled the group hard. Then Luca took over to help me get the best position,- said a joyful Alexander Kristoff.

“The break was super today. During the stage I was sure we would catch them but in the last kilometers I was really unsure about it. Those guys did a great race, big respect for them. When we entered the final km I saw the break was still very far and I realized we would catch them with only 200 meters to go. All the best sprinters – Greipel, Sagan and Kittel – were still in front and it was a hard sprint. I had a good position and I gave my best to win. Maybe I had more energy than others after mountains. I did not feel well during the stage because I was tired from the mountains, but I decided to fight until the end. This is a perfect race so far for me and I’m glad to bring one more victory to my team Katusha. They support me and trust in me, – said Alexander Kristoff.

Jack Bauer: “It’s just bitter, bitter disappointment. It’s a childhood dream to win a stage of the Tour and for a domestique, like myself, I’m normally working for others. This was my first chance to be up the road and with the chance in the wind and the weather, me and Martin realised we had a chance for the win.”

“I faked to be tired but felt I had more punch left. I left it until 400 metres to go. I thought I had it but then I realised in the last 50 metres that I had nothing.”

“A break is not just a group of people who are stronger than the other 180 riders and they just ride away. It’s a shuffle at the start of the stage, it’s a positioning thing, it’s a motivational thing after two hard days. A lot of people wanted a sprint finish but for us it was important. After losing Talansky and not really having many stages in the last week that suit, today was a day we had to gamble that a break would stay away. It was so close but so far.”

Vincenzo Nibali: “At some point, gusts of wind were blowing from the side. The road was curvy in a village. I was scared of possible echelons. I didn’t want to be caught by surprise. That’s when BMC accelerated but I was attentive and they stopped a few kilometers further.

From last year’s Vuelta that I lost close to the end, I’ve maybe learnt how to handle a stage race as a team but it was at the different period of the season. I had already won the Giro and done a full season at a high level. On the other hand, I came to the Tour de France this year after improving my condition progressively in order to reach my first peak of the year precisely at the Tour de France.
As an Italian, I’m proud to become part of the history of the Tour like prestigious champions in the past. Two years ago, I already felt so when I was battling against Wiggins and Froome. But I’m probably too focused on my race now to put my performances into perspective and realize what it means.”



Van Garderen “It was looking like today was going to be a sprinter’s day, but the wind and the rain made it a day when you had to be mentally switched on,” van Garderen said. “I am glad the rest day is tomorrow. I just want to mentally recover – do a little face time with the family. Today was no mental recovery. So it id all about taking advantage of tomorrow.”

Romain Bardet: “For now, the final podium isn’t a goal. Firstly I need to gain time my direct rivals because I might lose some time in the time trial. The climbs in the Pyrenees suit me better but I don’t have a particular stage in mind. I’m not fighting against Thibaut [Pinot], he’s a friend of mine! Why not finishing both of us the highest possible…”

Peter Sagan: “It was a bit stressful. We expected some wind but we got some rain as well. I’m happy this stage is over. It could have been better. I was behind Kittel and Greipel was just in front of him… and they haven’t sprinted! I don’t know why. Then it was too late for me to catch the other sprinters. But I take some more points. I also try to avoid crashes and hiccups in order to bring the green jersey to Paris. I’m glad to have a rest but that’s for everyone. Maybe we could have no rest day and finish one day earlier in Paris…”

Joaquim Rodriguez: “That was definitely not a stage for me: flat, windy, wet, etc. I’ve finished behind because there has been a crash and I got caught behind. I haven’t much to say. I’m happy this stage is over and I’m looking forward to the rest day and the Pyrenees.”


It isn’t just Rodriguez who is wearing the polka dots … the ‘Devil’ has them too. Photo:


Ahead of the second rest day, British neo-pro Simon Yates will depart from his first Tour de France following two hugely impressive days in the breakaway over the first two weeks of racing. The 21-year-old will return home to rest and recover, destined for more great things to come.

“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity with the start in Yorkshire,” Yates said. “Almost in my home training base basically and it’s something I will never forget for the rest of my life. Once we got over to France it’s been non-stop really and it really has been surreal, a really good experience and I hope to be back here in a year to come.”


Yates pinpointed yesterday’s breakaway effort as his highlight of the Tour. “Racing wise, yesterday in the breakaway, I felt really good,” he said. “I got away in a big group, I think there were 17 away in the end, and just got caught in the final climb again. But going back to the experience thing, it’s one of those things that you really take on board and it helps you for the future so I think it was just another great opportunity and I’m looking forward to being back.”

Simon’s DS Matt White, thrilled with his debut on the biggest stage of world cycling, said there are many reasons to be excited about what is to come for the young rider. “Ten out of ten,” White said when rating Yates’ performance.

“For a 21-year-old neo-pro, he contributed every day, everything he could do. Making one break in the Tour de France is an achievement but to make a couple and the way he has gone about the whole Tour de France experience is a great sign for the future. Yes, it would be nice for him to finish the Tour, but it was a group decision that enough is enough and we have a lot of goals for him in the second half of the season.”

Yellow: Vincenzo Nibali
Green: Peter Sagan
Kom: Joaquim Rodriguez
Young Rider: Romain Bardet
Team: Ag2r

1 Kristoff Alexander Team Katusha 04h 56′ 43″
2 Haussler Heinrich Iam Cycling
3 Sagan Peter Cannondale
4 Greipel André Lotto-Belisol
5 Renshaw Mark Omega Pharma-Quick Step
6 Coquard Bryan Team Europcar
7 Navardauskas Ramunas Garmin – Sharp
8 Feillu Romain Bretagne – Seche Environnement
9 Albasini Michael Orica Greenedge
10 Bauer Jack Garmin – Sharp
11 Kittel Marcel Team Giant-Shimano
12 Eisel Bernhard Team Sky
13 Dumoulin Samuel Ag2r La Mondiale
14 Rojas Gil José Joaquin Movistar Team
15 Terpstra Niki Omega Pharma-Quick Step
16 Elmiger Martin Iam Cycling
17 Roelandts Jurgen Lotto-Belisol
18 Oliveira Nelson Lampre – Merida
19 Lemoine Cyril Cofidis, Solutions Credits
20 Van Avermaet Greg Bmc Racing Team
21 Thomas Geraint Team Sky
22 Valverde Belmonte Alejandro Movistar Team
23 Mollema Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling
24 Bardet Romain Ag2r La Mondiale
25 Costa Rui Alberto Lampre – Merida
26 Delage Mickaël Fdj.Fr
27 Petacchi Alessandro Omega Pharma-Quick Step
28 Scarponi Michele Astana Pro Team
29 Pinot Thibaut Fdj.Fr
30 Kwiatkowski Michal Omega Pharma-Quick Step
31 Nibali Vincenzo Astana Pro Team
32 Schär Michael Bmc Racing Team
33 Morkov Michael Tinkoff-Saxo
34 Van Garderen Tejay Bmc Racing Team
35 Péraud Jean-Christophe Ag2r La Mondiale
36 Velits Peter Bmc Racing Team
37 Herrada Lopez Jesus Movistar Team
38 Konig Leopold Team Netapp-Endura
39 Bakelants Jan Omega Pharma-Quick Step
40 Rolland Pierre Team Europcar
41 Ten Dam Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling
42 Grivko Andriy Astana Pro Team
43 Kangert Tanel Astana Pro Team
44 Arashiro Yukiya Team Europcar
45 Hollenstein Reto Iam Cycling
46 Ladagnous Matthieu Fdj.Fr
47 Tankink Bram Belkin Pro Cycling
48 Kruijswijk Steven Belkin Pro Cycling
49 Wyss Marcel Iam Cycling
50 Reza Kévin Team Europcar
51 Zubeldia Agirre Haimar Trek Factory Racing
52 Voigt Jens Trek Factory Racing
53 Cherel Mikael Ag2r La Mondiale
54 Schleck Frank Trek Factory Racing
55 Mate Mardones Luis Angel Cofidis, Solutions Credits
56 Gautier Cyril Team Europcar
57 Irizar Arranburu Markel Trek Factory Racing
58 Van Den Broeck Jurgen Lotto-Belisol
59 Durasek Kristijan Lampre – Merida
60 Voss Paul Team Netapp-Endura
61 Van Summeren Johan Garmin – Sharp
62 Montaguti Matteo Ag2r La Mondiale
63 Delaplace Anthony Bretagne – Seche Environnement
64 Feillu Brice Bretagne – Seche Environnement
65 Iglinskiy Maxim Astana Pro Team
66 Howes Alex Garmin – Sharp
67 Gastauer Ben Ag2r La Mondiale
68 Pineau Jérôme Iam Cycling
69 Keukeleire Jens Orica Greenedge
70 Porte Richie Team Sky @ 00′ 16″
71 Chavanel Sylvain Iam Cycling @ 00′ 18″
72 Huzarski Bartosz Team Netapp-Endura @ 00′ 18″
73 Trofimov Yury Team Katusha @ 00′ 18″
74 Trentin Matteo Omega Pharma-Quick Step @ 00′ 18″
75 Jarrier Benoit Bretagne – Seche Environnement @ 00′ 18″
76 Roy Jérémy Fdj.Fr @ 00′ 18″
77 Pimenta Costa Mendes José Team Netapp-Endura @ 00′ 18″
78 Machado Tiago Team Netapp-Endura @ 00′ 18″
79 Erviti Ollo Imanol Movistar Team @ 00′ 18″
80 Koren Kristijan Cannondale @ 00′ 18″
81 Oss Daniel Bmc Racing Team @ 00′ 18″
82 Martin Tony Omega Pharma-Quick Step @ 00′ 18″
83 Curvers Roy Team Giant-Shimano @ 00′ 18″
84 Rogers Michael Tinkoff-Saxo @ 00′ 18″
85 Minard Sébastien Ag2r La Mondiale @ 00′ 18″
86 Gadret John Movistar Team @ 00′ 18″
87 Hansen Adam Lotto-Belisol @ 00′ 24″
88 Sieberg Marcel Lotto-Belisol @ 00′ 24″
89 Wynants Maarten Belkin Pro Cycling @ 00′ 24″
90 Boom Lars Belkin Pro Cycling @ 00′ 24″
91 Vanotti Alessandro Astana Pro Team @ 00′ 28″
92 Dumoulin Tom Team Giant-Shimano @ 00′ 28″
93 De Kort Koen Team Giant-Shimano @ 00′ 34″
94 Rast Gregory Trek Factory Racing @ 00′ 34″
95 Bak Lars Lotto-Belisol @ 00′ 37″
96 Gene Yohann Team Europcar @ 00′ 39″
97 Izaguirre Insausti Jon Movistar Team @ 00′ 49″
98 Bodnar Maciej Cannondale @ 00′ 49″
99 Bonnet William Fdj.Fr @ 01′ 03″
100 Veelers Tom Team Giant-Shimano @ 01′ 14″
101 Kluge Roger Iam Cycling @ 01′ 21″
102 Smukulis Gatis Team Katusha @ 01′ 26″
103 Marcato Marco Cannondale @ 01′ 34″
104 Vanmarcke Sep Belkin Pro Cycling @ 01′ 55″
105 Gallopin Tony Lotto-Belisol @ 01′ 55″
106 Molard Rudy Cofidis, Solutions Credits @ 01′ 55″
107 Plaza Molina Ruben Movistar Team @ 01′ 55″
108 Bideau Jean-Marc Bretagne – Seche Environnement @ 01′ 55″
109 Sabatini Fabio Cannondale @ 01′ 55″
110 Gerrans Simon Orica Greenedge @ 02′ 05″
111 Durbridge Luke Orica Greenedge @ 02′ 05″
112 Stetina Peter Bmc Racing Team @ 02′ 05″
113 Busche Matthew Trek Factory Racing @ 02′ 05″
114 Kiryienka Vasili Team Sky @ 02′ 05″
115 Tosatto Matteo Tinkoff-Saxo @ 02′ 05″
116 King Benjamin Garmin – Sharp @ 02′ 05″
117 Degenkolb John Team Giant-Shimano @ 02′ 05″
118 Moinard Amaël Bmc Racing Team @ 02′ 05″
119 Nieve Iturralde Mikel Team Sky @ 02′ 05″
120 Pichot Alexandre Team Europcar @ 02′ 05″
121 Westra Lieuwe Astana Pro Team @ 02′ 05″
122 Yates Simon Orica Greenedge @ 02′ 05″
123 Meier Christian Orica Greenedge @ 02′ 05″
124 Serpa José Lampre – Merida @ 02′ 05″
125 Barta Jan Team Netapp-Endura @ 02′ 05″
126 Tuft Svein Orica Greenedge @ 02′ 05″
127 Paolini Luca Team Katusha @ 02′ 15″
128 Pate Danny Team Sky @ 02′ 19″
129 Horner Christopher Lampre – Merida @ 02′ 19″
130 Jeannesson Arnold Fdj.Fr @ 02′ 25″
131 Pineau Cedric Fdj.Fr @ 02′ 25″
132 Gerard Arnaud Bretagne – Seche Environnement @ 02′ 31″
133 Visconti Giovanni Movistar Team @ 02′ 31″
134 Vachon Florian Bretagne – Seche Environnement @ 02′ 31″
135 Bennati Daniele Tinkoff-Saxo @ 02′ 31″
136 Slagter Tom Jelte Garmin – Sharp @ 02′ 33″
137 Majka Rafal Tinkoff-Saxo @ 02′ 33″
138 Clarke Simon Orica Greenedge @ 02′ 45″
139 Burghardt Marcus Bmc Racing Team @ 03′ 35″
140 Roche Nicolas Tinkoff-Saxo @ 03′ 37″
141 Leezer Thomas Belkin Pro Cycling @ 03′ 39″
142 Fuglsang Jakob Astana Pro Team @ 04′ 26″
143 Gruzdev Dmitriy Astana Pro Team @ 04′ 26″
144 Dempster Zakkari Team Netapp-Endura @ 04′ 26″
145 Schillinger Andreas Team Netapp-Endura @ 04′ 26″
146 Petit Adrien Cofidis, Solutions Credits @ 04′ 26″
147 Timmer Albert Team Giant-Shimano @ 04′ 50″
148 Demare Arnaud Fdj.Fr @ 05′ 19″
149 Fonseca Armindo Bretagne – Seche Environnement @ 05′ 22″
150 Kadri Blel Ag2r La Mondiale @ 05′ 22″
151 Viviani Elia Cannondale @ 05′ 22″
152 Marino Jean Marc Cannondale @ 05′ 22″
153 Guillou Florian Bretagne – Seche Environnement @ 05′ 22″
154 Riblon Christophe Ag2r La Mondiale @ 05′ 22″
155 Edet Nicolas Cofidis, Solutions Credits @ 12′ 20″
156 Isaichev Vladimir Team Katusha @ 12′ 20″
157 Golas Michal Omega Pharma-Quick Step @ 12′ 20″
158 Quemeneur Perrig Team Europcar @ 12′ 20″
159 Paulinho Sergio Miguel Moreira Tinkoff-Saxo @ 12′ 20″
160 Spilak Simon Team Katusha @ 12′ 20″
161 Voeckler Thomas Team Europcar @ 12′ 20″
162 Reichenbach Sébastien Iam Cycling @ 12′ 20″
163 Intxausti Benat Movistar Team @ 12′ 20″
164 Simon Julien Cofidis, Solutions Credits @ 12′ 20″
165 Taaramäe Rein Cofidis, Solutions Credits @ 12′ 20″
166 Rodriguez Joaquim Team Katusha @ 12′ 20″
167 Cimolai Davide Lampre – Merida @ 12′ 20″
168 Lopez Garcia David Team Sky @ 12′ 20″
169 De Marchi Alessandro Cannondale @ 12′ 20″
170 Langeveld Sebastian Garmin – Sharp @ 12′ 20″
171 Ji Cheng Team Giant-Shimano @ 12′ 20″

1 Nibali Vincenzo Astana Pro Team 66h 49′ 37″
2 Valverde Belmonte Alejandro Movistar Team @ 04′ 37″
3 Bardet Romain Ag2r La Mondiale @ 04′ 50″
4 Pinot Thibaut Fdj.Fr @ 05′ 06″
5 Van Garderen Tejay Bmc Racing Team @ 05′ 49″
6 Péraud Jean-Christophe Ag2r La Mondiale @ 06′ 08″
7 Mollema Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling @ 08′ 33″
8 Konig Leopold Team Netapp-Endura @ 09′ 32″
9 Ten Dam Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling @ 10′ 01″
10 Rolland Pierre Team Europcar @ 10′ 48″
11 Van Den Broeck Jurgen Lotto-Belisol @ 11′ 02″
12 Zubeldia Agirre Haimar Trek Factory Racing @ 11′ 10″
13 Costa Rui Alberto Lampre – Merida @ 12′ 57″
14 Schleck Frank Trek Factory Racing @ 14′ 37″
15 Porte Richie Team Sky @ 16′ 19″
16 Kwiatkowski Michal Omega Pharma-Quick Step @ 19′ 24″
17 Trofimov Yury Team Katusha @ 19′ 30″
18 Thomas Geraint Team Sky @ 20′ 18″
19 Feillu Brice Bretagne – Seche Environnement @ 21′ 00″
20 Kruijswijk Steven Belkin Pro Cycling @ 22′ 30″
21 Nieve Iturralde Mikel Team Sky @ 23′ 09″
22 Horner Christopher Lampre – Merida @ 26′ 18″
23 Gadret John Movistar Team @ 33′ 13″
24 Kangert Tanel Astana Pro Team @ 39′ 12″
25 Gastauer Ben Ag2r La Mondiale @ 41′ 28″





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