Second celebration for Simon Yates in Tour de France, Alaphilippe struggles, keeps Yellow
Jul 21 2019 10:59 pm CET

Second celebration for Simon Yates in Tour de France, Alaphilippe struggles, keeps Yellow
Second celebration for Simon Yates in Tour de France, Alaphilippe struggles, keeps Yellow
Photo of Simon Yates by Mitchelton-Scott

Simon Yates has taken the victory of the 15th stage in the Tour de France. The rider of Mitchelton-Scott crossed the finish line 31 seconds ahead of Thibaut Pinot and Mikel Landa on an active day for the General Classification riders.

The last stage in the Pyrenees took the riders from Limoux to Foix-Prat d'Albis over a 185-kilometres route that included one climb of the second category and three of the first, including the mountain finish. A group of 28 riders formed the escape of the day but the challenges of the climbs and the efforts taken in the last stages made that only Simon Geschke was left in front at the penultimate climb of the day.

On that last climb of the Mur de Peguere, riders like Adam Yates and Enric Mas were dropped early on and the favourites' group grew smaller by the kilometre. With 40 kilometres to go and as Julian Alaphilippe was left without any teammates, Mikel Landa launched an attack and took Jakob Fuglsang with him for a brief moment while Jumbo-Visma controlled the pace of the peloton.

Just before the last descent of the day, Simon Yates joined Geschke in front while Landa joined Andrey Amador and Marc Soler on his way to the front and the two teammates of the Spaniard took him to the first part of the last climb where he joined some of the former escapees, including Nairo Quintana.

With a bit more than eight kilometres to go, Yates left Geschke and continued on his own. Meanwhile, Landa set the pace of the chasers, a rhythm that Quintana couldn't hold. In the favourites' group, David Gaudu once again set a high rhythm for Thibaut Pinot, who then launched an attack with six kilometres to go.

This change of pace cut the group in two, leaving behind riders like Geraint Thomas, Steven Kruijswijk and Alejandro Valverde, while Egan Bernal, Julian Alaphilippe and Emanuel Buchmann remained with the Frenchman of Groupama-FDJ. A kilometre later, the rhythm of Pinot left the holder of the Yellow Jersey behind and moments later Buchmann was also distanced.

At the four-kilometre banner, the Frenchman left Bernal struggling and continued by himself, while behind Alaphilippe joined the rest of the favourites and had to set the pace there. Shortly after, Kruijswijk changed the pace, then Wout Poels got to the front and a final change of rhythm by Thomas managed to drop the wearer of the Yellow Jersey.

Thomas, Kruijswijk, Valverde and Richie Porte formed a group that was just behind the group of Bernal and Buchman. Yates crossed the finish line by himself, 31 seconds ahead of Pinot and Landa.

Buchmann and Bernal finished at 49 seconds from Yates, the group of Thomas, Kruijswijk and Valverde did so at one minute and 21 seconds, while Alaphilippe finished the stage at one minute and 48 seconds from the winner, successfully defending the Yellow Jersey for one more day.




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