Monday July 16th, 2012

Stage 15Samatan / Pau

Start 13h50 GMT 2+

Key moments

video16.07.2012 in 23:00Summary of the race

video16/07/2012 

Summary of the race

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Stage summary16.07.2012 in 17:49The Fedrigo show in Pau

It took 90 minutes for the escape group to form and, perhaps because of the early exertions, the impetus was gone from the peloton once six men found themselves at the front of the 15th stage. From the halfway mark, it was obvious that the winner in Pau would be one of the six escapees. Four of the selection had previously enjoyed success at the Tour, with two of the Frenchman in the move - Thomas Voeckler and Pierrick Fedrigo - having claimed three stages each in the past. Once the escape...

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video16.07.2012 in 16:00Interview - Stage Winner

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Interview - Stage Winner

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interview16.07.2012 in 19:02FDJ-BigMat earns a range of wins...

It's party time for the French team that has been a regular at the Tour since it was established in 1997. FDJ-BigMat's Marc Madiot is relishing one of his best performances in the race thanks largely to the revelation of Thibaut Pinot who won stage eight in Porrentruy, and now Pierrick Fedrigo delivered a second stage victory for the team in Pau. With it comes with a stage victory for the team as it finished ahead of Garmin-Sharp, albeit with the same time.
RadioShack-Nissan, still...

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interview16.07.2012 in 18:57Pierrick Fédrigo: The victory of a comeback after a year of illness

Each of his four stage victories in the Tour de France has a special meaning. But after a year spent battling Lyme disease he knows what suffering really is...

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interview16.07.2012 in 18:53Wiggins: There are a lot of tired bodies out there

When asked about the attitude of Mark Cavendish, at the end of a day that was well suited to a rider of his strengths. Wiggins was full of praise.

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interview16.07.2012 in 18:26Sagan: The other riders don't want to do battle with me anymore

With a lead of 102 points in the race for the green jersey, Peter Sagan just has to survive the mountains to become the first Slovakian winner of the sprinters' classification at the Tour de France.

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interview16.07.2012 in 18:16Van Garderen: I've got a nice rest day to look forward to

Another day, another white jersey for Tejay van Garderen. The American was part of the group that finished 11'50» behind the stage winner in Pau but he admitted that it was a difficult day of racing.

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video16.07.2012 in 11:45Analysis of the stage

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Analysis of the stage

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Sporting stakes16.07.2012 in 11:00Up, down, up down... a race can be won or lost on such terrain

A day of rest will have served the riders well but nothing can really prepare someone for the prospect of what it's like to race a stage of the Tour de France with four huge mountain passes. The race from Pau to Luchon-de-Bagnères ends in a valley town and it's one that all riders would be afraid of. Those who are tired will suffer enormously on the challenging 197km route that takes in four mythical mountain passes – the Aubisque, Tourmalet, Aspin and Peyresourde; those who are...

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video16.07.2012 in 10:30The day's route

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The day's route

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Newsflashes

17:40Sky leading the peloton home...

Eisel is at the front of the bunch just like he said he would be for the final kilometres but instead of leading out the sprint for stage honours, he's keeping his team leader Wiggins in a safe place. When the last time check we had on the peloton was announced it was over 11 and a half minutes...

17:34The top five

FDJ-Big-Mat has now won two stages of the 2012 Tour (following Thibaut Pinot's victory in stage eight). The top placings in the 15th stage are:

1. Pierrick Fedrigo (FRA) FDJ - 3h36'34"

2. Christian Vande Velde (USA) GRS at same time

3. Nicki Sorensen (DEN) STB at 16"

4. Thomas Voeckler (FRA) EUC at 16"

5. Dries Devenyns (BEL) OPQ at 18"

And Samuel Dumoulin (COF) was sixth also at 18 seconds...

17:31Fedrigo takes a fourth Tour stage win!

Fedrigo led the sprint out and Vande Velde just seemed to accept that he didn't have the legs to win today. This is the Frenchman's fourth stage win in the Tour de France.

17:30Vande Velde or Fedrigo?

Either Vande Velde or Fedrigo is going to win the stage. Unless they start playing games and Voeckler and Sorensen are 15" behind... Fedrigo is at the front and Vande Velde is waiting to open up his sprint.

17:29Vande Velde offers a turn...

With 1.5km to go, Fedrigo has called Vande Velde through for a stint in the wind and the former pursuiter obliged. They are now inside the final 1km...

17:28Devenyns closing in...

Vande Velde and Fedrigo are still alone at the front. The Frenchman takes a drink while the American leads the way... Devenyns is the rider who is in third place with less than 2km to go.

17:27Two lead by 15" at 3km to go

Vande Velde and Fedrigo are in 15" ahead of the other escapees as they reach the 3km to go mark. Devenyns is the most aggressive of the chasing riders.

17:26Voeckler on his own in pursuit...

Voeckler didn't want to drag the other three to the two leaders and, for a while, he was on his own behind Vande Velde and Fedrigo and ahead of Dumoulin, Sorensen and Devenyns.

17:25Dumoulin looks to Voeckler...

Fedrigo and Vande Velde are well clear of the other four escapees. Dumoulin is keen to chase but he's waiting for Voeckler to take the initiative.

The leading pair have an advantage of 10".

17:24Two lead the stage...

Vande Velde is the only rider to chase down Fedrigo who started his attack about 6.5km from the line. Now Sorensen is committed to the pursuit...

17:237km to go: Fedrigo goes

Voeckler seems like he's itching to attack. He is at the front as the escape arrives on the outskirts of Pau but now it's time for Vande Velde to spend some time at the front... and that's prompted Fedrigo to launch an attack.

17:22Sorensen wins 'Fighting Spirit' award

The jury has voted the last of the escape group to reach the front, Nicki Sorensen, the most aggressive rider in the 15th stage. He gets a red 'dossard' (race number) for stage 16.

17:21Sorensen again...

Sorensen recovered from his first effort for 2km and then surged ahead again. Dumoulin has led the pursuit and there are six in the lead again.

17:19Sorensen is the first to attack

With 10.5km to go, Sorensen (STB) is the first of the lead group to go on the attack. He has been chased down by the five others but it was the first sign of aggression and it came after a few minutes of 'soft' pedalling from the escape group.

17:17Hutarovich quits

Another rider has quit the Tour today: the latest to step off his bike is the FDJ sprinter Yauheni Hutarovich.

17:16Peloton 20km from the finish

The bunch is inside the final 20km of the stage but it is 11'25" behind the escapees.

17:14Voeckler's three stage wins...

Two of the three Frenchmen in the lead today have won three Tour stages each over the years. Voeckler's first was in Perpignan in stage five of the 2009 Tour when he was in an escape with five others including Geslin, Hutarovic and the perpetually aggressive rider from Russia, Mikhail Ignatiev.

Voeckler latched on to the wheel of the Russian who attacked the front group 6.5km from the line and, with 5km to go, the Frenchman was on his own. He eventually won the stage by seven seconds...

17:06Dumoulin: the fastest?

Of the six in the lead, there are four former Tour stage winners. All of these victories have come as the result of an escape. Dumoulin (COF) won on a long, wet day when the finish was in Nantes in 2008. He can sprint a little although he admitted to LeTour.fr that he prefers a slightly uphill finish as was the case in St-Quentin at the end of stage five. In that sprint, he finished fourth - one place ahead of the world champion, Mark Cavendish.

17:03Advantage over 11 minutes!

Voeckler is poised to overtake Ivan Basson (LIQ) in the general classification. His group of six are now 11'05" ahead of the bunch and there's not even a hint that this advantage is going to get any smaller. The peloton is happy to just roll to Pau but the attacks are likely to start at the front of the stage as the escapees are inside the final 21km.

16:5825km to go

It's time to consider which of the six leaders are going to hit out first. Fairly clearly, the break is going to survive all the way to the finish in Gap. Sorensen, Vande Velde, Dumoulin, Voeckler, Devenyns and Fedrigo are ahead by 10'35" and they have less than 25km to go. For now they're sharing time in the wind fairly evenly...

16:54Peloton 10'30" behind

And so we can assume that the escapees are going to fight it out for the stage win. The peloton has reached the top of the second climb (35km from the finish) with a deficit of 10'30" to the six leaders Sorensen (STB), Vande Velde (GRS), Dumoulin (COF), Voeckler (EUC), Devenyns (OPQ) and Fedrigo (FDJ).

16:52Voeckler takes another point...

Voeckler (EUC) has led the escape over the third and final categorised climb of stage 15. He was the first over all three hills today and he now has 37 points in the climbing category.

16:51Leaders near top of 3rd climb

The escapees are about to reach the top of the cote de Monassut-Audiracq which is a cat-4 climb that's 1.5km long and has an average gradient of 5.4 per cent.

16:49Fedrigo beat an elite group in Pau in 2010

In the year that the Tour celebrated its 100th anniversary of the inclusion of the Pyrenees being part of the route, Pierrick Fedrigo was involved in an escape that included eight others - with Lance Armstrong, Chris Horner, Damiano Cunego, and Sandy Casar also in the mix.

At the age of 31, the former French champion timed his sprint to the line to perfection and beat Casar in Pau. That was the third of his three Tour stage wins... to date.

16:46Voeckler takes another two points...

At the top of the second climb today, Voeckler grabbed another two points. He beat Dumoulin over the line that's 35km from the finish. The peloton is not yet there as it's 9'20" behind the six-man escape group.

16:45Fedrigo a winner in Pau before...

Fedrigo (FDJ) is chasing his fourth Tour stage win: he won stages in 2006 (Gap), Tarbes (2009) and Pau (2010).

16:44Six year since Fedrigo's first stage win...

Fedrigo won the first of his three Tour stages on 16 July 2006. On 16 July 2012 he's in an escape with five others. The Frenchman gave the Bouygues Telecom team its first Tour stage win in Gap by beating escape companion Salvatore Commesso in a close sprint. The former Italian champion cried in the gutter after the loss...

Christian Vande Velde, who is also in the escape today, sped out of the peloton in the closing kilometre of that stage and finished third (just 3" behind the...

16:39Leaders on second climb

Sorensen, Vande Velde, Dumoulin, Voeckler, Devenyns and Fedrigo are on the second categorised hill of the stage: the cote de Simacourbe is ranked cat-3 and there are points for the first two at the top which is at the 123.5km mark. It is 1.9km long with an average gradient of 6.3 per cent.

16:34Greipel 30 today

Today is the 30th birthday of the German Lotto-Belisol rider who has won three stages in the 2012 Tour, André Greipel.

It's also the 39th birthday of Stefano Garzelli (the winner of the Giro d'Italia in 2000.

And Miguel Indurain turns 48 today. The Spaniard was the first rider to win five successive Tour de France titles (from 1991 to 1995).

16:34Maximum gain so far...

With the leaders inside the final 40km of the stage, the peloton is 8'20" behind.

16:30Six increasing their advantage

The six at the front are lifting the tempo while Sky seems content to allow them to build their advantage that has grown to 7'35".

16:28Sky lead the peloton

Lotto had put De Greef and Bak at the front of the peloton from the 70km to go mark but, 50km from the line it's Eisel and Knees - both from Sky - who are setting the pace of the main pack that's 7'10" behind Voeckler's group.

16:2745km to go

There are 5km between the six stage leaders - Sorensen (STB), Vande Velde (GRS), Dumoulin (COF), Voeckler (EUC), Devenyns (OPQ) and Fedrigo (FDJ). The stage leaders are inside the final 45km as the bunch reaches the 50km to go banner.

16:26Peloton slows because of oil on the road

The peloton is exercising caution on the descent as there is a patch of oil on the road. Everyone has gotten around it safely...

16:24Voeckler claims one point

At the top of the first climb, the escape was led by Voeckler (EUC). He adds another point to his tally and he now has 34 and is ranked fourth in the mountains classification.

16:22Giovanni Bernaudeau & Kenny van Hummel quit

There are two more retirements in stage 15: they are Giovanni Bernaudeau (EUC) and Kenny van Hummel (VCD). There are now 157 left in the race.

16:21Average speed for 2nd hour

The second hour was raced at an average speed of 43.6km/h. The average for the first two hours of stage 15 is 44.9km/h.

16:16Full result of Maubourguet sprint

1. Sorensen (STB) 20pts

2. Voeckler (EUC) 17pts

3. Devenyns (OPQ) 15pts

4. Dumoulin (COF) 13pts

5. Fedrigo (FDJ) 11pts

6. Vande Velde (GRS) 10pts

7. Sagan (LIQ) 9pts - at 5'20"

8. Koren (LIQ) 8pts

9. Bak (LTB) 7pts

10. De Greef (LTB) 6pts

11. Eisel (SKY) 5pts

12. Froome (SKY) 4pts

13. Knees (SKY) 3pts

14. Boasson Hagen (SKY) 2pts

15. Cavendish (SKY) 1pt

16:15Lancastesr abandons

Orica-GreenEdge is down to eight men as Lancaster has just quit the race. There are 159 men left in the 2012 Tour.

16:13Sagan adds another 9pts to his tally...

Sagan ducked ahead of the bunch to pinch the nine points for seventh place, 5'20" behind the escapees. The Liquigas rider now has 340 points!

16:12Peloton 1km from sprint

The Liquigas team is sneaking up the right side of the road as the peloton arrives near the site of the intermediate sprint... but still there are two Lotto riders at the head of the bunch that's 5'10" behind the six escapees.

16:09First six over intermediate sprint line

The 20 points for first place at  Maugbouguet (101.5km) were won by Nicki Sorensen. With six over the line, the first places went to:

1. Sorensen (STB) 20pts

2. Voeckler (EUC) 17pts

3. Devenyns (OPQ) 15pts

4. Dumoulin (COF) 13pts

5. Fedrigo (FDJ) 11pts

6. Vande Velde (GRS) 10pts

Just after these points were taken, the peloton arrived at the '5km until the sprint' sign.

16:06Peloton arrives in the Hautes-Pyrenees

The 158.5km stage is contested in three departments: after a start in Gers, the bunch has just arrived in Hautes-Pyrenees... and the finish is in the Pyrenees-Atlantique.

16:04Lotto-Belisol start chasing...

With the lead of the escapees now at 5'20" there are two Lotto-Belisol riders at the head of the peloton and assisting with the chase of Voeckler, Vande Velde, Fedrigo, Devenyns, Dumoulin and Sorensen.

16:025km until sprint

There are points on offer for the green jersey in five kilometres... but the points classification has effectively been wrapped up already and we've not seen anyone in the escapes of the last few days really fight for first place at the intermediate sprint.

15:55Leaders 10km from intermediate sprint

Voeckler (EUC), Vande Velde (GRS), Fedrigo (EUC), Devenyns (OPQ), Dumoulin (COF) and Sorensen (STB) are still at the front of the stage with a significant advantage: 5'25". They are at the 91.5km, 10km from the site of the intermediate sprint.

The maximum gain was 6'25" at the 79km mark.

15:50Leaders in the feedzone...

The six escapees are in Marciac (89.5km) which is where the feedzone of stage 15 is. They are 5'45" ahead of the peloton that continues to be led by Sky.

15:49Two 'Fighting Spirit' award winners in escape

Of the six at the front of stage 15, two have won the 'Fighting Spirit' award in the 99th Tour. Yukiya Arashiro (EUC) was voted the most aggressive rider of the stage to Rouen when he was in a break with Moncoutie and Delaplace.

On the day of his stage win, in Bellegarde-sur-Valserine (stage 10), Voeckler also received a red 'dossard' for his aggression as part of an escape group with 22 others.

15:4275km to go

With 75km to go, the six at the front have a lead of 6'35".

15:40Saxo no longer at front of bunch...

There had been four Saxo Bank riders at the front of the peloton but they have retreated and left the Sky team at the front.

15:39Nicki makes it to the front...

Nicki Sorensen has joined Voeckler,  Vande Velde, Fedrigo, Devenyns and Dumoulin at the 82km mark.

15:37Sorensen still chasing...

There are four Saxo Bank riders at the front of the peloton thgat's 6'10" behind Voeckler's five. Nicki Sorensen has not yet reached the leading quintet, he is 22" behind.

15:36Four of the six escapees have previously won a stage of the Tour

Of the six men who are ahead of the peloton in stage 15, four have previously won a stage of the Tour.

Dumoulin (COF) won stage four of the 2008 race in Nantes.

Voeckler (EUC) has won three stages - in Perpignan in 2009, Bagnere-de-Luchon in 2010, and Bellegarde-sur-Valserine earlier in the 2012 race.

Nicki Sorensen (STB) won a stage in Vittel in 2009.

And Fedrigo (FDJ) has won in Gap (2006) and Tarbes (2009).

15:316'00" at 71km

The peloton is 6'00" behind the Voeckler five at the 71km mark.

15:29Peloton at 5'10"

When it eases the pace, it really eases the pace. After chasing attacks for the first 88 minutes of stage 15, the peloton has decided that the six who have made the escape work deserve to gain some ground.

Sky is at the front of the bunch that is now 5'10" behind Voeckler (EUC), Vande Velde (GRS), Fedrigo (EUC), Devenyns (OPQ) and Dumoulin (COF).

Sorensen (STB) is closing in on the leaders who are 35" ahead of him.

15:23Sorensen at 40"

The peloton has given up chasing the breaks and it is 3'00" behind the five stage leaders.

Sorensen is still chasing the Voeckler quintet and the Danish rider is 40" behind.

15:22Voeckler the best placed of escape

Of the six men ahead of the peloton, Voeckler (EUC) is the best on GC - starting the stage in 34th overall, 56'06" behind Wiggins.

15:19That's it fellas: 1'30" - you're away!

So the selection has been made. The peloton has eased off the accelerator and the escape group has formed. It's composed of five at the front and one in a counter-attack. The lead group is: Voeckler (EUC), Vande Velde (GRS), Fedrigo (EUC), Devenyns (OPQ) and Dumoulin (COF).

The counter-attacker is Nicki Sorensen (STB).

15:17Sorensen makes a bid to be up front

The peloton is 45" behind the Vande Velde group and that seems to be it: they've had enough of chasing every attack. There's a truce in the pursuit from everyone but Nicki Sorensen who is between the main pack and the five stage leaders.

15:16Stortoni earns his first mention...

Stortoni's counter-attack was shortlived. The Italian was one of only three riders before today not to be mentioned during the live coverage on LeTour.fr... until today. Simone's surge lasted only about a minute but it's at least earned him a little headline.

15:14Could this be 'The Five'?

Fedrigo (FDJ), Vande Velde (GRS), Voeckler (EUC), Devenyns (OPQ) and Dumoulin (COF) are the five men who seem like they're going to form The Escape of stage 15. We don't have a time check but the bunch seems to be tired of chasing down every move. There's one last bid from Strotoni (LAM) who is in a counter-attack.

15:11Five leaders at 62km

There is (another) break of five men. It includes: Vande Velde (GRS), Voeckler (EUC), Fedrigo (FDJ), Dumoulin (COF) and a Omega Pharma rider...

15:08Escape over at 59km

The bunch is all together again as the Millar Five have been caught by the bunch. Now it all starts again and it's Vinokourov leading the charge...

15:07100km to go

The first 58.5km has seen a volley of attacks. Eisel (SKY) told LeTour.fr that he expected the start to be crazy today, suggesting it would take 30km to establish the escape but it's almost double that and still no one has gained any more than 30" on the bunch...

In fact, the peloton looks like it's about to swallow up the five who have been in the lead since the 35km mark.

15:05Nine in the lead

Martinez (EUS), Marcato (VCD), Trofimov (KAT) and Vinokourov (AST) have caught the five stage leaders at the 56km mark. There are now nine with an advantage of just 11".

15:04Eisel the latest to try and stop attacks...

Eisel is now at the front of the bunch that's 15" behind Millar's quintet. The Austrian rider from team Sky has signalled "Time Out" but his gesture has been ignored by riders from Katusha and Cofidis, they just attacked the bunch...

Now we see four more join the front five. (Names to follow shortly.)

15:00Vincent Jerome quits

There are now 160 in the race. Europcar has lost the services of Jerome Vincent who has quit at the 52km mark. He was one of three riders who has never been named in the newsflashes of the LeTour.fr site during 2012 Tour... until now.

14:57Boasson Hagen urges the escapes to stop

The Norwegian champion recently moved to the front of the bunch, held out his arms and seemed to mouth "Stop!" But the attacks just keep on coming.

14:56Saxo pair reeled in

Haedo and Kroon have been chased down by the peloton that is 13" behind Costa, Millar, Grivko, Grabsch and Arashiro.

14:5346.1km in the opening hour

On undulating terrain and under hot sun, the peloton is speeding along early in stage 15. The average speed for the first hour is 46.1km/h.

14:53Haedo & Kroon in counter-attack

The two Saxo riders in between the five escapees and the peloton are JJ Haedo and Karsten Kroon.

14:52Advantage down to just 10"

A strong turn at the front of the bnch by Impey (OGE) has taken time out of the Costa escape that is now 10" ahead.

Two Saxo Bank riders are together in a counter-attack.

14:49Eisel: who is going to ride?

LeTour.fr spoke with Bernhard Eisel before the start of stage 15 a day when a sprint is expected in Pau. “Ah, I hope so,” said the Austrian to that suggestion. “Yeah, we want to have a sprint but it's going to be a hard start, that's for sure. It's going to be hard to control the escapes today. We can let a group go but, at the same time, we'll try to set up a sprint.

“It's a good run-in to the finish and then a rest day tomorrow.

“There's nothing that's too tricky...

14:4718" at 42km

Albasini (OGE) is the latest to do a strong turn at the front of the bunch and limit the gains of Costa's group. At 42km, the five escapees had a lead of just 18".

14:44Weening and Vorganov chasing

With the advantage of the leading quintet down to 14", we see Weening (OGE) and Vorganov (KAT) trying to bridge the gap...

14:43Costa the best on GC

Of the five in the lead of stage 15 (25" ahead of the peloton), the best on GC after 14 stages is Rui Costa (MOV). He is 19th overall, 19'02" behind Wiggins.

14:42Five lead by 30"

At the 38km mark, the peloton is 30" behind Grivko, Arashiro, Millar, Costa and Grabsch.

14:40Sky put one at the front

The attacks have continued for 50 minutes and now a Sky rider has come to the front of the bunch to try and stop the counter-attacks but his gesture has been ignored and now we see Gusev launching a bid to join the five in the lead.

14:3825" advantage for five

Arashiro, Millar, Costa, Grivko and Grabsch are 25" ahead of the bunch near Auch.

14:37Brian Holm: He was really sick

“This morning he was really sick,” Brian Holm told FranceTV about Sylvain Chavanel. “He spoke with team doctors, who advised him to stop. The start is very fast, and he could not follow and so he abandoned.”

14:35Could this be it? Five in the lead

Grivko (AST), Arashiro (EUC), Grabsch (OPQ), Millar (GRS) and a Movistar rider - Rui Costa - are 10" ahead of two counter-attackers. The peloton is at 30" but still it's insisting on chasing down every escape.

14:33Four in the lead

There are four in the front of the stage including Millar (GRS) and Grivko (AST). They are near Auch which is where Eddy Merckx won his 34th and last Tour de France stage.

14:32All together at 31km

The attacks continue but nothing has been able to get ahead of the bunch by more than 15". So far 31km have been raced... and now we see Grivko (AST) at the front with four men right on his wheel.

14:29Peloton at 27km

Vinokourov wants to be in the escape. He's currently working with Ladagnous but the bunch doesn't seem like it wants that pair in the escape today... the speed is extremely fast and it has been since the start 40 minutes ago.

14:28Now it's Monfort's turn...

Monfort (RNT) is the latest to put himself at the front of the stage.

You getting the picture: there are many men willing to try and create The Escape... but no one has had any joy as yet.

14:26Hansen now leading the peloton

At the 26km mark, Vinokourov and Schleck have been caught. Now we see Hansen (LTB) at the front but Voeckler is also active in trying to break the grip of the bunch.

14:25Knees is Sky's "policeman"

The peloton is 10" behind Vino and Frank. Sky has sent Knees on the attack to mark the rider who is ranked 12th overall (Schleck).

14:24All together now...

The escapees have all been reeled in but now Vinokourov and Schleck are trying their luck. They are at the 25km mark.

14:23Frank Schleck chasing...

Schleck is the RadioShack rider who has latched on to the front trio...

14:22Eight in the lead

Martin (GRS), Fedrigo (FDJ), N. Sorensen (STB), Vinokourov (AST) and Devenyns (OPQ) have been joined by the three chasers - Izaguirre (EUS), Burghardt (BMC) and Vanendert at the 21km mark. They are 15" ahead but the peloton is not letting them break free easily. The speed is very fast early in this short stage to the "Porte des Pyrenees", Pau.

14:22Only three remain up front

Vinokourov, Sorensen and Fedrigo are the only three who are able to stay ahead of the peloton at the 23km mark.

14:20Three in counter-attack

Vanendert (LTB), Burghardt (BMC) and Izaguirre (EUS) are the three men trying to catch the Vinokourov quintet.

14:19Five in the lead

Martin (GRS), Fedrigo (FDJ), N. Sorensen (STB), Vinokourov (AST) and Devenyns (OPQ) are the men in the front of the peloton at the 20km mark.

14:18Two pairs of counter-attacks

There are riders from Astana, Garmin, Orica and one more team trying to bridge the gap to the leaders.

14:17Three lead by 10"

The six man break was caught at 15km but Devenyns kept on going. This current trio joined forces around the 16km mark.

14:16Three in the lead now

The six-man break that had been ahead is now over. Three riders - Devenyns (OPQ) along with Fedrigo from FDJ and someone from Saxo Bank, Nicki Sorensen, are now swapping off and trying to make their move happen.

14:14Eisel: Of course [Cav] is ready...

LeTour.fr spoke with Bernhard Eisel before stage 15 and asked: is it more difficult when it's a shorter stage because the speed is high all the way from the start to the finish? “Yeah, and it will be full on for the whole day," said the Austrian Sky rider. "With a rest day tomorrow, everyone will be giving everything they've got because they know they can rest tomorrow. Is Lotto going to keep trying? They've already got enough stage wins so no one is sure if they're going to ride....

14:11The attacks continue...

There are now three riders - one each from Lotto, Movistar and AG2R - trying to bridge the gap to the six at the front who are just 12" ahead at the 16km mark.

14:10Chavanel out of the Tour

There are now 161 men left in the 2012 Tour de France. Radio Tour has just confirmed the retirement of Sylvain Chavanel (OPQ).

14:09Valls Ferri best on GC of escape

Of the six men at the front of stage 15, the best on GC after 14 stages is Rafael Valls Ferri (VCD). He is 43rd overall, 1h06'40" behind Wiggins.

14:06Six in the lead at 10km

The Oss group is now composed of six men but the peloton isn't just allowing them to roll ahead. The speed is fast early today but we can report that the six at the front at 10km are: Oss (LIQ), Roelandts (LTB), Valls Ferri (VCD), Vichot (FDJ), Devenyns (OPQ) and Sprick (ARG).

14:05Six team cars with nails yesterday

LeTour.fr has just been told that six of the team cars that follow the peloton also got nails in their tyres atop the final climb of stage 14.

14:04Four in the lead

Roelandts is the Lotto-Belisol rider who has chased down the three stage leaders But a number of others have also bridged the gap to Oss' escape.

14:03Tankink calls medical car

Tankink (RAB) is one of four from his team remaining in the race. Bram has just called the race doctor at the back of the bunch.

14:02Lotto send someone forward

The three escapees have an advantage of 13" and Lotto-Belisol has got a rider in a counter-attack.

14:0115" at 7km

Vichot, Oss, Devenyns are now 15" ahead of the peloton but an Cofidis rider is now trying to bridge the gap to the leaders. (The Omega rider is Dries Devenyns, not De Weert.)

14:00The escapees: Oss, Vichot and De Weert

The three who are ahead of the peloton are Daniel Oss (LIQ), Kevin de Weert (OPQ) and Arthur Vichot (FDJ).

13:59Three in the lead

A Liquigas rider has joined the two at the front of the bunch. We're trying to get a glimpse of the race numbers and their names will be posted as soon as possible... it seems this trio has created The Escape...

13:58Chavanel dropped early...

While one Omega Pharma rider is at the front of the stage, another is off the back of the bunch. Sylvain Chavanel has been dropped in the first 4km of stage 15.

13:57Omega and FDJ now...

There are two men - one from Omega Pharma and one from FDJ - with a lead of about 100m on the peloton. There is a counter-attack forming behind this pair but we don't yet have the names of the two at the front after 6km of racing...

13:56Wiggins stops to fix flat tyre

Wiggins has just stopped to get a new wheel after an early puncture. He has three team-mates with him to bring him back to the peloton.

13:55Saxo, Argos, Katusha and Euskaltel...

Four kilometres have already been raced and there was a quartet ahead of the bunch but we didn't even have time to identify the Saxo Bank, Argos, Katusha and Euskaltel riders before the move was reeled in.

13:54Is it Millar time again?

There is one Garmin rider at the head of the peloton and it looks like Millar. He has been caught and passed by someone from Argos-Shimano...

13:53A group gets clear...

There are about 12 men in the lead of the 15th stage. But a number of others are trying to bridge the gap... and, because of this, it seems the Popovych attack will not succeed.

13:52Racing in stage 15!

The official start of the 15th stage from Samatan to Pau was at 1.50pm. There has been an immediate atttack and currently riders from Saur-Sojasun and Vacansoleil are trying to break free of the bunch.

Yaroslav Popovych is also working hard at the front and the bunch is strung out because of the speed set by the Ukrainian.

13:48Prize classification review: part 03 ?? polka-dot jersey

The only change to the top order of the climbing classification comes about because of the retirement of Robert Kiserlovski (AST) who crashed because of a flat tyre caused by the sabotage of stage 14. He was ranked fourth but he's now out of the race and nursing a broken collarbone.
His team-mate Frederik Kessiakoff is still wearing the polka-dot jersey and he has a lead of 14 points over the winner at La Toussuire, Pierre Rolland (EUC). Chris Sorensen (STB) is 30 points behind the...

13:46Prize classification review: part 02 ?? green jersey

With his first place at the intermediate sprint of stage 14 and second (to Luis Leon Sanchez in Foix) Peter Sagan (LIQ) added another 37 points to his tally and his lead in the sprinters' classification is significant: 333 to 236. Second place is held by the other triple stage winner this year André Greipel (LTB).
Matt Goss is third, 130 points shy of Sagan's lead.
The intermediate sprint in stage 15 is at the 101.5km mark in Maubourguet.

13:42Peloton start rolling...

The yellow jersey is tucked in behind the red number-one lead Skoda as the bunch makes its way through the neutral zone.

13:42Prize classification review: part 01 ?? yellow jersey

Bradley Wiggins (SKY) has already spent more time in the yellow jersey than any other British rider. This is his eighth day at the top of the general classification. There was the potential for him to increase his advantage over an unfortunate Cadel Evans (BMC) who was one of many riders to be affected by the sabotage at the top of the Mur de Peguere in stage 14 but ‘Wiggo' was insistent that the riders in his group should not attack when a rider of Evans' standing has flat tyre....

13:40Welcome to the live coverage of stage 15 of the 2012 Tour

The peloton is about to begin riding to the site of the official start of the 158.5km 15th stage of the 99th Tour. There is a 3.7km neutral zone to get through first and racing is expected to start at about 1.50pm.

The sun his shining and it's one of the hottest days of this year's race.

There are 162 riders still in the race.

Live coverage of the race from Samatan to Pau will commence shortly.

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