Sunday July 20th, 2014

Stage 15Tallard / Nîmes

Start 12h10 (Local time)

Key moments

video20.07.2014

Summary

video20/07/2014 

Summary

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Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) claimed his second stage win in Nîmes after the peloton caught the two courageous breakaway riders in a thrilling finale. Near the antique Arenas, 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!

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Gone with Martin Elmiger (IAM) for nearly 220 km, Jack Bauer (GRS) was caught by the peloton with 100 metres to go.  

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King of the Mountains.

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Tenth overall, 10:48 behind Vincenzo Nibali, Pierre Rolland hopes to have a good third week.

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"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...

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Another fine finishing for Bryan Coquard (EUC), who was 6th in Nimes, but the disappointment of not having quite been a contender.

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The of the town20.07.2014

Echelon, breakaway or bunch sprint?

Will the expected echelon take place today on the road to Nimes? The flat and wind-exposed terrain of the Rhone valley and the proximity of the sea from Beaucaire and Tarascon in the finale gave ideas to some teams after the spectacular coup achieved in the wind last year in St Amand-Montrond.

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How was the first time ?20.07.2014

Majka - First Tour and first victory

First Tour de France and first stage win. Rafal Majka could hardly dream of a better baptism of fire

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Unlucky at the start of the Tour de France, when they saw one of their best riders, Tiago Machado, crash as he was playing a leading role, Team NetApp-Endura recovered in style in the Alps, when their leader Leopold Koenig confirmed his ambitions.

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Sporting stakes20.07.2014

In between the Alps and the Pyrenees

Vincenzo Nibali leaves the Alps with a comfortable margin of 4.47 over runner up Alejandro Valverde and a huge psychological advantage over all his adversaries. But it doesn't mean he can take it easy until the rest day on Monday. Stage 15 from Tallard to Nîmes is long: 222km. There isn't any climb on the course but it can be hot in the south of France. Storms can also take their toll according to the weather forecast. It could be windy too. Beware of echelons! They might as well prevent...

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The nail-biting fight in the 2013 Tour in the stage to St Amand Montrond has given ideas to the organisers.

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Newsflashes (Local time)

17:10Top 5

1. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)

2. Heinrich Haussler (IAM)

3. Peter Sagan (Cannondale)

4. André Greipel (Lotto)

5. Mark Renshaw (OPQS)

17:08Elmiger and Bauer caught, Kristoff wins

Elmiger and Bauer get caught in extremis, Alexander Kristoff wins stage 15!

17:04Bakelants attacks

Bakelants attacks from the bunch with 3.5km to go. Bauer and Elmiger still in the lead

17:015km to go: 34 seconds

OPQS also in the chase

16:59Elmiger the most aggressive rider of the day

For the second time after stage 7, Martin Elmiger has been awarded the Antargaz most aggressive rider price of the day.

16:579km: 45 seconds

Peloton getting closer and closer.

16:57Gallopin back in business

Former yellow jersey and stage 11 winner Tony Gallopin pulls the peloton with 10km to go for his team-mate André Greipel.

16:54Less than one minute

With 12km to go, Bauer and Elmiger insist but they have less than one minute lead over the peloton now led by Lotto, Katusha and Giant.

16:49Kwiatkowski reeled in

Kwiatkowski gets caught by the peloton led by Giant-Shimano 1.05 behind Elmiger and Bauer with 16km to go.

16:47It's sunny in Nîmes!

It doesn't rain anymore on the finishing line in Nîmes near the antique Arenas. It's even sunny!

16:4520km to go: 1.25

With 20km to go, Giant and Lotto work for a bunch sprint finish. Leading duo 1.25 ahead.

16:41Démare off the back

Arnaud Démare who was sick yesterday is off the back. Michal Kwiatkowski tries to escape solo from the bunch.

16:37Sprinters' teams back in action

Giant-Shimano resumes chasing in Beaucaire with 28km to go despite the pouring rain.

16:27Peloton on a slow motion

From 1.30, the deficit of the bunch has increased to two minutes with 33km to go. Some more hopes for Bauer and Elmiger?

16:2040km to go

Elmiger and Bauer still ride with a great determination despite the rain and the wind. Their advantage is 1.35 with 40km to go.

16:19Purito three minutes behind

The small group containing Joaquim Rodriguez who got dropped earlier on is three minutes behind the peloton.

16:17Top 15

Result of the intermediate sprint in La Galine, km 175.5


1.    Martin Elmiger (IAM), 20 points


2.    Jack Bauer (Garmin-Sharp), 17


3.    At 1.30: Bryan Coquard (Europcar), 15


4.    Mark Renshaw (OPQS), 13


5.    Peter Sagan (Cannondale), 11


6.    Sylvain Chavanel (IAM), 10


7.    Elia Viviani (Cannondale), 9


8.    Andriy Grivko (Astana), 8


9.    Maciej...

16:1344km/h

In the fourth hour, Elmiger and Bauer have covered 46.1km. Average speed so far: 44km/h.

16:11Elmiger first

Martin Elmiger passes the line of the intermediate sprint in first position.

16:091.40 with 48km to go

FDJ, Cannondae, Astana and NetApp occupy the front line of the peloton. It's windy and rainy on the road of the Tour.

16:06Paolini back in the pack

As the peloton slowed down, Luca Paolini is back in the pack. He's an important lead out man for Alexander Kristoff in case of a bunch sprint finish.

16:03It's a three-quarter head wind

The wind blows strongly. It's a three-quarter head wind but the pack is well compact with 53km to go.

15:59Time gap down to two minutes

With 57km top go, the advantage of Elmiger and Bauer has decreased to two minutes as BMC rode hard behind. Luca Paolini (Katusha) punctures.

15:54BMC takes over from AG2R

BMC takes over from AG2R riding flat out at the head of the peloton

15:52AG2R accelerates

AG2R stretches the peloton at the exit of Cavaillon.

15:503.30 at Cavaillon

At Cavaillon, with 65km to go, Elmiger and Bauer have 3.30 lead. It's windy in the Rhône valley.

15:46Astana in command

In order to avoid any hiccup in other potential echelons, the Astana team of race leader Vincenzo Nibali takes the command of the peloton.

15:44Porte back in the bunch

OPQS has stopped pulling but the gap has decreased significantly: 4.13. Porte is back in the bunch.

15:42Echelons in formation

As expected, OPQS puts the hammer down with 70km to go. Polka dot jersey Joaquim Rodriguez is one of the first riders off the back. So is Richie Porte soon after the Spaniard.

15:36Voeckler chases after puncture

Thomas Voeckler had a flat tyre. He was just about to come across to the peloton when the race suddenly sped up

15:35Riders on a storm

A strong side wind blows with 73km to go. Storm is in sight!

15:3280km to go

With 80km to, the time gap is 6.15

15:1927 riders have abandoned

27 riders have pulled out of the Tour de France in the first two third of the race, seven of them being from Spain. The 171 remaining participants are from 33 different nations:


-    France: 43 (Arthur Vichot [FDJ] abandoned in stage 13)


-    Italy: 16 (Sacha Modolo [Lampre] abandoned in stage 1)


-    The Netherlands: 15 (Stef Clement [Belkin] and Danny van Poppel [Trek] abandoned in stage 7)


-    Spain: 13 (Xavier Zandio [Sky]...

15:1343.3km/h

Elmiger and Bauer have covered 45.1km in the third hour of racing. Average speed so far: 43.3km/h.

15:05Peraud back in the bunch

Escorted by Chérel and Riblon, JC Péraud is back in the pack.

15:03Peraud has a flat tyre

JC Péraud punctured. Mikaël Chérel and Christophe Riblon wait for him. Jérémy Roy also has a flat tyre.

14:58Gadret back in the peloton

John Gadret (Movistar) is back in the peloton while Adrien Petit (Cofidis) punctures.

14:52Gadret has a flat tyre

John Gadret who is now an important domestique for Alejandro Valverde in the mountains has punctured.

14:486.30 at the feed zone

After decreasing to 5.40, the deficit of the peloton is 6.30 as they approach the feed zone at Simiane-la-Rotonde, km 105.

14:45Ji back in the bunch

Big freight for Ji Cheng but he hasn't given up. The only Chinese rider of the Tour de France is back in the peloton.

14:44Ji off the back

Lanterne rouge Ji Cheng who has done his usual work as "breakaway killer" is now dropped off. He's alone behind the peloton with 115km to go...

14:40Brian Holm, the echelons maker...

The sky is getting dark over the historical city of Nîmes. The potential storms and the wind from the south increase the perspective of echelons towards the end of today's race. There's a specialist of this kind of tactics in the convoy: Brian Holm. He was at the helm of the HTC-Columbia team that split the bunch in two pieces during stage 3 from Marseille to La Grande Motte in 2009. Defending champion Carlos Sastre, Alberto Contador, Cadel Evans, Andy Schleck and Denis Menchov lost 41...

14:33It starts drizzling on the road of the Tour

The two leaders are at Banon, km 93, where it starts drizzling!

14:16Good old cycling nations back in business...

Globalization was the daily bread in cycling in the past 25 years with the Tour de France welcoming on its final podium Colombians (Pabio Parra), riders from Eastern Europe (including Jan Ullrich), America (Greg LeMond, etc.), the southern hemisphere (Cadel Evans), sub-Saharan Africa (Chris Froome)… Interestingly, after two third of the 2014 Tour de France, the top three riders on GC are from three traditional cycling countries: Italy (Vincenzo Nibali), Spain (Alejandro Valverde) and...

14:1542.4km/h average

Elmiger and Bauer have covered 38.1kmin the third hour of racing. Average speed so far: 42.4km/h.

14:11Christian Guiberteau: «It's cool and quiet but it can change quickly»

Questioned during the race by letour.fr, Giant-Shimano's DS Christian Guiberteau said: “We kind of blocked the peloton at the start proper because we wanted the breakaway to be the smallest possible and it has worked out. They're only two [Elmiger and Bauer]. We expected more of a fight for breaking away but it looks like a lot of riders are exhausted after the Alps. We have one rider less: Dries Devenyns [who pulled out after crashing yesterday]. For now, the race looks cool and quiet but...

13:57Km 72: 5.40

Time gap still under control by the sprinters' teams: 5.40 at km 72

13:55Only five teams with five riders

Only five out of 22 teams are still complete with nine riders each at the beginning of the last third of the Tour de France: Movistar, Astana, AG2R-La Mondiale, Europcar and Bretagne-Séché Environnement.

13:38Time gap on the down

It's down to 6.35 as Giant, Lotto and Katusha pull the bunch

13:30Katusha at the head of the peloton

While the time gap is 7.15 after 50km of racing, Team Katusha of stage 12 winner Alexander Kristoff is noted at the head of the peloton. They're reduced to seven riders as Egor Silin abandoned on stage 6 after crashing and Russian champion Alexander Porsev missed the time cut in stage 13 by only one second. The Norwegian regretted that Porsev had to work at the service of Joaquim Rodriguez before the mountains for only two KOM points collected by the Spaniard on that day. Porsev was an...

13:2046.7km in the first hour

Martin Elmiger (IAM) and Jack Bauer (Garmin) are riding fast! They have covered 46.7km in the first hour.

13:07Serge Beucherie: «We've changed our goal to breakaway attempts»

First timers IAM Cycling enjoy the presence of Swiss national champion Martin Elmiger at the front of the race today but they haven't had the success they expected so far at the Tour de France. Team Sky, Tinkoff-Saxo and Garmin-Sharp aren't the only teams to have lost their leader because of a bad crash. IAM Cycling team manager Serge Beucherie didn't blame his riders as he communicated via a team's press release after stage 14. “We lost our leader Mathias Frank in Nancy (stage 7) as he...

13:02In the Provence

As the race enters the Provence region, the deficit of the bunch from Elmiger and Bauer is 8.20.

12:58Ji and Bak at the head of the peloton

The two riders who set the pace of the bunch are Ji Cheng for Giant and Lars Bak for Lotto.

12:55Lotto-Belisol also concerned

Not only Giant-Shimano but also Lotto-Belisol is noted at the head of the peloton to keep the race under control for the sprinters. The time gap is stabilized at 8.50 at km 26.

12:53Thibaut Pinot: «It would be a pity to waste the good work»

Echelons are feared today due to stormy conditions forecasted after Cavaillon (km 65). Questioned before the start by letour.fr, Thibaut Pinot said: “All the FDJ.fr will stay closely around me today. It would be a pity to waste all the good work in such a stage.” In daily newspaper Midi Libre, he declared: “The stage I fear the most is stage 15 to Nîmes because of the risk of echelons.”

12:528.50..

One rider from Giant-Shimano is noted among the Astana riders at the head of the peloton but the leading keeps increasing their advantage: 8.50.

12:48200km to go

The peloton has just past the km 22. It means 200km to go...

12:44Still going up

At km 21, the time gap is 7.25

12:40Km 17: 5.35

Time gap increasing: 5.35

12:31Km 13: 3.45

At km 13, Elmiger and Bauer are 3.45 ahead of the peloton.

12:252.25

Time gap for the two leaders: 2.25.

12:18Elmiger and Bauer in the lead

The first two escapees of the day are: Martin Elmiger (IAM) and Jack Bauer (Garmin). Peloton led by Astana.

12:15Attacks from the gun

Two riders at the front.

12:14Start proper given

The start proper has been given to 171 riders at 13.11.

12:13AG2R-La Mondiale a valuable leader

AG2R-La Mondiale has won five of the past six stages as a team – the sixth one was won by wild-card team Bretagne-Séché Environnement – and seriously increased their lead as they rode brilliantly up to Risoul. The French team is now 12.42 ahead of Belkin and 38.16 ahead of Team Sky.

12:12Bardet-Pinot:it's definitely a duel

Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) remains the best young rider. After stage 14, it's definitely a duel between the two Frenchmen as Thibaut Pinot is 16 seconds down. Third placed Michal Kwiatkowski has lost ten minutes from them in Risoul.

12:12Rodriguez thanks to the Izoard

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) has taken the lead back after Vincenzo Nibali also occupied the first position of the King of the Mountains competition. He's equal on points (88) with stage 14 winner Rafal Majka but he leads because he's the only one of the two to have passed a Hors-Category climb in first place: the col d'Izoard yesterday. There isn't any climb on the course today.

12:11Sagan towards new records

Peter Sagan (Cannondale) has now an advantage of 170 points over runner up Bryan Coquard. Interestingly, he won the points classification in 2012 with 141 points more than André Greipel who was second, and in 2013 with 97 more than Mark Cavendish. His record of points was 421 in 2012 in Paris. After two third of the Tour, he has already accumulated 361 points this time…

12:09Four Frenchmen in the top 10 behind Nibali

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) is a brilliant leader of the Tour de France at the exit of the Alps. He's got an advantage of 4.37 over runner up Alejandro Valverde. Behind them, the overall classification has been reshuffled at Risoul with a fourth Frenchman moving up into the top ten: Pierre Rolland now 10th while the hosting nation is experiencing more and more excitement every day because of the performances of Romain Bardet, 3rd, Thibaut Pinot, 4th, and JC Péraud, 6th.

12:07Riders on the move

171 starters this morning. They are in the neutral zone.

11:59Jersey holders... and Ari Vatanen

Like every day of this second week of racing, Vincenzo Nibali (yellow), Peter Sagan (green), Joaquim Rodriguez (polka dot) and Romain Bardet (white) gather on the front line at the start. They've been greeted by four-time Dakar winner and WRC champion Ari Vatanen in Tallard who will follow the race with Tour director Christian Prudhomme.

11:54Welcome

Welcome to the live coverage of stage 15 from Tallard to Nîmes (222km) on www.letour.fr. This is a long flat stage in the south of France, bridging the Alps and the Rhône valley.

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Jersey wearers after the stage 21

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Sponsorship and Environment

Since its creation, Amaury Sport Organisation has been committed to various charity work. Read more

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The Jerseys of the Tour

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