Wout Poels claimed his first stage win at the Tour de France at the age of 35 after spending many years at the service of great leaders. The best personal result of the 2016 Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner in the Grande Boucle was third at Andorra in 2021 until he soloed to victory at St-Gervais Mont-Blanc. Wout van Aert and Mathieu Burgaudeau rounded out the podium while Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar arrived together once again.
ALPAHILIPPE AND LUTSENKO ON THE ATTACK
The start proper of stage 15 has been given to 157 riders at 13.26. One non-starter: Dani Martinez (Ineos Grenadiers). Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) was the first attacker of the day but the peloton reacted to all initial offensives. A split occurred in the bunch after 10km of racing with Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) and Felix Gall (AG2R-Citroën) caught behind but it was all together again at km 16. Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Alberto Bettiol, Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost), Jasper Stuyven (Lidl-Trek), Ben O’Connor (Ag2r-Citröen), Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Gorka Izagirre (Movistar), Matthew Dinham (DSM-Firmenich), Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) made an interesting move but were also reined in at km 26. Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe) rode away solo at km 29. He was joined by riders like Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-Quick Step) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) in several moves. Alaphilipe and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) escaped from a 27-man leading group after 42km of racing.
MARTIN IN A 39-MAN LEADING GROUP
A group of 37 was formed behind the leading duo when a crash occurred in the peloton at km 52, putting an end to the chase. It was composed of Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates), Omar Fraile (Ineos Grenadiers), Olivier Le Gac, Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Andrey Amador, Magnus Cort, Powless, Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-EasyPost), Mikel Landa, Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious), Marco Haller, Patrik Konrad, Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Giulio Ciccone, Mathias Skjelmose, Juan Pedro Lopez (Lidl-Trek), Nans Peters (Ag2r-Citröen), Van der Poel, Soren Kragh Andersen (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Rui Costa (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Guillaume Martin, Ion Izagirre (Cofidis), Alex Aranburu (Movistar), Chris Hamilton (DSM-Firmenich), Michael Woods, Hugo Houle, Krists Neilands, Dylan Teuns (Israel-PremierTech), Lawson Craddock, Luka Mezgec, Chris Juul-Jensen (Jayco-AlUla), Warren Barguil, Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic), Tobias Halland Johannessen, Torstein Traeen (Uno-X) and Mathieu Burgaudeau (TotalEnergies). The peloton crossed the line of the intermediate sprint at Bluffy (km 72) eight minutes after Alaphilippe and Lutsenko. With 85km remaining, it became a lead group of 39 riders. Haller took off 10km further.
POELS ALONE AT CÔTE DES AMERANDS
Rui Costa overhauled Haller to become the lone leader in the ascent to col de la Croix Fry 60km before the end but he was brought back by 19 chasers 1.3km before the summit. Ciccone crested in first place. Soler attacked in the following climb. The Spaniard was later joined by Van Aert, Poels and Neilands who crashed in a downhill. Poels rode away solo up the côte des Amerands with 10.7km remaining. The yellow jersey group was reduced to the lone Adam Yates along with Vingegaard and Pogacar in the last ten kilometres of racing. Yates rode away from the duellists who were rejoined for a while by Carlos Rodriguez before Pogacar launched his first attack under the red flame of the last kilometre Vingegaard managed to stick to his wheel without any difficulty and retained the yellow jersey before the second rest day.