The previous two stages will have given the peloton a good shakedown, so there’ll be a lot of riders thankful that this is a flat stage with a likely bunch sprint at the end.
Sunday 20th July: Stage 15 – Tallard to Nimes, flat, 222km
The first half of the stage is rolling, then it’s mainly downhill until they hit the flat for the final 65km. Ah, but what do we have here? The Rhone Valley where the Mistral blows. If the air is still, it’ll be a straightforward sprint stage. If the air is active, there will be nerves as the teams look out for the all-important crosswinds. Last year, Alejandro Valverde lost his chance by being caught with a puncture on the wrong side of an echelon – will he try to get his revenge today?
Should it come down to a bunch sprint, it will be time for Messrs Kittel, Greipel, Coquard, Kristoff and friends to emerge from hibernation. The set-up for the finale is tricky, with a sequence of six roundabouts between 5km and 2km. However, the final 1,100 metres is straight, which will bring a smile to the sprinters’ faces.
Link: Official website
Header image: Nimes.