Stage 15 of the Tour de France saw the break given its head for the second consecutive day and Astana’s Magnus Cort won the team’s second consecutive stage. Behind that, in the main peloton, nothing changed as they all rolled over the finish line together.
This Tour de France really has had something for everyone. Sprint stages for those that love the fast men. Three days in the Alps for fans of the climbers. Classics aficionados were treated to an entire day over the cobbles. And today the race served up a stage that was perfect for those with a few odd jobs to do around the house.
As happened yesterday, once the composition of the break was to everyone’s liking, it was allowed to build up a large gap. Domestic chore-doers may have missed some interesting intra-break dynamics but nothing that will change anything.Embed from Getty Images
In the end, Magnus Cort of Astana found himself in a 2km three-up sprint with Bauke Mollema (Trek) and Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida). The win was never in any doubt as the Dane’s superior sprinting skills held sway. The group of GC favourites tolled in 13 minutes later looking about as interested in the whole thing as I was.
Rider of the day
Magnus Cort for winning and looking like he cared, compared to the most of the others.
I must also give a special mention to his team. Astana applied their classic tactics to great effect in the closing kilometres. Having two riders in the final break gave them some serious cards to play but, as Quick-Step showed last year, having the numbers is one thing. Getting the win is another.
Someone who hasn’t been taking it easy
Peter Sagan (Bora) may be romping away with the points competition, but he hasn’t stopped trying for those intermediate sprint points. Today he got his 100th green jersey. Let that sink in. 100. One hundred. There are only 21 up for grabs each year!
Sometimes you just want a hug
Here’s Alejandro Valverde with his son.
The rest day
Normally when we head into the Tour’s day off, we use the phrase “well-deserved rest day”. Only for the GC guys, it’ll be their fourth rest day in a row. Friday was a flat sprint stage, yesterday they came in 18 minutes after the winner and today they were 13 minutes down. They took it so easy it looked as if they’d been on a nice club ride with Dave from accounts and Alan from customer services.
That’s not a gripe. I’m quite glad we’ll have some relatively fresh legs contesting those final and decisive stages.
1 Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana) 4:25:52
2 Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) same time
3 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) +0:02
4 Michael Valgren (Astana) +0:29
5 Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) +0:34
GC Top 10
1 Geraint Thomas (Sky) 62:49:47
2 Chris Froome (Sky) +1.39
3 Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) +1.50
4 Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) +2.38
5 Romain Bardet (Ag2r) +3.21
6 Mikel Landa (Movistar) +3.42
7 Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) +3.57
8 Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +4.23
9 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) +6:14
10 Dan Martin (UAE Emirates) +6.54
All the jerseysEmbed from Getty Images
Leader’s jersey: Geraint Thomas (Sky)
Points jersey: Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe)
KOM jersey: Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors)
Best young rider: Pierre Latour (Ag2r)
Most combative: Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)
Listen to Stage 15’s VeloVoices Tour in 5 podcast now on any podcast browser, even Spotify! and remember, you can get involved too!
Header image: ©GETTY/Velo/Tim de Waele