Stage 15, Tour de France 2022 – wowzers, what a stage! Scorching temperatures that melted the tarmac and an ungodly number of litres of water poured on the roads. Drama as riders crashed and opted to abandon to protect themselves long-term. Breakaways that flip-flopped from being doomed to having glimpses of hope. A sprint at the end. And all on a day where, with just 100km remaining, we all thought “it’s time for a nap, eh?”
Alpecin’s Jasper Philipsen salvaged the race for the team, winning his first Grand Tour stage, ahead of Jumbo’s Wout van Aert and Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo). Despite arriving battered and bruised, Jonas Vingegaard maintained the yellow jersey and nothing significant changed in the GC.
The Day’s Winner
Starting today’s tale with Jasper Philipsen only tells a small sliver of the day. With Trek leading out and a hungry Wout in the wheels, young Jasper Snapper navigated his way to the front in the final metres, mastering a bike throw to secure his first Tour de France stage win.
🏆 A first Tour stage win and what a way to do it!
The slow-motion look at 🇧🇪 Jasper Philipsen's win
🏆 Une première victoire sur le Tour avec la manière !
— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) July 17, 2022
We talk a lot about how we love to see the emotions of the victors as they describe what the stage win means to them. Philipsen did not disappoint. [Such emotion! -ed]
"I'm not going to cry on television!" 😭
— Eurosport (@eurosport) July 17, 2022
What a difference a year makes. From a distraught Philipsen after the Champs sprint last year to a ‘not letting Wout take this one’!
2021. 2022. pic.twitter.com/Ct6pIoS7QA
— Bas Tietema (@BasTietema) July 17, 2022
The Day’s Moral Victor
Give me a second, I have to prepare myself before I can put these words out. . .
Okay, I think I’m ready.
The moral victor of today’s stage goes to Benjamin Thomas of Cofidis.
— Team Cofidis (@TeamCOFIDIS) July 17, 2022
Yes, I know! It surprises me, too. But I can’t not give him an honorable mention and even the moral victory of the day. Having gone clear with a B&B Hotels (who, finally, came out of hiding after being dropped by Magnus Cort on stage 2) rider and dangling off the front with just 30 seconds going into the finale, Thomas wore his heart on his sleeve and nearly pulled off a corker.
In his home region, Thomas pushed the pedals as ferociously as his little Cofidis heart could, trying to eek out any advantage as the roads snaked around this bend and that. Unfortunately, as is so often the case for Cofidis, it was not meant to be. The peloton caught him with less than a kilometre to go, a heart-wrenching scene for the team that hasn’t won a Tour stage in 14 years.
I think we can all agree Benjamin Thomas is the moral victor pic.twitter.com/zItezAqhmg
— midge (@pariswheels) July 17, 2022
Save the Bees
I’m not talking about actual bees, no. A swarm of them once stung me some twenty years ago while I was a young child and I have yet to forgive the species. I’m talking about the Jumbo Bees.
“I’m proud of my contribution to the current standings and I trust that the team will realise our yellow and green ambitions. Thanks to everybody for your great support.” pic.twitter.com/aw0juGFWwO
— Team Jumbo-Visma cycling (@JumboVismaRoad) July 17, 2022
The team’s woes began before the stage even started with news that Primoz Roglic would not be on the start line, leaving the race to allow his injuries to heal properly. The announcement was met with groans on Twitter, arguing that the Slovenian had performed so well the day before and complaints (from at least one) that he’d abandoned just before they were able to return to the Tour in person to see him.
Let me set the record straight: There is more than a team winning the yellow jersey. There is more than an injured rider pushing through the pain just to help said team win the yellow jersey. Everyone is all about keeping riders safe and protecting them from unnecessary hazards until it actually comes down to doing so. Let Primoz heal for goodness sake and keep quiet.
— Mihai Simion (@faustocoppi60) July 17, 2022
The day’s bad luck continued when Wout van Aert and Steven Kruijswijk hit the deck in a high-speed crash. While Wout was okay to continue, Kruijswijk had a broken collarbone or a dislocated shoulder (both had been discussed) and was soon carted away in an ambulance. Heal up quick, Steven!
— daniel mcmahon (@cyclingreporter) July 17, 2022
It all reached a crescendo when Tiesj Benoot AND race leader Jonas Vingegaard both hit the deck. Both were seemingly fine to continue (though Tiesj looked a bit shaken in the head at first). There’s some speculation that Vingegaard took the brunt of the crash on his left shoulder, though he says he’s fine. In any case, the yellow jersey was sullied.
🎙 🇩🇰Jonas Vingegaard : « Je ne sais pas ce qui s’est passé. Tiejs est tombé devant moi et je n’ai rien pu faire. C’est le cyclisme. »
— Maillot Jaune LCL (@MaillotjauneLCL) July 17, 2022
All of this resulted in a lot of chatter on Cycling Twitter on how it was too risky for Wout to sprint for the stage win. I’m sorry, what? The man does bunch sprinting on a routine basis and today was no more dangerous than before. If you want to make the argument that Wout shouldn’t have sprinted today, then you should also make the argument that he shouldn’t be sprinting at any race where Jumbo is targeting the yellow jersey. Just let the lad race his bike, for goodness sake!
The Last Word
For you, Kathi. [>derisive snort< – ed]
— Julien Prétot (@julienpretotRTR) July 17, 2022
Stage 14 results
1 Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 4:27:27
2 Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) same time
3 Mads Pedersen (Trek – Segafredo) s.t.
4 Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies) s.t.
5 Danny Van Poppel (BORA – hansgrohe) s.t.
GC Top 10
1 Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 59:58:28
2 Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +2:22
3 Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) +2:43
4 Romain Bardet (Team DSM) +3:01
5 Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) +4:06
6 Nairo Quintana (Team Arkea-Samsic) +4:15
7 Louis Meintjes (Intermarche-Wanty-Goubert) +4:24
8 David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) +4:24
9 Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) +8:49
10 Enric Mas (Movistar) +9:58
All the jerseys
Leader’s jersey : Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma)
Points jersey : Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)
King of the Mountains jersey : Simon Geschke (Cofidis)
Young Rider Jersey : Tadej Pogacar (UAE)
Team competition : INEOS Grenadiers
For the full stage review, go to cyclingnews
Go here for the official Tour de France website