Stage 15 of the 2019 Tour de France offered up plenty of action. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) took his second stage victory of this Tour de France out of the breakaway. Further down the road, the GC contenders were busy throwing attacks at one another. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Mikel Landa (Movistar) took second and third respectfully on the stage, taking over a minute from Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), who showed signs of vulnerability today on the final climb.
Alaphilippe nonetheless remains in yellow for Monday’s rest day, but the chips in his armor are apparent. While, Pinot and Landa were the big GC winners of the day, Egan Bernal (Ineos) and Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) also grabbed some time today.
“I’m very proud of what I did today,” said Yates. “It was an extremely hard day from the start to the finish. I raced the way I like to, which is trying to be aggressive, and I managed to pull it off.”
Yates was part of a breakaway containing a number of big names; Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale), and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida). The peloton gave the group about three minutes advantage by mid-stage.
As the breakaway ascended the group shrunk, but its advantage grew to over five minutes. On the following climb things heated up, Simon Geschke (CCC) soloed away and built a lead, then Yates jumped out of the chase group to catch him. Behind, a more frantic peloton reduced down to a very select GC group and Alaphilippe’s Deceuninck-Quick-Step team fell apart. Landa was the strongest among the and pulled away to solo on, catching several early break members on the way.
Geschke and Yates summited together and descended into the final climb side by side. Early into the Prat d’Albis climb, Yates jumped. From there he soloed to the stage victory.
The GC group hit the climb with Jumbo-Visma driving a hard pace. Pinot took off at around 7km to go and Geraint Thomas (Ineos), Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) lost touch. Alaphilippe held on for a moment alongside Bernal and Buchmann, but Pinot put in another big effort and the yellow jersey fell off.
With Alaphilippe falling away, Pinot, Bernal and Buchmann pushed ahead. Pinot soloed away at 3km to go and ultimately caught Landa. Behind Alaphilippe dropped to the Thomas and Kruijswijk group for a moment, until even their pace proved too much and the yellow jersey was left to finish alone.
Pinot beat Landa across the line 33 seconds behind Yates. Buchmann and Bernal a further 18 seconds out.
Alaphilippe now leads Thomas by just 1:35, with Kruijswijk 1:47 back. Pinot is now at 1:50 down on Alaphilippe. As Alaphilippe appears to be cracking Pinot with his strong showing on the day might just be hitting his stride.
2019 Tour de France Stage 15 Extended Highlights
Last kilometer – Stage 15 – Tour de France 2019
2019 Tour de France Results
Stage 15 results
1 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 4:47:04
2 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:33
3 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar
4 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:51
5 Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos
6 Lennard Kämna (Ger) Sunweb 0:01:03
7 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos 0:01:22
8 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
9 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
10 Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:30
General classification after stage 15
1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 61:00:22
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos 0:01:35
3 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:01:47
4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:01:50
5 Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos 0:02:02
6 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:02:14
7 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar 0:04:54
8 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar 0:05:00
9 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana 0:05:27
10 Rigoberto Uran
(Col) EF Education First 0:05:33