Tour de France Stage 15: Report and Standings

“Better late than never” says a proverb. This is very much true for Wout Poels who secured his first-ever Tour de France stage victory on stage 15 at the age of 35. He triumphed with a solo win at St-Gervais Mont-Blanc. The podium was completed by Wout van Aert and Mathieu Burgaudeau, while Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar arrived together once again.

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Wout Poels of Bahrain-Victorious celebrates; BELGA PHOTO DAVID PINTENS – Photo by Icon sport

Tour de France Stage 15 Report

As ever the speed at the start of the stage was high, so the peloton was strung out and a breakaway attempt by Mathieu van der Poel was over before he could open a meaningful gap.

Next up was Nils Pollitt who quickly opened up a gap of 22 seconds. Shortly after he was joined by other riders – the likes of Julian Alaphilippe, Aurélien Paret-Peintre and Alexey Lutsenko. Also Wout van Aert and Marco Soler joined them.

A huge crash with 127 kilometres left increased the gap. The cause was a rider being caught by a fan who was trying to take a selfie. The peloton took time to re-organise itself before racing began again. This allowed the break-away riders to extend their lead to 1 minute 30 seconds.

The peloton was stretched out over several kilometres – the first two riders were already in the climb to the Col de Fleuris, while others were still some distance away. Julian Alaphilippe and Alexey Lutsenko were upfront with a 35-second lead over the peloton. The average speed in the first hour of racing was 46,2km/h!

The first at the summit was Alexey Lutsenko ahead of Alaphilippe and Ciccone. Fourth was Powless whose four points meant, he went clear of Vingegaard in this ranking. However, Neilson would struggle later on and was in danger of losing his jersey to another rider.

An interesting fact is that Jonas Vingegaard is leading the King of the Mountains ranking for the fifth time but he actually has never worn it because he was always in yellow at the same time.

The two riders up front were caught by the peloton and they were now 39 men in a group, among them Vingegaard and Pogačar.

With 10 kilometres to go, Poels broke away on the climb of Côte des Amerands, securing his victory with 10.7 kilometres to go. Adam Yates, Vingegaard, and Pogacar were the remaining contenders in the yellow jersey group, with Vingegaard maintaining his overall lead before the second rest day.

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Giulio Ciccone of Lidl-Trek talks to the press; BELGA PHOTO DAVID PINTENS – Photo by Icon sport

Ciccone on a mission

The Italian was on a mission today as he was among the first riders to go over each of the climbs of the day, bar the last one. That way he earned points in the King of the Mountains ranking. He has gathered 16 points in total: he went over in third position at the Col de la Forclaz, getting six points and first at the Col de la Croix Fry and is now in the polka dot jersey. He is level on points with Neilson Powless. Both have 58 each.

The Top Five of the stage

1. Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious)
2. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)
3. Mathieu Burgaudeau (TotalEnergies)
4. Lawson Craddock (Jayco Alula)
5. Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious)

Who’s wearing what after Stage 15

Yellow: Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 62hr 34min 17sec
Green: Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 323 points
Polka-dot: Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) 58 pts
White: Tadej Pogacar (UAE Emirates)

The top five on General Classification

1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 62hr 34min 17sec
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Emirates) +10sec
3. Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers) +5min 21sec
4. Adam Yates (UAE Emirates) +5min 40sec
5. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) +6min 38sec

Another interesting stage, the penultimate in the Alps with a worthy winner in Wout Poels. The only change was in the third position of the yellow jersey where Carlos Rodriguez has taken the place of Jay Hindley, and Adam Yates is fourth.

Monday, July 17th is the second rest day of the Tour de France 2023. The show continues Tuesday the 18th with the only time trial of this year’s Tour edition.

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