21/07/19 - 11:10
Limoux - Prat d'Albis
Tour de France • Stage15

Limoux - Prat d'Albis

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The top 10 going into tomorrow's rest day...


Confirmation of the result today after a sodden but superb finale on the Prat d'Albis.


Buchmann and Bernal take fourth and fifth at around 50 seconds with Kamna sixth. Thomas leads the chasers over the line at 1'22". And Alaphilippe comes home in the rain at 1'50". Isolated and beaten, but not out. He'll lose time but keep the yellow jersey for an 11th day.


Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) takes second place ahead of Mikel Landa (Movistar) around 33 seconds down.


Victory for Simon Yates of Mitchelton-Scott - his second in four days.


Simon Yates has 500m to go now and starts to clench his fist - he know the win is his, a second in under a week.


The rain is lashing down now! Alaphilippe is digging in to limit his losses - he should still be in yellow, unless he completely cracks now. He has Poels sandbagging on his back wheel.


Alaphilippe refuses to be dropped by this chase group - he's on the back behind Porte and Valverde, but still there. And now Thomas goes! Kruijswijk responds with Porte and Valverde - but Alaphilippe has been distanced!


Simon Yates still in the hot seat and looks a safe bet for the win. Landa will soon be caught by Pinot.


Buchmann and Kamna have caught Bernal.


Alaphilippe leads the chase group with Thomas, Poels, Valverde, Kruijswijk and Porte. And it's Kruijswijk who attacks and the yellow jersey struggles to respond...


Pinot is putting in surge after surge. He's just 10 seconds down on Landa and 1'15" behind Yates, who is not yet guaranteed the stage win. Bernal is 10 seconds back and the yellow jersey group 2'05" back - so 50 seconds down on Pinot.


Pinot beginning to distance Bernal a bit... while Alaphilippe is about to be caught by the Thomas group. It will be interesting to see if he can hold on to them, or if he fades even further.


Another attack from Pinot! The Frenchman is out of the saddle as he tests Buchmann and Bernal again - and only the Colombian can stay with him. Buchmann is with Kamna, who was previously ahead with Landa.


What a stage this is... Alaphilippe digs deep out of the saddle in a bid to limit his losses - but he has to be careful or he'll completely blow. Because behind Thomas is rallying with Poels, Porte and Kruijswijk.


Landa, meanwhile, still trails Simon Yates by one minute. AND ALAPHILIPPE HAS POPPED! The yellow jersey is on the ropes and has been dropped by Pinot, Bernal and Buchman...


Great stuff again from Groupama with Reichenbach now pacing Pinot ahead of a second attack from the Frenchman. He takes Bernal, Alaphilippe and Buchmann with him. The gap from Yates is 1'45".


Thomas has been dropped! He has Poels with him, as well as Porte and Kruijswijk, and Ineos let Bernal continue ahead. Alaphilippe still up there leading the chase.


Pinot attacks! Yesterday's winner makes his move after Gaudu comes to a halt! He opens up a small gap and catches the likes of Reichenbach, his teammate, Kreuziger, Bardet and Quintana...


Landa has dropped Kamna in his pursuit of Yates. He has Geschke in his sights. Uran and Barguil have been dropped by the main yellow jersey group.


Lutsenko the latest rider from the break to be caught... Barguil holding on, as is Porte. Bernal doesn't look very comfortable - he's behind Fuglsang but near the back as Groupama continue driving things ahead.


Bennett has now been tailed off while Uran - or is it Kangert - is also struggling. Yes, it's Uran, because Kangert was on the front and has just looked over his shoulders to see the Colombian pedalling squares...


Landa and Kamna have dropped Bardet and ride in pursuit of Yates. And now Gaudu and Pinot have come to the front of the main pack.


Alaphilippe is right with Thomas and Poels, with Bernal a bit further back and Jumbo still on the front of this GC group. They trail the lone leader by 2'25".


Landa drives the chase with Bardet and Lutsenko. Quintana has been dropped.


Big attack from Yates, who dances clear of Geschke in pursuit of a second stage win. He knows that there are fresher legs behind and if he doesn't make his move now, it'll be too late.


Landa has now joined his teammate Quintana in the chase group. They're 1'30 down. Also here we have Dan and Guillaume Martin, Kreuziger, Lutsenko, Bardet, Reichenbach, Woods, Kamna and Gallopin.


The rain is back now and our two leaders have 1'35" as they pass the 10-to-go banner. Further back, Marc Soler's work is done and he peels off to let Landa continue solo; Amador has already popped and been caught by the pack, who trail the leaders by 2'45".


Right, it's show time, we're onto the first ever Tour ascent of the Cat.1 Prat d'Albis (11.8km at 6.9%).


Quintana and Bardet are still arguing even though they're with other chasers. It seems like the Frenchman won't ride in line ahead of the Colombian and so the group stutters a little.


Mechanical for the yellow jersey? He's off the back but perhaps it's not serious because he's still back in the mix.


The Bardet-Quintana trio are about to be caught by some of the other escapees as they pass under the 20-to-go banner. Yates and Geschke still have 1'10".


This is shaping up nicely. Bardet and Quintana dropped Reichenbach and Lutsenko but they're back together. Behind them, there's the Movistar trio of Landa, Soler and Amador chasing. They have more than a minute on the pack but aren't doing their teammate Quintana any favours.


Jumbo continue piling on the pressure behind in the main pack with Valverde, the world champion, up there. Thomas and Bernal have Poels back. Oh, and Landa has Amador with him too as well as Soler...


More agro in the chase group as Quintana now lays into the others on the descent. Their deficit grows to 45 seconds as Yates and Geschke combine well on the front. The yellow jersey group are 3'02" back with Landa and Soler riding at 2'15". The Gruppetto, meanwhile, is 13'35" down.


The yellow jersey group goes over the summit 2'35" down on the two leaders. Meanwhile, Bardet sounds off at former teammate Reichenbach for not helping on the plateau ahead of the descent proper. He also wants Quintana to do more work - as it is, it's only Lutsenko doing a job. They trail the two leaders by 20 seconds.


Simon Geschke goes over the summit in pole position with Simon Yates just behind. The chasing quartet is led over by Bardet around 15 seconds down. Meanwhile, Landa has now caught his teammate Soler, who was in the break, and they're riding together. Jumbo-Visma still have De Plus and Bennett drilling things for Kruijswijk - but Alaphilippe, although isolated, shows no signs of weakness.


Bardet, Quintana, Lutsenko and Reichenbach are riding in pursuit of Yates, who has Geschke in his sights. The summit is in half a click. Further back, Fraile has been caught by Landa. And while one Yates is on the offensive, the other - Adam - has been dropped by his rivals for the second successive day.


Lone leader Simon Geschke has entered the fog and mist on the summit - but he now has Yates in pursuit! Back with the pack and they have caught Nico Roche.


Fuglsang has been reeled in but Landa is still out ahead. Aru and Barguil are on the back of this GC group with Uran, Kangert and Porte just about holding on. Jumbo's trio are on the front with Alaphilippe, Thomas and Valverde.


Ineos domestiques Kwiatkowski, Poels and Moscon have all gone so it's just Bernal and Thomas up front them. Gaudu, too, has been dropped so Pinot is isolated as well.


ATTACK: Mikel Landa and Jakob Fuglsang make the first move from the main pack just as they hit the steep section of the Mur de Peguere. But the gradient is so steep they struggle to open up a big gap - no one is panicking behind with Thomas, Alaphilippe and Jumbo's trio of Kruijswijk, Bennett and De Plus keeping calm on the front.


Alaphilippe is down to just one teammate now in Kasper Asgreen. Astana and Ineos have come to the front as a response.


We're not far away from the steep part of the Mur de Peguere - in fact, Geschke is now onto the narrow goat track which hits double digits...


Meanwhile, according to our TV specialists, the Tour is all the better for Chris Froome's absence...


The latest Bradley Wiggins Podcast has dropped - and he thinks Alaphilippe can win the Tour, but that all is not lost yet for Thomas.


Simon Geschke is the first man to make a move on the climb, the bearded German CCC rider edging clear of the break. He memorably won in Pra Loup a few years back so has some form on these kinds of stages.


The break is onto the Cat.1 Pur de Peguere (9.3km at 7.9%). Their gap is down to 4'15" and the sun is back out.


The break is back to around 21-strong here with the gap just under five minutes ahead of the climb. The Sagan-Wellens gruppetto is eight minutes back, and another group with Enric Mas even further behind. And it's started to rain! That could make the rest of the descent really treacherous...


Mechanical issue for Michael Woods on the descent - and the Canadian is trying to sort out something with his front wheel while descending pretty fast, which I wouldn't readily advise at home. He seems to be stuck in the small ring and can't get into the bigger gear.


The peloton goes over the summit of the Port de Lers with Alaphilippe still on the front with three or four QuickStep teammates - including, impressively and improbably, Viviani. They trail the leaders by 5'15" ahead of a long technical descent to the foot of the tough penultimate climb.


Meanwhile, back with the pack and Richie Porte is off the back - although he may just be picking something up from the Trek team car. The Deceuninck-QuickStep-led peloton have just caught Vincenzo Nibali, who is pedalling squares today after getting into the break. And with the gap now over five minutes, Nairo Quintana is pushing for a virtual place on the podium... He was 7'19" down this morning.


Romain Bardet's objectives become clear as the Frenchman rides clear to take the 10pts over the summit of the Port de Lers.


Quintana is back! Rousing stuff from the Colombian, who collapsed yesterday and then looked to have bitten off more than he could chew today. But he's back with the leaders - and with the pack now at 5'15" it looks like one of the escapees could well win today.


Omar Fraile is driving the pace now on the front of the leading group alongside his Astana teammate Lutsenko. Meanwhile, the Quintana chase group is edging ever closer to regaining contact.


Dan Martin has been dropped again. The summit is in 3.5km. Martin is doggedly fighting back.


So it's a 16-man group on the front now with Dan Martin back in the fold along with Kreuziger, G Martin, Lutsenko, Molard, Bardet, Reichenbach, Roche, Herrada, Ciccone, Woods, Amador, Fraile, Kamna, Yates and Gallopin. The chase group of Quintana, Soler, Bilbao, Bernard, Politt, Tratnik, Geschke, Caruso and Jansen is 20 seconds back. Then we have another group that includes Mollema, Konrad, Frank, Nibali, Zakarin, Sicard, Bouet, Moinard and Perez at another 30 seconds back. The peloton is at 4'40.


Mas being dropped is particularly embarrassing given Viviani is still there for Alaphilippe on the front of the pack, 4'15" down on the leaders.


Yates has been joined by a host of other riders from the break, including Lutsenko, Molard, Bardet, Reichenbach, Roche, Herrada and Amador. But both Dan Martin and Nairo Quintana are already suffering and have been droppd by the chase group.


Enric Mas has already been dropped by the yellow jersey group and so that's bad news for the yellow jersey, who would have hoped the Spanish climber could have hung around a little longer to help him out later in the stage. Mas was third in the Vuelta last year and looked in superb form before cracking yesterday and losing the white jersey.


Deceuninck-QuickStep are still setting tempo on the front of the pack, and they have managed to trim down the peloton quite considerably, with Wellens once again off the back along with many of the sprinters and heftier riders wilting in the heat.


Simon Yates has danced clear of the break shortly after the start of this climb - he clearly means business. He's already won a stage in this race last week - could this be another?


Climb time! We're onto the Cat.1 Port de Lers (11.4km at 7%). Politt's foray off the front has come to an end but we can expect the break to dismantle on this climb because there are more passengers in this break than on a train in India.


Nils Politt is trying to time trial his way away from the break. The Paris-Roubaix runner-up has a handful of riders in pursuit. The gap back to the peloton is 3'40".


Around 10 riders from the break forced a small gap on a rise following the intermediate sprint, but it's back together now as their advantage stretches to over three minutes ahead of the first of three successive Cat.1 climbs that will decide this stage.


It's Michael Matthews of Sunweb who takes maximum points in the intermediate sprint despite a late challenge from Nils Politt. Tratnik settles for third after doing his best to protect teammate Sonny Colbrelli's second place in the green jersey standings. Those points will put Matthews into third place above Elia Viviani in the points classification.


We're heading into Tarascon-sur-Ariege now for the intermediate sprint with the break 2'15" ahead of the pack.


It's worth noting that Ineos, Deceuninck-Quick Step and Lotto-Soudal don't have any riders in the break - the only teams who don't feature. The Wellens gruppetto, meanwhile, is back with the pack.


The Wellens group is only 45 seconds behind the pack now so it looks like the Belgian might make it back into the fold before the big stuff. Still QuickStep holding the reins - and even Elia Viviani is there, which was a good effort given that last climb and the frantic start to the stage. All eight of Alaphilippe's team are on the front ahead of the Ineos train - the calm before the storm.


The climb over, Deceuninck-QuickStep now come to the front of the pack and help control the break for their man in yellow. The gap is 2'30 and the break is up to 36 riders after that Matthews chase group successfully bridged over.


Going over the summit of the Col de Montsegur, the break has 40 seconds on the eight chasers and 2'58" on the main pack.


Courtesy of the Tour's official website, here's the full composition of the 28-man break: Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe), Romain Bardet and Tony Gallopin (AG2R-La Mondiale), Vincenzo Nibali, Damiano Caruso and Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Merida), Rudy Molard and Sébastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ), Nairo Quintana, Andrey Amador and Marc Soler (Movistar), Pello Bilbao, Omar Fraile and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Michael Woods (EF Education First), Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Simon Geschke (CCC), Julien Bernard, Giulio Ciccone and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates), Lennard Kämna and Nicolas Roche (Sunweb), Jesus Herrada (Cofidis), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin), Romain Kreuziger (Dimension Data) and Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Amaël Moinard (Arkéa-Samsic).


That is very telling: Michael Woods zips clear to beat Vincenzo Nibali and Romain Bardet to the KOM points over the summit, so we're perhaps seeing a recalibration of focuses from these former GC riders.


The best placed rider in this leading group is Nairo Quintana. Twice a runner-up in the Tour, the Colombian struggled yesterday on the Tourmalet, getting himself dropped 10km from the summit despite his Movistar team doing all the pacing. He is 7'19" down on Alaphilippe after dropping out of the top 10 yesterday.


The Wellens gruppetto, meanwhile, is over three minutes off the pace, with the yellow jersey pack now 1'45" down.


There's a chase group of around eight riders including Frank, Matthews, Sicard and Politt. They are 25 seconds down on the leaders.


This 28-man move now has almost a minute on the pack. Some big names here including Quintana, Mollema, Dan and Guillaume Martin, Konrad, Lutsenko, Bardet, Roche, Soler, Herrada, Nibali, Bilbao, Woods, Zakarin, Amador, Fraile, Simon Yates, Gallopin, Caruso... it looks like the peloton has given it leave because Ineos and Alaphilippe are on the front and have slowed the pace.


We have a big break now of around 20 riders and this could be the moment because Ineos have come to the front of the pack behind and are blocking any chasers. Enough is enough, they're thinking. Although I spoke too soon - now it's opened up and more riders are trying to bridge over. Nibali, Yates, Bardet, Zakarin and some other big names appear to be in the leading group.


Simon Yates, once again, comes to the front after Caruso is brought to heel. He's been very active today after cracking on the Tourmalet and dropping from 10th to 18th place, more than 10 minutes down. Lutsenko is also trying to get away. CORRECTION: I'm getting my Yateses mixed up: Simon is well over an hour down on GC and won a stage last week; Adam is the one who's now 18th after struggling yesterday, and the one who is not present in this break.


Caruso has been reeled in by the pack but then has a second wind and goes clear again. Sunweb are leading the chase as riders begin to be shelled out the back.


Damiano Caruso of Bahrain Merida soloes clear at the start of the climb. We're onto the Cat.2 Col de Montsegur (6.8km at 6%).


The De Gendt move came to nothing so the pack is back together - although that large gruppetto is still 55 seconds down. With Wellens off the back there is extra pressure for his teammate De Gendt to get in the break. The Belgian is currently third in the KOM standings on 37pts.


Too many riders got into that break and so the peloton combined to being it back. De Gendt is now trying his hand again with another rider as numerous others try to bridge over. There has been a big split in the peloton though with Tim Wellens, the polka dot jersey, missing out. He's riding in a huge gruppetto around 50 seconds down.


a big break is forming now - on both ends of the peloton. On the front we have a group that includes Thomas De Gendt and Romain Bardet; behind, we have numerous riders spat out thanks to this fast pace on this uncategorised climb.


Local resident Peter Cossins - author of The Yellow Jersey and the award-winning Full Gas - is worth a follow today if you don't already. He lives a stone's throw away from today's final climb, the Prat d'Albis, which rises above Foix and is being used in the Tour for the very first time.


Vincenzo Nibali and one of the Yates brothers are now on the front with a handful of riders. They look quite up for this.


Nothing is going! The Lutsenko move - which came after a dig from Canada's Michael Woods - was neutralised, just as Roger Kluge became the first to be shelled out the back. We then had CCC and Total Direct Energie giving it some welly on the front.


There are also bonus seconds available on today's penultimate climb, the Mur de Péguère (8, 5 and 2 seconds to the first three riders classified), which could spice things up.


Alexey Lutsenko has pinged off the front with Stage 6 winner Dylan Teuns in pursuit.


That move was snuffed out at the foot of the uncategorised Col des Tougnets, an early leg-stretcher ahead of the steep stuff later on.


There are 35 KOM points up for grabs today over the four categorised climbs. Belgium's Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) still leads the polka dot jersey standings on 64pts but he faces stiff opposition now from yesterday's winner, Thibaut Pinot, who is up to 42pts. Although you sense that the Frenchman is still more interested in yellow and polka dots...


With the intermediate sprint coming after the first Cat.2 climb it will be interesting to see if Peter Sagan tries anything. The Slovakian is on 284 points in the green jersey classification with his nearest rival, Sonny Colbrelli, on 191 points.


Katusha's Marco Haller has counter-attacked in a bid to join the quartet out ahead. They only have 10-odd seconds so it's still very much in the balance.


A four-man move is now off the front featuring Daniel Oss, Benoît Cosnefroy, Lukas Wisnowski and Nicolas Roche.


The latest attack comes from Sven Erik Bystrom from UAE Team Emirates, but his move is chased down by a handful or riders and it comes back together.


There's lots of movement over the first few kilometres with Benoît Cosnefroy (Ag2R-La Mondiale) and Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) both quite feisty.


They're off! The 164 riders left in this race get this intriguing day under way...


Here's what's in store today with over 7,000m of climbing in a challenging 185km stage which tackles the foothills of the Pyrenees before concluding on a new climb that rises above the town of Foix. With bonus seconds available over the penultimate climb, the steep Mur de Peguere, Alaphilippe may be tempted to heap more misery on his rivals – and yet the ramped finale of Prat d’Albis is very much a climb which suits his characteristics.

Stage 15 profile, 2019 Tour de France

Here's the current top 10 after Pinot's gloire and Alaphilippe's storming ride. You have to say, if the QuickStep rider does crack, then it's all there to play for... and Ineos clearly not out with two riders still in the top four.


If you didn't watch yesterday's superb stage then I recommend you watch the highlights here...

Video - Quick highlights: Stage 14 - Alaphilippe, Pinot shine on Tour's Tourmalet to lift home hopes


Bonjour le Tour! Hello and welcome to live coverage of Stage 15 of the Tour de France - a spicy stage in the foothills of the Pyrenees which will test the yellow jersey credentials once again of the man of the moment, Julian Alaphilippe.