July 24, 2018
Tour de France 2018: Stages 14 &15
Astana secure back to back victories en route to the Pyrenees
Stage 14: St-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Mende, 188km
Spain’s Omar Fraile of Astana took his first Tour de France stage victory on Stage 14 holding off a late surge by Julian Alaphilippe who took second place.
The victory came as the Spaniard launched an attack from a group of pursuers , the last of a 32 rider breakaway, chasing down lone leader Jasper Stuyvens. Stuyvens looked strong with almost 2 minutes advantage as he started his climb on the Cote de la Croix Neuve. but was caught by Fraile just before the summit.
It's amazing, absolutely incredible! I can’t believe it! For me it was a dream to win a stage at the Tour de France. And now this dream came true. Last year I won a stage at the Giro and now I repeat my success at the Tour. Already yesterday I felt quite good and today I was motivated to go in a breakaway, to try to fight for the stage. I knew it would be difficult, especially because the group was really big.
On the final climb, there was some head wind, but I found a moment for an attack and just did my best to catch Stuyven to lead the race, and to hold my advantage until the finish line. This victory is so important for me, but also for my family and my friends. We were wearing black ribbons today to honor Denis Ten. It’s a very sad story for the whole world of sport, that’s why I dedicate this victory to all the people of Kazakhstan, – said a very happy Omar Fraile after the finish.
Stage 15: Millau to Carcassonne, 181.5km
The second week of racing ended with a Danish victory and a back to back win for Astana g as Magnus Cort Nielsen mimicked Omar Fraile in Carcassonne, to claim a first stage win. The victory came at the end of a long breakaway too . it is the first time the Kazakh team had claimed back to back victories since 2007. Magnus Cort Nielsen is the 12th Dane to win a Tour de France stage, 48 years after the first one, Mogens Frey in 1970.
It’s amazing! It was one of my biggest dreams when I’ve started riding a bike. This is my first Tour de France and I'm so happy to win a stage here. I want to thank my team for giving me a chance to ride this Tour. A special thank to Michael Valgren as well, who did an absolutely incredible job today, providing me with a huge support! Everything was just perfect today and our sports director Lars Michaelsen had great confidence in me for winning this stage. Many days ago we already discussed this stage and he told me it could suit me really well. So, today I went in a breakaway together with Michael Valgren and, finally, everything worked out perfectly. So, I'm very happy! – explained Magnus Cort.
Together with Michael Valgren, Magnus Cort became a part of a long-day breakaway at this stage 15 of the Tour de France (Millau – Carcassonne, 181 km). A huge selection in the break on the 1st category climb Pic de Nore. Both Astana riders were very active and, finally, made part of the leading group, which played for the stage victory.
Inside the final 7 kilometer, Magnus Cort launched an attack from the break to go clear together with just two riders, Bauke Mollema and Ion Izagirre. At the finish line in Carcassonne, the Astana rider was the strongest, taking his first Tour stage win.
Geraint Thomas retained the yellow jersey going into the second and final rest day.
Stage 14 Video Highlights (courtesy of ASO) French
Stage 15 Video Highlights (courtesy of ASO) French
Stage 14 Results
Stage 15 Results
July 7, stage one: Noirmoutier-en-l'Île to Fontenay-le-Comte, 201km
July 8, stage two: Mouilleron-St-Germain to La Roche-sur-Yon, 182.5km
July 9, stage three: Cholet, team time trial, 35.5km
July 10, stage four: La Baule to Sarzeau, 195km
July 11, stage five: Lorient to Quimper, 204.5km
July 12, stage six: Brest to Mûr de Bretagne Guerlédan, 181km
July 13, stage seven: Fougères to Chartres, 231km
July 14, stage eight: Dreux to Amiens Métropole, 181km
July 15, stage nine: Arras to Roubaix, 156.5km
July 16: Rest day (Annecy).
July 17, stage 10: Annecy to Le Grand-Bornand, 158.5km
July 18, stage 11: Albertville to La Rosière Espace San Bernardo, 108.5km
July 19, stage 12: Bourg-St-Maurice Les Arcs to Alpe d’Huez, 175.5km
July 20, stage 13: Bourg d’Oisans to Valence, 169.5km
July 21, stage 14: St-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Mende, 188km
July 22, stage 15: Millau to Carcassonne, 181.5km
July 23: Rest day (Carcassonne/Bagnères-de-Luchon)
July 24, stage 16: Carcassonne to Bagnères-de-Luchon, 218km
July 25, stage 17: Bagnères-de-Luchon to Saint-Lary-Soulan, 65km
July 26, stage 18: Trie-sur-Baïse to Pau, 171km
July 27, stage 19: Lourdes to Laruns, 200.5km
July 28, stage 20: Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle to Espelette; individual time trial, 31km
July 29, stage 21: Houilles to Paris Champs-Élysées, 116km