Le Tour Stage 15: Alaphillipe (QST) retains the Maillot Jaune as Simon Yates (MCT) tales his second stage win in Foix
Alaphillipe (QST) retains the Maillot Jaune as Simon Yates (MCT) tales his second stage win in Foix
Foix, Sunday, 21stJuly 2019 –Simon Yates claimed a second stage win in four days as he rode solo to Foix Prat d’Albis as the lone survivor of a long breakaway. The Brit had a healthy advantage over chasers Thibaut Pinot and Mikel Landa who had managed to drop the rest of the GC contenders on the final climb.
Race leader Julian Alaphilippe retained his yellow jersey despite losing contact with Thibaut Pinot in the final couple of kilometres. Defending champion Geraint Thomas also lost time but retained second spot on GC.
Speaking shortly after the stage Yates said:
“It was on from start to finish. The GC guys
were coming fast, I know personally how fast they can go, so I wanted to
maintain the advantage to the bottom of the final climb. Simon Geschke was a
great companion on the descent, so thank you to him, but I knew I had to go
early on the final climb.
“I came here with the first objective to help
my brother, the second to try to get a stage win. Now I have two so I’m very
proud. This one was really hard, the first wasn’t easy, but this one, with the
parcours was extremely difficult.
“I’m very tired now but there are three very
hard stages in the final week so we will try again.”
Racing resumes on Tuesday in the Alps after Monday’s rest day with the spotlight squarely on both Alaphillipe and Pinot. The pair have the hopes of France resting heavy on their shoulders.
Video of the final kilometre’s action (no commentary)
The sixth edition of La Course by Le Tour de France will be held in Pau on Friday, 19 July, just a few hours before the Tour de France stage 13 time trial takes place on the same course.
Report by Mark Sharon
It is the first sortie in to hilly terrain for the race which will see 21 teams of six riders tackling five laps of the circuit for a total of 121 kilometres.
Marianne Vos, is the stand-out favourite for the win in Pau, back after skipping last year’s edition. It would be the CCC Liv’s second triumph at La Course by le Tour, five years after taking the inaugural edition on the Champs-Élysées.
Her rivals will be World Champion Anna van der Breggen (2015) and American Chloe Hosking (2017) both former winners. Two-time winner Annemiek van Vleuten, on the other hand, is currently racing in the Giro Rosa and will decide whether to take part in the coming days. For now, Mitchelton–Scott has pencilled in the Dutch rider but the team from Down Under has a plan B in the shape of Aussie Amanda Spratt, who finished sixth last year.
Other big names on the start line include the British 2015 world champion, Lizzie Deignan, the third-placed rider in the 2017 La Course by le Tour, Elisa Longo Borghini from Italy, and Amstel Gold Race winner Katarzyna Niewiadoma from Poland. The home girls are outsiders but eager to surprise, with riders such as Juliette Labous (Sunweb), Audrey-Cordon Ragot (Trek–Segafredo), who finished sixth in the Amstel Gold Race, and Aude Biannic (Movistar), who is in her element in circuit races. The French FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope outfit will be banking on Aussie veteran Shara Gillow (fifth in 2017) as well as the home-grown talent of 20-year-old Evita Muzic and 19-year-old Jade Wiel, who will be taking part in her first race in the French champion’s jersey. Charente-Maritime Women Cycling is the other French team invited to La Course.