Stage 15 race report
The break went after 2km once again, this time with Gilbert, who has had a very quiet year in his time with the World Championship colours, and Westra. There were various attempts to determine the composition of the break, including a move by Rolland that was repelled by those in the break when he was within touching distance. Soon the break was established with 10 riders: Sagan (CAN), Irizar, (RTL), Fedrigo and Roy (FDJ), Riblon (ALM), Losada (KAT), Chavanel (OPQ), Impey (OGE), Poels (VCD) and El Fares (SOJ) who stretched the lead out to over 6 minutes. The final break took a full hour to establish itself.
The race meandered along with a temporary truce. Europcar and Movistar did enough to work to keep the gap around the 3 to 4 minute mark. Close enough to know that it could be shutdown on the ascent up Ventoux.
Coming into Bedoin and Chavanel attacked the lead group. He was quickly out to a 10 second gap and now it was time for the break to implode. Meanwhile the peloton was under 2 minutes behind and closing fast.
As the peloton hit the start of the climb, the first casualties started going out the back including the polka dot jersey holder, Rolland and 3 riders from Sky. Froome was now down to 2 riders left (Kennaugh and Porte). It was about to get gnarly.
It was also getting gnarly in the commentary booth. I’m not sure how many of you get the Eurosport commentary but a particular bugbear for Carlton Kirby today were the spectators on the side of the road. With regularity he would have a little whinge about them being on the road though completely made up for it when, after a fully proportioned lady lumbered across the road in front of Chavanel, commented “my goodness a pink bus has just crossed in front of our lead rider, here”. Call of the Tour. Classic. (14.8km to go, look it up).
It was relatively steady at the base of the climb until with 13km to go Nieve attacked and soon after Quintana went as well. There was no reaction from the bunch as Kennaugh kept setting pace at the front. This was taking its toll at the back and Andy Schleck was out the back early on. He looked like he could barely stay upright on his bike, at one stage actually meandering off the road. His career is surely at the crossroads.
Then Cadelephant started to do the Cadel Dangle off the back of the lead group. The painfully slow slip off the back, get out out of the saddle and swing from side to side, giving you hope that he is going to get back on and then sitting back into the saddle, pulling his head in closer to his shoulders, turn white and eventually boom boom, good night nurse.
Porte then replaced Kennaugh at the front and did a turn for the ages. A lead group that had 10-15 riders was almost immediately decimated. Mollema and Ten Dam OUT THE AR$E, Kreuziger OUT THE AR$E, Dan Martin, Rodriguez, Talansky, Fuglsang….the best climbers in the world just pumped out the back by a ferocious turn. Soon it was only 3: Porte, Froome and Contador.
Then Porte pulled off and Froome started spinning the lights out and WHACK dropped the hammer on Contador. It was an attack that was from another planet, putting 100m into Contador in 10 seconds. Contador had no answer. The attack was more brutal than anything Contador had exacted on his adversaries in the past and he was at a loss, almost looking to Nieve as a life jacket. Porte, meanwhile, put a grin on his face and enjoyed the rest of the ascent.
Up front and Froome soon caught Quintana and again, attacked with amazing ferocity. Quintana, though, had a response and slowly bridged back up to his wheel. Froome was now going to have a hard time to get Quintana to work with him. And sure as right follows left, a conversation followed a long turn by Froome and they must have reached some agreement.
Quintana continued to look good and when he cracked with just over 1km to go it seemed inexplicable. Froome responded with a continuation of the sledgehammer pace Sky had exacted from the bottom of the climb, and by the end, the yellow jersey holder was crossing the line, the victor on the mythical Ventoux, with a lead of 30 seconds. A clinical victory.
Further down the mountain and the wreckage was out for all to see. Valverde was just dangling out the back of some group for almost the whole climb. Mollema looked like he had set up home in the hurt box. Contador, who actually shows real pain on his face, also showed it on the clock by coming in over a minute down.
An absolutely cracking stage that is sure to have massive implications of the leaderboard!
Stage 15 tipping report
It was predictable carnage in the tipping. Absolute Carnage.
The top 10 tippers selected the following riders: Valverde, TJVG, Voeckler, Quintana, Quintana, Schleck, Quintana, Quintana, Quintana and Contador. Not a Froome in sight. The frist selected Froome is Keith Wong, back in 13th place, but he was nearly 6 minutes down before the start of the stage.
So we’re left with a situation in which Borja Barbesà has managed to hang on to the top spot. Poor James D — yesterday’s second place — dropped 27 minutes on TJVG, enough to relegate him to 496th place. Tipping is tough.
Neil Mylott and Buds Fuller are 3:05 down on Borja, on equal second. Neil is ahead on countback.
After that, we have Dane Cash a mere 6 seconds down in 4th place and Keith Wong a further 5 seconds adrift in 5th. Nick Lothian and Guthrie Finlay Collins are on equal time in 6th, another 3 seconds back.
Andrew Irwin is 8th, Michael Janetzki is 9th and Allan Weatherley and Rhys Buzza are on equal 10th.
We should also recognise Jake Carroll who has dropped an unbelievable 1:41 to claim the lanterne rouge. Chapeau!!
Plamen Stoyanov is atop the sprint comp on 337. Luke McDermott has 333. James Deane is in third on 327.
In the KOM, Matt Dawley has 94 points with Dale Cridge in second on 93. Plamen Stoyanov has 89 for third place.
That’s it. It’s been a brutal weekend for the tipping. The leaders coming in to the weekend have all been dispactched courtesy of the first break sticking in the race. Froome’s continued dominance on the slopes of France have rewarded another set of tippers, but with four major mountain stages still to come, it could all be breaking the way of people who have yet to use the Sky leader.
That’s all from us heading in to the rest day. Take 24 hours to prepare for the final push to Paris. Again, we’ll be chatting with the journos – feel free to pop by the VT hotel if you want an interview.
Stage 15 visual representation of rider times
General Classification tipping ladder top 50 after stage 15
|1||Borja Barbesà||2 day(s), 13:08:50||173||0|
|2||Neil Mylott||2 day(s), 13:11:55||266||70|
|3||buds fuller||2 day(s), 13:11:55||279||70|
|4||Dane Cash||2 day(s), 13:12:01||226||60|
|5||Keith Wong||2 day(s), 13:12:06||285||75|
|6||Nick Lothian||2 day(s), 13:12:09||287||70|
|7||Guthrie Finlay Collins||2 day(s), 13:12:09||221||70|
|8||Andrew Irwin||2 day(s), 13:12:31||201||70|
|9||Michael Janetzki||2 day(s), 13:12:37||212||71|
|10||Allan Weatherley||2 day(s), 13:12:42||197||78|
|11||Rhys Buzza||2 day(s), 13:12:42||116||78|
|12||Simon Haydon||2 day(s), 13:12:53||284||70|
|13||james monahan||2 day(s), 13:13:08||181||62|
|14||Brett Mckenzie||2 day(s), 13:13:20||217||51|
|15||Adam Levin||2 day(s), 13:13:25||188||75|
|16||Jonathan Bertram||2 day(s), 13:13:29||169||58|
|17||Dominic Lefebvre||2 day(s), 13:13:36||229||75|
|18||Michael Pettingill||2 day(s), 13:13:54||202||45|
|19||Ian Hood||2 day(s), 13:14:01||178||40|
|20||Marthijs Heuperman||2 day(s), 13:14:10||144||71|
|21||brenton thain||2 day(s), 13:14:11||192||50|
|22||Simon Heppleston||2 day(s), 13:14:43||250||40|
|23||Aaron Leavy||2 day(s), 13:14:43||195||31|
|24||Chris Harmer||2 day(s), 13:14:56||95||21|
|24||Andrew Clark||2 day(s), 13:14:56||95||21|
|26||Dean Rance||2 day(s), 13:15:00||172||75|
|27||Matt Robbins||2 day(s), 13:15:02||192||40|
|28||Lukas van der Steen||2 day(s), 13:15:05||237||50|
|29||melanie neumann||2 day(s), 13:15:11||146||21|
|30||Nicholas Deane||2 day(s), 13:15:17||157||40|
|31||Sean Lake||2 day(s), 13:15:35||174||40|
|32||Paul Mapp||2 day(s), 13:15:39||185||8|
|33||Paul Le Fevre||2 day(s), 13:15:39||173||30|
|34||Col Bell||2 day(s), 13:15:40||193||25|
|35||Paul W||2 day(s), 13:15:42||214||61|
|36||Zachary Houvener||2 day(s), 13:15:43||195||1|
|37||Chris Wessels||2 day(s), 13:15:56||260||66|
|38||Jackson Ankers||2 day(s), 13:15:57||241||0|
|39||Angus Forbes||2 day(s), 13:15:57||176||20|
|40||GP Domestique||2 day(s), 13:16:16||196||51|
|41||Paul Neumann||2 day(s), 13:16:18||140||1|
|42||Michael Cincotta||2 day(s), 13:16:30||168||44|
|43||Angus Crisp||2 day(s), 13:16:45||254||22|
|44||Jes Holm||2 day(s), 13:16:53||225||42|
|45||Alistair George||2 day(s), 13:16:57||121||20|
|46||Rob Mcgauley||2 day(s), 13:17:02||161||7|
|47||Dan Enright||2 day(s), 13:17:04||132||28|
|48||Sam Dwyer||2 day(s), 13:17:08||85||21|
|49||Jason Selman||2 day(s), 13:17:09||255||40|
|50||Luke McDermott||2 day(s), 13:17:10||333||50|
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