Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

15th stage of the Tour de France: Mollema victor in solitaire

15th stage of the Tour de France: Mollema victor in solitaire

Bauke Mollema of Trek-Segafredo has won Stage 15 of the Tour de France in Le Puy en Velay from the break following a gripping stage in which Team Sky's Chris Froome had to battle hard to hold onto the overall lead after finding himself 45 seconds behind his rivals at one point.

But after a mad 20km chase, he latched back onto the group ahead, with Landa, who had stayed alongside the other favourites, dropping back at the last moment to help Froome bridge up after Sergio Henao and Mikel Nieve had provided most of the chase effort.

Statistic, quote and fact of the day after the 15th stage of the Tour de France, a 189.5-km ride from Laissac-Severac L'Eglise on Sunday. Stage victor Bauke Mollema was named most aggressive rider of the day and will wear a red bib number during Tuesday's stage.

LeMond, who won the Tour in 1986, 1989 and 1990, could not understand why Bardet, Aru and Uran did not collaborate to gain time on Froome. I had to get back by the top of the climb. "Kwaitkowski gave me his wheel because the team vehicle was far away". Certainly the speed was probably at the highest point of the race, coming in to the foot of that last climb.

The German Tony Martin, alone in the lead, has stumbled on the very steep slope of Peyra Taillade, the collar of the first category, is located before the last 30 kilometres.

Friday's stage saw the Birmingham-born rider close the gap by a further nine seconds on the likes Aru and Chris Froome.

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Froome remains as the overall leader, with Italian national champion Fabio Aru still lying in second place 18 seconds behind. "I will try again to get a victory".

Yet the Briton was able to get back in the pack and finish with the same time as Aru and Bardet, whose AG2R La Mondiale team was chiefly responsible for the initial attack. Meanwhile his team-mate, and room-mate, Michael Matthews again ate into Marcel Kittel's lead in the green points jersey standings, infiltrating the 28-man lead group that dominated the stage, and taking maximum points in the intermediate sprint.

It's really fantastic. I'm so happy to win a stage at the Tour de France. "He is a super-strong rider and he showed today that he is really in control".

While Froome avoided time losses against the odds, Nairo Quintana's bid for Tour glory looks to be decisively over as he cracked on the Peyra Taillaide and gave up four minutes to tumble out of the top 10.

As usual, team Sky controlling things. But I made it. "Yates attacked on the climb [after Froome rejoined the group] ... he kind of stalled and I was a bit afraid ... there were many teammates left [of other riders] ... an Agr2r rider and Landa was there for Chris [Froome]".

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