Kruijswijk remains third after Pinot attack, Alaphilippe loses time in mountain stage

Steven Kruijswijk has kept his third place in the Tour de France standings on Sunday. Julian Alaphilippe stays in yellow, but lost time in the fifteenth stage won by Simon Yates.


Steven Kruijswijk has kept his third place in the Tour de France standings on Sunday. Julian Alaphilippe stays in yellow, but lost time in the fifteenth stage won by Simon Yates.

Thibaut Pinot did the best of all the classification riders. The Frenchman from Groupama-FDJ finished second in the 185-kilometer ride from Limoux to Foix and took time on all his competitors.

The Frenchman rises from sixth to fourth place and is only 3 seconds behind Kruijswijk, who crossed the finish line in eighth place. Alaphilippe, who had to release on the final climb, remains the leader, although the Frenchman of Deceuninck-Quick-Step sees his lead on number two Geraint Thomas shrink to 1.35 minutes.

Kruijswijk and Pinot also sneak a bit closer to the yellow jersey wearer. The Dutchman from Jumbo-Visma has a backlog of 1.50, Pinot is three seconds behind. The Colombian Egan Bernal is the number five at 2.02.

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Avatar Author moment of places 15: 01 - 21 July 2019

Mollema is part of early flight

After a lightning-fast opening hour, a large leading group of 28 men emerged, to which eight riders later managed to join. Due to the presence of the Colombian Nairo Quintana, fourteenth in the standings at more than seven minutes, the front runners never had much room.

Bauke Mollema, the only Dutchman in the front, had to drop out when Simon Yates let the leading group explode on the Port de Lers (the first of three first category climbs). The Dutchman was also left behind much later by the peloton and can forget a good classification.

Also Quintana was initially unable to participate, but managed to reconnect just before the summit. Thanks to the work of his Movistar teammates Andrey Amador and Marc Soler, the lead of the leading group, from which Yates and Simon Geschke had jumped, increased to five minutes.

Simon Yates records his second stage win in the Tour de France. (Photo: Pro Shots)

Pinot provides fireworks on the final climb

In the peloton, Enric Mas (teammate of Alaphilippe and tenth in the rankings) was the only classification rider who was thrown overboard early on. It did not prevent the team of the jersey wearer from keeping up the pace together with Jumbo-Visma and starting the final climb, the twelve-kilometer-long Prat d'Albis, three minutes behind.

On the flanks of the first category turtleneck (average rise percentage of 6.9 percent) the favorite group was thinned out considerably, after which Pinot threw the bat into the hen house with an attack 6 kilometers from the line.

Unlike Kruijswijk and title defender Geraint Thomas, Egan Bernal and Alaphilippe were able to follow, but a mile and a half later, the yellow jersey also started to crack.

While Alaphilippe was swallowed up by the Kruijswijk group, the unleashed Pinot also shook Bernal away. The Frenchman picked up many refugees along the way, but couldn't keep Yates from his second stage win on this Tour.

ref: nunl

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