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 things of all the classification riders in the last stage in the Pyrenees. The 29-year-old Frenchman finished second in the 185-kilometer stage from Limoux to Foix and took time on all his competitors.
The rider of Groupama-FDJ climbs 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 in the rankings, although the Frenchman of Deceuninck-Quick-Step sees his lead on number two Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) 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.
For Yates, the only survivor of an early flight, it is already his second stage victory in this Tour. The Englishman, who after his eighth place in the Giro d'Italia is not aiming this Tour for a good classification, already won the stage to Bagnères-de-Luchon on Thursday.
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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 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 stop the team of the jersey wearer from keeping up the pace with Jumbo-Visma and starting the final climb, the twelve-kilometer-long Prat d'Albis, with a delay of just three minutes.
On the flanks of the first category turtleneck, which has never been included in the Tour course, the favorite group quickly thinned out. Pinot dared to throw the bat in the hen house with an attack 6 kilometers from the line.
In contrast to Kruijswijk and title defender Geraint Thomas, Egan Bernal and Alaphilippe were able to follow in the first instance, but a mile and a half later the yellow jersey also started to crack. Bernal was then also driven out of the wheel.
Pinot picked up all the refugees on the way to the top, but was 33 seconds short of keeping Yates from his second stage win. Kruijswijk crossed the line with Thomas and Alejandro Valverde at 1.22 and thus barely retained his third place.
With three tough Alpine stages ahead, the classification in the final week of the Tour can be shaken considerably. On Monday the riders can first enjoy the second and final rest day. On Tuesday in Nimes the sprinters get another chance.