Tour de France 2017: Mollema solos to victory, Froome still in maillot jaune

At 189.5 kilometres, the 15th stage in the Tour de France takes in four climbs to finish downhill in Le Puy-en-Velay. With more than 25 kilometres left Bauke Mollema attacks in the front group to solo to victory, while Chris Froome holds off an attack to retain in the yellow jersey. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 15th stage 2017 Tour de France

1. Bauke Mollema (nld)
2. Diego Ulissi (ita) + 0.19
3. Tony Gallopin (fra) s.t.
4. Primoz Roglic (slo) s.t.
5. Warren Barguil (fra) + 0.23
6. Nicolas Roche (irl) + 1.00
7. Lilian Calmejane (fra) + 1.04
8. Jan Bakelants (bel) s.t.
9. Thibaut Pinot (fra) s.t.
10. Serge Pauwels (bel) s.t.

25. Daniel Martin (irl) + 6.11
27. Simon Yates (gbr) + 6.25
28. Chris Froome (gbr) s.t.
29. Rigoberto Uran (col) s.t.
31. Fabio Aru (ita) s.t.
32. George Bennett (nzl) s.t.
33. Romain Bardet (fra) s.t.
34. Louis Meintjes (rsa) s.t.
35. Mikel Landa (spa) s.t.
36. Alberto Contador (spa) s.t.
46. Nairo Quintana (col) + 10.19

GC after the 15th stage
1. Chris Froome (gbr)
2. Fabio Aru (ita) + 0.18
3. Romain Bardet (fra)+ 0.23
4. Rigoberto Uran (col) + 0.29
5. Daniel Martin (irl) + 1.12
6. Mikel Landa (spa) + 1.17
7. Simon Yates (gbr) + 2.02
8. Louis Meintjes (rsa) + 5.09
9. Alberto Contador (spa) + 5.37
10. Damiano Caruso (ita) + 6.05

11. Nairo Quintana (col) + 6.16
12. George Bennett (nzl) + 6.39
13. Warren Barguil (fra) + 8.48

Race report
As soon as the flag is dropped Tony Martin, Dylan van Baarle, Warren Barguil, Marcus Burghardt, Serge Pauwels, Robert Kiserlovski, Luis Angel Maté, Marcel Sieberg, Tsgabu Grmay and Damiano Caruso give it a go. They tackle the first climb, Montée de Naves d’Aubrac, with a lead of almost 2 minutes.

Mollema starts chasing with a large group on his wheel, while the front group is decimated. KOM king Barguil is the first to crest with Caruso and Pauwels on his wheel. On the rolling section after the summit Van Baarle and Grmay re-join the front group before Barguil once again cements his KOM lead on Côte de Vieurals, the chasers are 1’20” in arrears and the peloton is more than 4 minutes behind.

On the plateau after the Vieurals the chasers re-join the leaders. New big names upfront are Bauke Mollema, Tiesj Benoot, Jan Bakelants, Nicolas Roche, Alessandro De Marchi, Tony Martin, Simon Geschke, Thomas De Gendt, Lilian Calmejane, Primoz Roglic, Thibaut Pinot, Diego Ulissi, Tony Gallopin and Michael Matthews. Yesterday’s stage winner takes the intermediate sprint with 93 kms remaining.

Tony Martin heads out on his own with 65 kms remaining. He puts 1’30” into the chasers and more than 9 minutes into the peloton. Moments before tackling Col de Peyra Taillade AG2R joins forces to put pressure on Froome. Aru, Uran ánd Landa are on board and the yellow jersey is forced to chase on the 8.3 kilometres climb at 7.4%.

Barguil chases down Martin, while the best climbers in the former front group are close behind. When Froome is almost half a minute down on the group Aru/Bardet/Uran Landa waits for him to bring him back to the main group. Quintana didn’t make it.

Pauwels, Caruso, Roglic, Ulissi, Pinot, Barguil, Gallopin, Benoot and Mollema re-group before the summit. Mollema attacks on the plateau thereafter.

On the Côte de Saint-Vidal the Dutchman is 50 seconds ahead of the chasers. Barguil and Roglic go after him and crest at 17 seconds. In the descent Gallopin and Ulissi re-join the other chasers and they close in on Mollema. Yet the Dutchman pushes on to solo to victory.

Meanwhile Dan Martin attacks in the main group to finish ahead of the other GC guys. Still, the top 5 remains the same and Froome retains in the overall lead.

Read also: route 15th stage 2017 Tour de France.

Tour de France 2017 stage 15: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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Bauke Mollema

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