Monday, 17 July 2017
2017 Tour de France: Bauke Mollema's solo win + Froome's scare
Bauke Mollema's brave and deserved stage win at Le Puy
Chris Froome still in Yellow despite scare
Mountain jersey: Warren Barguil
leads by a comfortable 78 points
Green: Michael Matthews has closed
the gap on Marcel Kittel to 79 points
The difficult Stage 15 to Le Puy was won by Bauke Mollema, who bravely soloed away from his breakaway companions with 29 kilometres to go. He managed to win with a gap of 19 seconds to chalk up his first Tour de France stage win.
Apart from Nairo Quintana blowing up on the second 1st Category Col de Peyra Taillade and losing some four minutes and dropping out of the Top 10 overall, there were no significant changes to the overall classification. However, there might well have been as Chris Froome had a mechanical problem just at the start of the Col de Peyra and had to make up 50 seconds to get back onto the peloton of flying leaders. Fortunately he had enough team mates around to make this possible.
Dan Martin gained 14 seconds by riding away in the last few kilometres – he now sits 1.12 back from Froome. Fabio Aru at 18", Romain Bardet at 23" and Rigoberto Uran at 29".
Warren Barguil has a very firm grasp of the Climbers' Jersey, while Marcel Kittel should hold onto Green as there are still some sprinters' stages left, although Michael Matthews has reduced the deficit considerably since Pau.
Today is the second and last rest day. Wednesday and Thursday in the Alps will be the crucial stages along with Saturday's Time Trial in Marseille. At this stage this is the closest Tour de France ever. Promises to be a gripping finale!