Aussie Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo) attacked on the descent out of the Pyrenees to win his first ever stage in the Tour de France. Rogers was in the lead group with four other riders including Europcar’s Thomas Voeckler and Cyril Gautier– the only men left from a 21-man breakaway that split apart on the climb up the Port de Balès. The group raced 60 miles-per-hour down narrow curves into the town of Bagnères-de-Luchon.
“On the descent, I thought, I’ve been in this position too many times to lose,” Rogers said. “I’m either going to crash or I’m going to win today.”
Rogers is Alberto Contador’s second domestique to win a stage. His teammate Rafal Majka won Saturday’s stage 14 in the Alps. Contador is back home in Spain after breaking his leg in stage 10.
In the battle among two Frenchmen for the best young rider competition, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) took over the white jersey from Romain Bardet (AG2R) after he dropped Bardet and finished more than two minutes ahead. Vicenzo Nibali is still comfortably in the yellow jersey, but American Tejay van Garderen (BMC) slipped off the podium from fifth to sixth.
Tomorrow’s race continues in the Pyrenees, with four hard climbs– the final one rated HC, meaning the highest difficulty.