Tour de France 2017 Stage 15 takes place on Sunday 16th July. The riders they know the second rest day follows on Monday – so some may push into the red.
What an interesting end to Stage 14 – I narrowly missed a payout with Gilbert coming 4th. The big story was Fabio Aru losing 26 seconds to Chris Froome – or more than he gained from Froome on stage 12. Aru must attack in the remaining stages but I’m not sure it will be on Sunday.
Tour de France 2017 Stage 15 – Profile
Stage 15 is not classed as a pure mountain stage. However, if you look at the profile you would think otherwise. The terrain takes the riders across the Aubrac plateau. It starts in Laissac-Severac L’Elise and finishes in Le Puy-En-Velay. The stage is longer once more at 189.5 kms.
The stage features four categorised climbs and probably one other that should have been given this status. Two of the climbs come early on the stage:
- Montée de Naves d’Aubrac (1,058 m) – peak at 28.5 kms – 8.9 kms long at 6.4% – category 1
- Côte de Vieurals (1,358 m) – peak at 43.5 kms – 3.3 kms long at 5.9% – category 3
This is where the days break will form and go probably as early as the first climb of the day. Two factors will determine the breaks chances of success. First is the composition of riders and second is how tired the GC riders are.
Regardless, I expect the break to stay clear until the early slopes of the third climb of the day. This starts at the 148.5 km point in the stage. The Col de Peyra Taillade is the second category 1 climb of the day. It is another brute at an average gradient of 7.3% over 8.3 kms. If the break riders ascend this with more than a minutes lead then they will contest the stage win. It would not shock me to see a GC battle on the upper slopes of this climb. From the peak the run to the finish is essentially all downhill. There is a small category 4 climb – Côte de Saint-Vidal. As this is only 1.9 km in length (gradient of 6.8%) I don’t think we will see much action here from the GC group. It might however be useful for the stronger break riders to move clear.
For the second day in a row this is a tough one to predict – I’m leaning towards the break succeeding. The trick is trying to figure out what riders may feature in that break.
Tour de France 2017 Stage 15 – Break Riders
Look for two sets of riders to feature. Break specialists that are decent climbers and riders from teams that have yet to register a stage win. I could give you a list of 30 riders here and not get the winner. This selection is something of a needle in a haystack but here are some options.
I’m ignoring some riders that feature high in the betting markets like Diego Ulissi and Gianluca Brambilla. On form they would be perfect for the stage but they have looked way below par. I also would be stunned if any Sky, Astana, AG2R or Canondale riders are in the break.
Stephen Cummings (Dimension Data) should have recovered somewhat from his efforts on stage 12. He was quiet on stage 13 and 14 so should have more energy for an attack on Sunday. We saw how well he climbed on stage 12 and the terrain here isn’t as tough. Cummings is stage favourite at 10.0 so the EW is in play.
Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) is a rider I tipped on stage 14 as I felt he rather than team-mate Thomas de Gendt would be in the break. I was wrong but that means Wellens looks the more likely to try tomorrow. Of course the team have a number of riders that can win from a break – Tony Gallopin is another option. I’m not sure I really fancy either but you can back Gallopin at 17.0 or Wellens at 41.0.
Brice Feillu (Team Fortuno-Oscaro) made a late push on stage 12 to catch the breakaway riders. His efforts came to nought but it showed me he is looking to be aggressive. Feillu is a decent climber and he could be a decent pick to be in the break on Sunday. I like his odds at 81.0 and feel there could be a nice return backing him.
Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) isn’t close to last years levels – sitting 40 minutes behind the yellow jersey. Team leader Alberto Contador made a move to try to win stage 13 but came up short. The team really could do with a win in the Tour. Mollema has been in breaks already in this race and I can see him being active again on Sunday. Again, the EW is in play with odds around 51.0.
Thomas Degand (Wanty-Groupe Goubert) is a rider I know little about as he rides on a wildcard team. Degand sits 32nd on GC at 51 minutes. This shows me two things – he must be an okay climber and he is far enough down on GC to be allowed to feature in a break. The Wanty team have been super aggressive in the Tour as they aim to get a win. Degand is a massive 301.0 so he has little chance but a small EW might pay off.
Nicholas Roche (BMC Racing) has impressed me this year, his first at BMC Racing. GVA came 2nd on Saturday so BMC still are looking for a stage win. Roche could be deadly from a break. I’m really keen on backing him at 34.0 EW. I think he has a super chance on stage 15.
Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis) might be the rider to deliver Cofidis thier much sought after stage win at this years Tour. Mate won 3 combativity awards in last years Vuelta. These are usually given to the rider in the break who lasts the longest on a stage. Hence, stage 15 of the Tour looks like a perfect one for Mate to attack. Mate is at huge odds – around the 301.0 mark and I wil bite!
Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) came to the Tour with the aim of winning the KOTM or stages. He has been off the pace so far – there are rumours of illness. Were he to get into a break he would be cast iron favourite to win on this sort of terrain. Pinot is an elite climber and could flourish on the roads on stage 15 if healthy. The concerns over his fitness scare me off especially as low as 34.0.
Darwin Atapuma (UAE Team Emirates) has been invisible in the Tour. He has a role as support for team leader Louis Meintjes but I feel he has a stage win in him. Atapuma can be a very explosive climber and will be available at big odds – in fact as high as 151.0. Atapuma hasn’t really shown me enough in this race to back him.
Tiago Machado (Katusha-Alpecin) was prominent at last years Giro winning two combativity awards. Katusha too are still awaiting their first win of the Tour. Machado has the all round qualities to be a danger in a break and at 401.0 looks too high.
Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) rides for a team that has been very attacking in this years race. He is a young rider with a big future. McCarthy has not yet been in a significant break whereas a number of his team-mates have. I like him as the Bora rider to feature on Sunday and he showed his ability with a 5th on Saturday. Odds at 101.0 have great EW value.
Javier Moreno (Bahrain-Merida) is a much better rider than his GC position suggests – 101st at almost 1 hour 50 minutes. Bahrain-Merida’s aims in the tour were hampered on day one when leader Jon Izaguirre crashed out. Izaguirre had top 10 aims which if achieved would have been a good race for the team. As he is out they must attempt to win a stage. Moreno is a punchy climber who could go really well on this stage especially at 301.0.
Tour de France 2017 Stage 15 – GC Riders
I think the GC battle will rage some distance behind the breakaway group on stage 15. Look for action from this group on the Col de Peyra Taillade where the peloton will be split to pieces. Riders like Romain Bardet and Chris Froome will try to gain time on the descent to the finish.
Tour de France 2017 Stage 15 – Tips
The bookmaker I have chosen for my bets is paying 4 places for stage 15. Every stage this year bar one has been won by a ‘big’ name rider. I feel this might change on Sunday.
Bet on Nicholas Roche to win stage 15 with a 1.0/10 stake EW (1/4 odds top 4) at 34.0 with Paddy Power.
Back Brice Feillu to win stage 15 with a 0.75/10 stake EW (1/4 odds top 4) at 81.0 with Paddy Power.
Bet on Jay McCarthy to win stage 15 with a 0.5/10 stake EW (1/4 odds top 4) at 101.0 with Paddy Power.
Back Luis Angel Mate to win stage 15 with a 0.75/10 stake EW (1/4 odds top 4) at 301.0 with Paddy Power.