Stage 15 - 185 km - Mountain - Limoux > Foix Prat d'Albis

For this year's Tour de France we've teamed up with The Velocast to share with you their nominated Conquistador of the Day. During their daily stage review podcast, Scott and John will announce the rider who they feel deserves a special mention for their efforts that day.

After much deliberation with colleague Scott O'Raw, John Galloway of The Velocast Podcast has opted for Thibault Pinot of Groupama-FDJ for his Conquistador of the Day after his heroic second-place finish on today's mountainous Stage 15.


Thibault Pino Groupama-FDJ Stage 15 Tour de France 2019 second place

Photo credit: ASO / Alex BROADWAY


"Today's choice is a nightmare! Mani Buchman up there in fourth place, what a ride from him! He looked to me like he was going to get shed earlier on, but turned into an absolute powerhouse for BORA-hansgrohe. That is a rider that has a Grand Tour win in his future, there's no doubt in my mind.


© BORA - hansgrohe / Bettiniphoto Emanuel Buchmann

© BORA - hansgrohe / Bettiniphoto


Despite our disagreements, I actually thought about making it Landa because I genuinely think he performed like a Trojan today to give a Movistar who absolutely stuffed both their feet in their mouth, chewed them off and shot their stumps yesterday. They were just awful. He's put them back into a situation where, they are unlikely to win, but I can see them getting a podium.


Mikel Landa Movistar ASO / Thomas MAHEUX

Photo Credit: ASO / Thomas MAHEUX


My third possibility was Simon Yates because what we've got from Yates is that combination of complete commitment to his brother's cause. He didn't ship that time by accident. And today he's come through and performed for the team. He was so chilled on that final few kilometres I thought he was going to get off and have an ice cream or a hot cup of cocoa before anybody else came up to him. 


Simon Yates Mitchelton-Scott ASO / Alex BROADWAY

Photo credit: ASO / Alex BROADWAY


I thought about all those guys. I thought about Geriant Thomas because we say a slight resurgence today. With the caveat that he was not able to drop Alejandro Valverde. He was better but he was better once the slope got easier and everyone else got slower. This is not the Geraint Thomas that would have won on Alpe d'Huez last year.


Geraint Thomas Team INEOS ASO / Alex BROADWAY

Photo credit: ASO / Alex BROADWAY

And in the end, I'm going to be really, really boring and I'm going to go for Thibault Pinot. For the same reason I went for David Gaudu yesterday and it's because that team, and its a word we've used about them, were so clever. They had the resources and used them to perfection. And Thibault when the opportunity came, went full commitment. There was no mucking about. There was no equivocation. You are still 5, 6 kilometres out. The days of waiting for the last kilometre or going for boring predictable attacks that grab a handful of seconds are gone. This was proper old school attacking. Absolutely on his limit. If he had blown, his tour was over. He could have lost time absolutely hand over fist. But he committed fully and he's put himself in a situation where he's now fourth, just outside the podium at 1'50. Kruijswijk is 3 seconds ahead of him at 1'47. But I think you are an idiot if you don't regard him as a serious contender after this. He's got the rest day. He's been rampant in the mountains He's been a man positioning himself for a serious bid. He's not racing for a conservative positioning. He's not racing for a place in the top five. He's racing for the Tour de France and I think it deserves recognition.

Notable mention goes to Lennard Kämna of Team Sunweb."



From Groupama-FDJ:

"Today, in the rain, it was my weather, I had to take advantage of it. It was a stage as I like, I had good feelings. I knew the end of the Prat d'Albis was less steep and I knew I did not take too much risk to put myself in the red when I attacked because if I had to counter, I had the means to follow. In the Pyrenees, I took time from everyone on GC. I'm fourth overall at 1'50'' to the yellow jersey, that's fine. Now, we have gone back to the GC, the hardest steps are coming. If I have legs, I will continue to take time. I must say that the tactics put in place this morning have worked well. There was a big job by David Gaudu and also Rudy Molard and Sébastien Reichenbach. We show that we have a strong and offensive team and it pays!" - Thibault Pinot



Simon Yates claimed a second stage win in four days as he rode solo to Foix Prat d’Albis to remain the only breakaway member to fend off Thibaut Pinot and Mikel Landa who escaped from the group of the favourites. Julian Alaphilippe lost contact with defending champion Geraint Thomas but retained the yellow jersey that Pinot can also look for in the Alps after his second exploit in two days in the Pyrenees.


Photo credit: A.SO./Pauline BALLET


36 riders in the lead

164 took the start of stage 15 in Limoux. Daniel Oss (Bora-Hansgrohe), Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale), Lukas Wisnowski (CCC) and Nicolas Roche (Sunweb) managed to clear at km 14 after several unsuccessful skirmishes. They got reeled in at km 23. At km 38, a nice breakaway of approximately twenty riders including Romain Bardet, Vincenzo Nibali, Simon Yates and Peter Sagan was formed but the very speed of the peloton quickly put an end to their initiative. A front group of 28 riders took shape at km 55 up to the col de Montségur: Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe), Romain Bardet and Tony Gallopin (AG2R-La Mondiale), Vincenzo Nibali, Damiano Caruso and Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Merida), Rudy Molard and Sébastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ), Nairo Quintana, Andrey Amador and Marc Soler (Movistar), Pello Bilbao, Omar Fraile and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Michael Woods (EF Education First), Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Simon Geschke (CCC), Julien Bernard, Giulio Ciccone and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates), Lennard Kämna and Nicolas Roche (Sunweb), Jesus Herrada (Cofidis), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin), Romain Kreuziger (Dimension Data) and Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Amaël Moinard (Arkéa-Samsic). Woods passed first at col de Montségur ahead of Nibali and Bardet. Counter-attackers Matthias Frank (AG2R-La Mondiale), Michael Matthews (Sunweb), Romain Sicard (Total Direct Energie), Pierre-Luc Périchon and Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), Maxime Bouet (Arkéa-Samsic) and Amund Groendahl Jansen (Jumbo-Visma) bridged the gap at km 70. 

Bardet first at Port de Lers, Geschke first at Mur de Péguère

Matthews won the intermediate sprint at Tarascon-sur-Ariège (km 93.5). The 36-man leading group split a few times before tackling the ascent to Port de Lers. Bardet crested it in first position 5’15’’ before the yellow jersey group that swallowed Nibali and Mollema who didn’t hold the pace of the front group. Geschke rode away from the leading group 5.5km before the summit of Mur de Péguère. He stayed at the front until the top and was rejoined at the beginning of the downhill by Yates while a quartet of chasers was formed of Bardet, Quintana, Lutsenko and Reichenbach.


Photo credit: A.SO./Pauline BALLET


Yates resists to Pinot in final climb

Yates and Geschke extended their advantage over the Bardet-Quintana group to 1’40’’ with 10km to go, just before Mikel Landa (Movistar) came across by himself after having been helped by Soler and Amador. 8.8km before the end, Yates rode away solo. Landa passed Geschke to become the first chaser. Pinot attacked from the yellow jersey group 7km from the Prat d’Albis. The winner of the Tourmalet caught Landa 2km before the end while Alaphilippe couldn’t keep up with the speed of Geraint Thomas (Ineos) who had himself surrendered to Pinot before his team-mate Egan Bernal. Yates maintained an advantage of 33’’ over Pinot and Landa while Alaphilippe fought hard to limit the losses. Now fourth overall with a deficit of 1’50’’, Pinot is back in contention for the final victory.



Conquistadors of the Day - Tour de France 2019

Stage 01 - Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team)

Stage 02 - Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)

Stage 03 - Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step)

Stage 04 - Michael Mørkøv (Deceuninck - Quick-Step)

Stage 05 - Marcus Burghardt (BORA - hansgrohe)

Stage 06 - Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS)

Stage 07 - Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumbo - Visma)

Stage 08 - Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal)

Stage 09 - Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott)

Stage 10 - Luke Rowe  (Team INEOS)

Stage 11 - Peter Sagan (BORA - hansgrohe)

Stage 12 - Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)

Stage 13 - Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step)

Stage 14 - David Gaudu - (Groupama - FDJ)


For the daily podcast from Le Tour and more visit

Conquista issue 21 - available now.

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