Christopher Froome survived what was arguably the toughest section of the Tour de France, finishing in first place in Stage 15.
The stage was not only the longest of the event at 242.5 kilometers, but it ended with a difficult climb up Mont Ventoux, which is known as the "Giant of Provence."
However, Froome separated himself from the peloton before making his move at the finish line. He ended with an impressive time of five hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds, which further extends his overall lead in the race.
ITV Cycling captured an image of Froome celebrating the race:
Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas also had a strong stage and finished in second place. Rounding out the podium for the uphill climb was Mikel Nieve Iturralde in third place.
Here is a look at the leaderboard for Stage 15.
Stage 15 Results
|1.||Christopher Froome||Sky Procycling||5:48:45|
|2.||Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas||Movistar Team||5:49:14||+ 00' 29"|
|3.||Mikel Nieve Iturralde||Euskaltel-Euskadi||5:50:08||+ 01' 23"|
|4.||Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver||Katusha Team||5:50:08||+ 01' 23"|
|5.||Roman Kreuziger||Team Saxo-Tinkoff||5:50:25||+ 01' 40"|
|6.||Alberto Contador||Team Saxo-Tinkoff||5:50:25||+ 01' 40"|
|7.||Jakob Fuglsang||Astana Pro Team||5:50:28||+ 01' 43"|
|8.||Bauke Mollema||Belkin Pro Cycling||5:50:31||+ 01' 46"|
|9.||Laurens Ten Dam||Belkin Pro Cycling||5:50:38||+ 01' 53"|
|10.||Jean-Christophe Peraud||AG2R La Mondiale||5:50:53||+ 02' 08"|
Full list via LeTour.com
There were a number of instances on the day where the cyclists could gain separation from the pack. Thomas De Gendt, Pierre Rolland, Julien El Fares and Jeremy Roy all earned points in the climbing competition for winning various checkpoints.
Of course, each of these leaders eventually made his way back to the pack as the sprinters took over for the sprinting competition that occurred late in the stage.
Peter Sagan, the current green-jersey holder, showed why he is the points leader with an impressive run to the checkpoint to win the sprint. Sylvain Chavanel was slightly behind him to earn second place.
TheScore.com captured Sagan embracing his inner showman with a wheelie to excite the fans:
However, the hardest part of the race was clearly ahead of them, as shown by this image from Tour de France's Twitter account:
In the climb, Quintana built up a commanding lead over the counterattack. However, it was not enough, as yellow-jersey wearer Froome made a strong move in the last few kilometers to take the lead.
Froome held on for his third stage win of the championship, as he continues to impress throughout the Tour de France. He also officially earns the polka-dot jersey after winning the final climb in this stage.
Quintana's strong showing gives him the white jersey going forward as the top young rider in the field. Meanwhile, Sagan holds on to his green jersey as the top sprinter.
The final week of competition is certain to be interesting, so make sure you follow along every day of the prestigious race.
General Classifications After Stage 15
|1.||Christopher Froome||Sky Procycling||61:11:43|
|2.||Bauke Mollema||Belkin Pro Cycling||61:15:47||+4:14|
|3.||Alberto Contador||Team Saxo-Tinkoff||61:16:08||+4:25|
|4.||Roman Kreuziger||Team Saxo-Tinkoff||61:16:11||+4:28|
|5.||Laurens Ten Dam||Belkin Pro Cycling||61:16:37||+4:54|
|6.||Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas||Movistar Team||61:17:30||+5:47|
|7.||Jakob Fuglsang||Astana Pro Team||61:18:05||+6:22|
|8.||Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver||Katusha Team||61:18:54||+7:11|
|9.||Jean-Christophe Peraud||AG2R La Mondiale||61:19:30||+7:47|
|10.||Michal Kwiatkowski||Omega Pharma-Quick Step||61:19:41||+7:58|
Full classifications and results can be found at LeTour.com.
After such a difficult stage, the riders fortunately get an off day on Monday. However, the action picks up on Tuesday with another mountainous stage from Vaison-la-Romaine to Gap.
The 168-kilometer Stage 16 is certain to help separate the top competitors from the rest of the pack.
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