NIMES, France (AP) A brief look at the 15th stage of the Tour de France on Sunday:
Stage: A long, flat transition stage that took riders out of the Alps, across the lavender fields of Provence and into the ancient Roman city of Nimes near the Mediterranean coast. Riders began the 222-kilometer (138-mile) race under sunny skies in Tallard but the stage ended in a stormy downpour.
Winner: Alexander Kristoff of Norway. The 27-year-old Team Katusha sprinter led a rushing pack past the day’s two-man breakaway in the final meters, winning in a time of just under five hours. Australia’s Heinrich Haussler was second and Slovak Peter Sagan was third, in the same time.
Yellow jersey: Vincenzo Nibali finished safely in the pack, leaving his overall lead unchanged at 4:37 over second place Alejandro Valverde of Spain. Frenchman Romain Bardet remains in third place at 4:50.
Quote of the day: ”Of course, that’s a pity for them. But I don’t feel sorry for them. Today, normally the break(away) should never have had a chance. But they did. They were really strong guys.” — Kristoff, paying tribute to Jack Bauer and Martin Elmiger, the two escapees who spent the entire stage on a breakaway only to be caught in the final meters.
Stat of the day: 0. The number of New Zealanders to win a stage of the Tour de France, much to the chagrin of Garmin-Sharp Kiwi, Jack Bauer.
Next stage: Riders will get a chance to recuperate on Monday, the race’s second and final rest day before the final push through the Pyrenees and on to Paris.