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2012 Tour de France - Stage 15
 
By Luke Allingham
Date: 7/16/2012
2012 Tour de France - Stage 15
 
Stage 15 of the 2012 Tour de France appeared to be a great opportunity for the sprinters to have their shot at a stage win before the race enters the Pyrenees Mountains, however in the end the stage did not end in a field sprint but a stage for the breakaway. Pierrick Fédrigo (FDJ-BigMat) won the stage to mark four stage wins for France and two stages for his team, FDJ-BigMat. The Frenchman out sprinted American Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) for the stage win. Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), who has already won a stage at this year's Tour, finished 3rd on the stage at 12 seconds behind Fédrigo.

The stage 15 breakaway featured an originally five riders of: Pierrick Fédrigo (FDJ-BigMat), Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp), Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) and Dries Devenyns (Omega Pharma-Quick Step). Nicki Sorensen (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) later attacked the peloton and bridged the gap to join the other 5. The 6 men expanded the gap to over 11 minutes with the peloton finishing 11:50 behind Fédrigo.

With just over 6 kilometers left to race, Fédrigo attacked the breakaway group. It appeared that Christian Vande Velde was the strongest of the others and went off in pursuit of him. The two worked together well enough to build a 20 second gap over Voeckler and the others. In the final kilometer, Fédrigo led Vande Velde to the finish line, but in the final sprint Vande Velde could not overcome Fédrigo and had to settle for second place.

In the field sprint for seventh place, Lotto-Belisol's German sprinter Andre Greipel won the sprint for seventh. Tyler Farrar (Garmin) placed 8th on the stage with Liquigas rider Peter Sagan placing 9th on the stage. Bradley Wiggins (Sky Pro Cycling) continues to hold the yellow jersey as the race takes its second rest day tomorrow.

Stage 15 Results
1. FRA FEDRIGO Pierrick FDJ-BIGMAT 03h 40' 15''
2. USA VANDE VELDE Christian GARMIN-SHARP + 00' 00''
3. FRA VOECKLER Thomas TEAM EUROPCAR + 00' 12''
4. DEN SORENSEN Nicki TEAM SAXO BANK-TINKOFF BANK + 00' 12''
5. BEL DEVENYNS Dries OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP + 00' 21''
6. FRA DUMOULIN Samuel COFIDIS LE CREDIT EN LIGNE + 01' 08''
7. GER GREIPEL André LOTTO-BELISOL TEAM + 11' 50''
8. USA FARRAR Tyler GARMIN-SHARP + 11' 50''
9. SVK SAGAN Peter LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE + 11' 50''
10. BEL BOECKMANS Kris VACANSOLEIL-DCM + 11' 50''
11. SLO BOZIC Borut ASTANA PRO TEAM + 11' 50''
12. FRA HINAULT Sébastien AG2R LA MONDIALE + 11' 50''
13. NED DE KORT Koen TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO + 11' 50''
14. AUS CANTWELL Jonathan TEAM SAXO BANK-TINKOFF BANK + 11' 50''
15. FRA ENGOULVENT Jimmy SAUR-SOJASUN + 11' 50''
16. NED CURVERS Roy TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO + 11' 50''
17. BEL ROELANDTS Jurgen LOTTO-BELISOL TEAM + 11' 50''
18. FRA LADAGNOUS Matthieu FDJ-BIGMAT + 11' 50''
19. SUI SCHÄR Michael BMC RACING TEAM + 11' 50''
20. SLO BRAJKOVIC Janez ASTANA PRO TEAM + 11' 50''
21. AUS EVANS Cadel BMC RACING TEAM + 11' 50''
22. GBR WIGGINS Bradley SKY PROCYCLING + 11' 50''
23. GBR FROOME Christopher SKY PROCYCLING + 11' 50''
24. ITA NIBALI Vincenzo LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE + 11' 50''
25. FRA VICHOT Arthur FDJ-BIGMAT + 11' 50''

General Classification After Stage 15
1. GBR WIGGINS Bradley SKY PROCYCLING 68h 33' 21''
2. GBR FROOME Christopher SKY PROCYCLING + 02' 05''
3. ITA NIBALI Vincenzo LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE + 02' 23''
4. AUS EVANS Cadel BMC RACING TEAM + 03' 19''
5. BEL VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen LOTTO-BELISOL TEAM + 04' 48''
6. ESP ZUBELDIA Haimar RADIOSHACK-NISSAN + 06' 15''
7. USA VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC RACING TEAM + 06' 57''
8. SLO BRAJKOVIC Janez ASTANA PRO TEAM + 07' 30''
9. FRA ROLLAND Pierre TEAM EUROPCAR + 08' 31''
10. FRA PINOT Thibaut FDJ-BIGMAT + 08' 51''
11. GER KLÖDEN Andréas RADIOSHACK-NISSAN + 09' 29''
12. LUX SCHLECK Frank RADIOSHACK-NISSAN + 09' 45''
13. IRL ROCHE Nicolas AG2R LA MONDIALE + 10' 49''
14. FRA COPPEL Jérôme SAUR-SOJASUN + 11' 27''
15. USA HORNER Christopher RADIOSHACK-NISSAN + 12' 41''


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