15th Stage of the Tour de France: Danish Victory with Cort Nielsen

Tour de France
Dane Magnus Cort Nielsen wins the 15th stage of the Tour de France on July 22, 2018 in Carcassonne.

Denmark’s Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana) took the 15th stage of the Tour de France, Sunday in Carcassonne, in front of his breakaway companions.

Denmark’s Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana) took the 15th stage of the Tour de France on Sunday 22nd July 2018 in Carcassonne, in front of his breakaway companions.

The peloton, with the race’s favourites, was more than 13 minutes behind the leading breakaway at the start of the last 20-kilometre climb, but the Welshman Geraint Thomas (Sky) kept the yellow jersey.

Cort Nielsen scored the second victory in two days for Kazakh team Astana, the day after the victory of Spaniard Omar Fraile on the heights of Mende.

Aged 25, the Dane won for the first time in the Tour he had never played.

Cort Nielsen, who has a good speed, won two stages of the Vuelta in 2016, including the last in Madrid.

A big breakaway of 29 runners

As the day before on the road to Mende, the peloton let slip a big break, 29 riders, after a very lively stage start.

In the climb of the Pic de Nore, the main difficulty of the day, the Polish Rafal Majka emerged to join and distance a French duo (Julien Bernard, Fabien Grellier). He topped the summit, before the last 40 kilometres, and insisted on the descent until 14 kilometres from the finish.

The junction made with the double best climber of the Tour (2014 and 2016), the leading group disputed the victory.

The Dutchman Bauke Mollea attacked 7 kilometres from the finish; but took with him two faster riders than him, Cort Nielsen and Spaniard Ion Izagirre (2nd).

The French Lilian Calmejane, member of the breakaway, could not fight for victory in the last kilometres. In tears, the Tarnais, who was moving partly on the roads of his department, took 7th place.

The Tour will observe its second rest day on Monday, before resuming on Tuesday.

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