Tour de France: Jasper Philipsen takes Stage 15 victory as Jonas Vingegaard survives fall
Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen sprinted to victory in stage 15 of the Tour de France when race leader Jonas Vingegaard survived a crash but lost two key teammates.
Primoz Roglic retired through injury before the stage started and another Jumbo Visma rider, Steven Kruijswijk, crashed with 65km to go.
Vingegaard came off his bike in a pileup soon after, but kept going despite landing heavily on his head.
The Dane maintained his lead over Tadej Pogacar a week before the Tour.
The mostly flat 202.5km route from Rodez to Carcassonne was supposed to be a routine stage for the riders battling for the yellow jersey, but it became a day to forget for Vingegaard and his team.
Their collective strength helped him build his advantage over Pogacar, so losing Roglic – their co-leader and one of the pre-race favorites – before the start of the stage was a blow as he decided to retire with injuries, which he sustained in a fall on stage five.
Things got even worse later in the day when Kruijswijk, known for his climbing prowess, fell to the ground and suffered a suspected broken collarbone – it was immediately apparent his tour was over and he was rushed to hospital in an ambulance.
Vingegaard himself was involved in a crash just minutes later when there was wheel contact in the group and another Jumbo Visma rider, Tiesj Benoot, was injured at the same time.
Both were able to recover and continue riding, but it was a reminder of how unpredictable the Tour can be and a boost for Pogacar, who lost two team-mates – George Bennett and Vegard Stake Laengen – after they tested positive for Covid-19 earlier in the race.
Monday is a rest day before Tuesday’s race heads into the Pyrenees with a 178.5km route from Carcassonne to Foix. The tour ends next Sunday in Paris.