Two weeks in the books. Rigoberto Urán heads into the second rest day in fourth overall at 29″. The 15th stage of the Tour was proper bike racing with all kinds of action all over the road between Laissac-Sévérac l’Église and Le Puy-en-Velay. In the end movement on the general classification was relatively minimal and all behind Uran. Dan Martin (QuickStep-Floors) overtook Mikel Landa (Sky) to move into fifth place, and Louis Meintjes (UAE) and Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) gained one spot each as Nairo Quintana (Movistar) tumbled out of the top ten.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better Tour so far,” said Cannondale-Drapac boss Jonathan Vaughters. “We’ve got nine guys in the race. We have one guy sick but he seems to be coming out of it. We haven’t had many crashes. You really can’t ask for a better Tour than that. We hope it continues like this.
“There’s been a lot of surprises so far,” Vaughters added. “Nate Brown being a bad ass in the mountains. That’s a surprise and I’m super happy to see that. The team really gelling around Rigo, it’s not a surprise but it’s really critical to our success. Let’s be honest, as much faith as I have in Rigo and have always had in Rigo, 29” off yellow with five days to go, that’s surprising, too.
“As we head into week three, it’s down to who is recovered for the rest of the race,” Vaughters noted. “Who’s been able to recover from the day-to-day effort, stay healthy, keep their focus over the three weeks? That’s who it’s going to be good for. The route of the Tour, I said this before the race began to Charly and Andreas, this is a really good Tour for Rigo because he’s not this huge diesel motor. He’s intelligent and calculated and has this explosive power. He’s like an incredibly fine-tuned turbo charged four-cylinder engine – a small motor that has all the gadgets. This race has suited itself to that kind of rider in that he’s been able to pop out a few seconds here and pop out a few seconds there. Hopefully the rest of the route continues to be good for him.”