Thursday 18 December 2014

Alexander Kristoff takes stage 15 of the Tour de France as Vincenzo Nibalo keeps control of yellow

Published 20/07/2014 | 17:34

Norway's Alexander Kristoff crosses the finish line to win the twelfth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 185.5 kilometers (115.3 miles) with start in Bourg-en-Bresse and finish in Saint-Etienne, France, Thursday, July 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
Norway's Alexander Kristoff crosses the finish line to win the twelfth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 185.5 kilometers (115.3 miles) with start in Bourg-en-Bresse and finish in Saint-Etienne, France

Alexander Kristoff took the win on stage 15 of the Tour de France as the sprinters caught Martin Elmiger and Jack Bauer on the line.

Bauer had disappeared into the lead from the very beginning of the 222 kilometre stage between Tallard and Nimes but lost out in the closing stages as the chasing pack eventually put in a push.

Stormy conditions and difficult crosswinds made life difficult for Bauer and Elmiger but they maintained their lead until Katusha's Kristoff led the sprinting pack past - leaving Garmin-Sharp rider Bauer in tears at the finish.

It seemed as though the sprinters had miscalculated the time they needed to reel in the long-standing leaders, with a number of roundabouts requiring safe navigation in slippery conditions.

But, as the closing metres were knocked off, Bauer, who eventually came home 10th, and Elmiger - who had worked well together to keep themselves clear - dropped back into the field.

Green jersey holder Peter Sagan came third as Vincenzo Nibali remained in the yellow jersey heading into the 16th stage with a four minute 37 second lead over Alejandro Valverde.

Ireland's Nicolas Roche is 48th overall after finishing down the field today.

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