Jarlinson Pantano wins cat-and-mouse duel to claim 15th stage of Tour de France
Colombian outsprints Rafal Majka of Poland to the line; Chris Froome retains overall race leader’s yellow jersey
Colombian rider Jarlinson Pantano won the brutal 15th stage of the Tour de France through the Jura mountains after a long breakaway on Sunday.
Pantano outsprinted Polish rider Rafal Majka to the finish line in Culoz.
On a day featuring hardly any flat stretches, there were plenty of attacks but only a few skirmishes between the main contenders.
Race leader Chris Froome finished slightly more than three minutes behind in a group including the other main contenders and kept the yellow jersey.
Majka, who started an early breakaway soon after the start in Bourg-en-Bresse, moved away on his own in the final of six categorised climbs on the day’s agenda.
A third-place finisher at the Spanish Vuelta last year, he accelerated in the punishing 8.4km climb of the Lacets du Grand Colombier to drop Pantano. But Majka made a mistake on the descent and allowed his rival to rejoin him.
The two breakaway riders did not collaborate well on the flat roads to the finish, with Majka refusing to take relays. They were almost caught by Frenchman Alexis Vuillermoz, who finished third, six seconds back.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Pantano, who rides for the IAM team. “I had good feelings today, I knew that if I was able to join him in the downhill I had good chances. And in the end the best rider won.”
Froome kept his 1:47 lead over Dutch rider Bauke Mollema intact, with Adam Yates in third place overall, 2:45 back. Colombian climber Nairo Quintana lags 2:59 behind.