Pierrick Fédrigo (FDJ-BigMat) won Tour de France Stage 15 in Pau. The Frenchman outwitted his five breakaway companions to finish nearly 12 minutes ahead of the bunch. The opening two hours of racing including repeated attacks neutralized by the bunch, much to the dismay of Sky Procycling who attempted to inject calm into the chaos. The race winning move finally slipped away 60 kilometers from the stage start. Sports Director Matt White details the day below.
We wanted to put a rider in the break. We knew today would be a day for the breakaway. There were many break attempts during the first 60 kilometers. We missed out on the one that finally stuck.
From the questions and comments we’re reading, we know most of you anticipated we would lead the chase.
We’ve done a hell of a lot of chasing during the first two weeks of this race. I didn’t think expending the effort was necessary today. Gossy wasn’t on the best of days, and the guys are getting a little tired. I can’t sacrifice them day in and day out. There’s still a week left to race, and they have some difficult mountains to race next week. It didn’t make sense to have them do that much work today.
Brett Lancaster was our first abandon. He’s been carrying injuries since the start of the Tour. He crashed three times in the last two weeks, with the last crash on Saturday aggravating his injuries from previous crashes. It all caught up with him today, and he couldn’t continue.
The team is looking forward to a well-deserved race day tomorrow, and we’ll back at in on Wednesday, five stages away from Paris.