Tour de France 2013

June 29 - July 21, 2013, Porto-Vecchio, France, Road

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Stephen Farrand

 Bonjour and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 15 of the Tour de France. Today is the big one! The longest stage of this year's race at 242.5km, the mountain finish atop Mont Ventoux and all on Bastille Day, as France celebrates.  

  1. 08:30:16 GMT

     Today's stage is expected to be decisive in the battle for the race leader's jersey. Will Chris Froome gain time on his rivals and come under attack and see his lead shrink?

  2. 08:31:36 GMT

    The riders are lining up for the start in Givors, the atmosphere is tense and electric. Everybody knows today is a big day in the 100th edition of the Tour de France.


  3. 08:33:19 GMT

    Chris Froome (Team Sky) wears the yellow jersey for a seventh day. After the attacks on Friday, his lead is now 2:28 on Bauke Mollema (Belkin), with Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) at 2:45.



  4. 08:36:17 GMT

    Today's stage is the longest of the race at 242.5km. However much of the stage (221km) is on flat or rolling roads through the Rhone valley. There are three early category 4 climbs early on to help form the early break of the stage and a cat 3 climb after 143km. However it is the Geant of Provence: Mont Ventoux that dominates the skyline, the stage and the minds of the riders. 


  5. 08:38:04 GMT

    Mont Ventoux is legendary in cycling. It is the ninth time the 1912m high mountain hosts a Tour summit finish and the 15th time it features in the Le Tour. 


  6. 08:38:36 GMT

    The riders have now rolled out of Givors and are in the short neutralised section.


  7. 08:39:01 GMT

    Will some French riders attack early in search of glory on Bastille Day? We will soon find out.


  8. 08:39:24 GMT

    181 riders have started the stage according to Radio Tour.


  9. 08:40:51 GMT

    To read about the history of Mont Ventoux and the Tour de France, read this special feature by Pete Hymas and check out the huge photo gallery. History is always made on Mont Ventoux. 


  10. 08:41:56 GMT

    It is sunny and 24C at the start, with a warm breeze down the Rhone valley expected to help the riders cover the long ride south to the foot of Ventoux.  


  11. 08:48:32 GMT

    And they're off! The white flag has been dropped and the racing has officially begun. Allez!!! 


  12. 08:51:43 GMT

    The first attacks have been launched after just two kilometres.


  13. 08:52:54 GMT

    World champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) are the first to go clear.


  14. 08:53:18 GMT

    They have a 20 second gap.


  15. 08:56:51 GMT

    C'est fini. Gilbert and Westra have been caught after 7km of the stage.


  16. 234.5km remaining from 242.5km

    08:59:29 GMT

    The speed is high at the moment but more attacks are expected very soon.  


  17. 227.5km remaining from 242.5km

    09:07:19 GMT

    We have another attack from Andreas Kloden (Radioshack-Leopard), Kevin Reza (Team Europcar) and Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil).


  18. 09:07:49 GMT

    However BMC leads the chase and only De Gendt stays off the front.


  19. 09:11:50 GMT

    De Gendt is fighting hard to stay away.


  20. 09:14:49 GMT

    De Gendt is first over the côte d'Eyzin-Pinet but the peloton is about to catch him.


  21. 09:17:05 GMT

    Other riders have jumped across to De Gendt but their lead is still small. 


  22. 09:21:11 GMT

    De Gednt and the others have been caught but now Pierre Rolland (Team Europcar) accelerates away on the second climb, looking for points and perhaps the break of the day.


  23. 09:26:39 GMT

    Wouter Poels (Vacansoleil) joined Rolland but they were swept up on the descent.


  24. 212.5km remaining from 242.5km

    09:27:11 GMT

    The average speed is close to 50km/h!


  25. 09:36:13 GMT

    The attacks are becoming more serious now. 


  26. 09:37:14 GMT

    There 11 riders in a front group and then 13 chasers. 


  27. 09:38:20 GMT

    Peter Sagan (Cannondale) is part of the break, as is Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge).


  28. 197.5km remaining from 242.5km

    09:42:08 GMT

    Ten riders remain in the front group. Is this the break of the day?



  29. 09:47:10 GMT

    They are: Peter Sagan (Cannondale), Markel Irizar (Radioshack), Pierrick Fédrigo and Jeremy Roy (, Christophe Riblon (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Alberto Losada (Katusha), Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge), Wouter Poels (Vacansoleil) and Julien El Fares (Sojasun).


  30. 09:47:59 GMT

    El Fares is the first to the summit of the côte de Lens-Lestang, the third climb after 44km. But the peloton is still chasing them.


  31. 09:48:30 GMT

    The gap is just 35 seconds.


  32. 09:51:11 GMT

    Race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky) has stopped for a natural break but is being escorted back to the front by several teammates. 


  33. 09:52:12 GMT

    As a result the peloton has eased and is 2:00 behind the attackers. Other riders are in the middle, desperately trying to get across.


  34. 09:52:46 GMT

    Rolland and Christophe Le Mevel (Cofidis) are at 1:15. 


  35. 09:56:37 GMT

    Rolland has caught Marcus Burghardt (BMC) and the two are working together but they are still a minute behind the attackers. 


  36. 09:57:21 GMT

    Team Sky leads the peloton but gap is over four minutes now. It looks like we could have a race for the stage and an overall battle on the slopes of Ventoux.


  37. 10:03:52 GMT

    Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel) and Le Mevel (Cofidis) are also in a chase group, 1:30 down on the attackers.

  38. 167.5km remaining from 242.5km

    10:15:34 GMT

    The riders covered a painful 48.2km/h in the first hour of racing and things haven't slowed much in this second hour.


  39. 10:16:26 GMT

    Rolland and Burghardt are still at 45 seconds but the peloton is now 7:00 down


  40. 10:21:39 GMT

    Rolland and Burghardt are catching the break after a huge effort. However Le Mevel and Astarloza are going backwards and will surely give up their chase of the break soon.


  41. 162.5km remaining from 242.5km

    10:22:41 GMT

    The riders have now covered 80km. That leaves 162km to go.   


  42. 10:34:49 GMT

    So cruel. Just before Rolland and Burghardt got up to the break, the riders up front accelerated away and the gap is now at 35 seconds. 


  43. 10:36:11 GMT

    Movistar is now helping with the work at the front of the peloton.


  44. 10:36:48 GMT

    They are perhaps working to control the break in the hope that Quintana can win the stage at the summit of Mont Ventoux.


  45. 10:40:18 GMT

    Le Mevel and Astarloza have sat up and decided to wait for the peloton, which is 6:30 down on the attackers.


  46. 237.5km remaining from 242.5km

    10:41:15 GMT

    Rolland and Burghardt are also losing ground. They are now a minute behind the ten attackers.


  47. 10:43:24 GMT

    Rolland has also sat up. He and Burghardt were just 15 seconds from the attackers at one point but could not close the gap. 


  48. 10:43:53 GMT

    There will be no polka-dot glory for the Frenchman on Bastille Day.


  49. 10:52:53 GMT

    The average speed for the second hour was 50.4 km/h. That's even faster than the first hour, giving an average for the race so far of 49.3km/h! 


  50. 10:59:52 GMT

    Both Rolland and Burghardt have been swept up by the peloton. 


  51. 132.5km remaining from 242.5km

    11:00:53 GMT

    However the gap between the breakaway and the peloton is down to just over five minutes now. 


  52. 11:06:06 GMT

    Team Europcar is now leading the chase. Is that some kind of revenge for the ten not waiting for Pierre Rolland? 


  53. 11:07:37 GMT

    The gap has fallen to 4:30.


  54. 11:17:00 GMT

    At the half way point of the stage, the racing is finely balanced.


  55. 11:19:00 GMT

    The gap is down to 3:50 and the peloton seems determined to chase the break.


  56. 11:23:08 GMT

    The climb of Mont Ventoux is expected to a battle amongst the GC contenders, with a clash between Team Sky and Saxo-Tinkoff.   


  57. 11:24:17 GMT

    Team Sky performance manager Rod Ellingworth is confident that the Sky riders are good enough to help Froome win. 

    "We’ve brought a good team to the Tour. You can always look back and ask but we’ve got a lot of good guys here. Have we brought the right team? I think we have yes," he told Cyclingnews.

    "We’ve been unlucky with Thomas and Edvald too. I’m still confident that we can see it through though. I’m 100 per cent confident."


  58. 11:33:32 GMT

    The hard racing is starting to take its toll on the riders in the break. Julien El Fares (Sojasun) has been dropped.


  59. 11:36:32 GMT

    Saxo-Tinkoff road captain Michael Rogers played a key role in helping Bradley Wiggins win the 2012 Tour. He switched teams in the winter and is playing an equally important role this year for Contador. 


  60. 11:37:53 GMT

    He told Cyclingnews that the team want the stage victory and to gain time today on Mont Ventoux. 

    "The aim is to win the stage and to take time. I’ve not the wind conditions yet and we’ve not thought that far but the plan is to take back more time," he told Cyclingnews.

    "The morale in the team is really good, and I think the team turned a chapter when we took back a minute on Froome. We’re amongst the strongest."


  61. 11:43:59 GMT

    Former polka-dot jersey and Tour stage winner is writing s blog for Cyclingnews during the Tour de France.  

    His unique insight and knowledge means he gives a special view on the race.

    In his latest  blog here, he talks about Chris Froome Bastille Day, what attacks he expects to see on the Ventoux and gives his tongue-in cheek awards of the week.  


  62. 11:45:42 GMT

    The break is approaching the fourth climb of the day, the Côte de Bourdeaux. After this Cat 3 climb the only remaining ascent is the Geant, Mont Ventoux.   


  63. 11:48:30 GMT

    The blog is by the great Robert MIllar.


  64. 12:01:01 GMT

    Peter Sagan (Cannondale) continues to ride a smart race. He is the break of nine riders and so is set to pick up maximum points at the intermediate sprint after 208km. His is virtually unbeatable in the fight for the green jersey but has to make it to Paris to win it.

     The ever consistent Peter Sagan (Cannondale) remains in the green jersey after stage 13


  65. 12:05:35 GMT

    Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) is also in the break and could have a chance of victory after working hard for team sprinter Mark Cavendish.  

    Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) was the most courageous rider on Stage 3 of the Amgen Tour of California


  66. 100km remaining from 242.5km

    12:11:47 GMT

     The rider still face 100km of racing including the 20.8km climb to the summit. 

  67. 12:12:57 GMT

    Susan jumping in for a few kms, so Steve can prepare to take you up the Ventoux.

  68. 12:16:16 GMT

    • Europcar

    It is surely every French rider's dream to win on Mont Ventoux today on Bastille Day. Thomas Voeckler of Europcar knows that he is due to do something big in this year's race....

  69. 12:19:13 GMT

    We are fortunate to have blue skies, sunshine and warm temperatures today. But it will be signficantly cooler atop the final climb!

  70. 76km remaining from 242.5km

    12:23:10 GMT

    With 76 km to go the gap is 3:40. The group may be caught before the massive final climb, at this rate.

  71. 12:24:48 GMT

    We are in a heavily agricultural area here, fields of various sorts on both sides of the road.

  72. 12:28:08 GMT

    They are now riding by some beautiful purple fields of lavendar. Wonder if the riders can catch that wonderful scent?

  73. 12:32:37 GMT

    There is always discussion about how fast the riders go up Mont Ventoux, and what exactly the speed means. You can read about that and other things in today's Tour de France shorts.

    The Mont Ventoux is where the fireworks meet the slow fuse lit at the penultimate stage of the 2009 Tour.

  74. 66km remaining from 242.5km

    12:35:06 GMT

    With 66 km to go, the gap has dropped to 3:20.

  75. 12:37:38 GMT

    In case you missed it, here is the Cyclingnews preview of this stage.

  76. 12:40:15 GMT

    Movistar is very definitely in the lead of the chase group,hoping to bring Quintana into good position on the closing climb. Sky is right behind them, though.

  77. 12:42:53 GMT

    • Cannondale

    Sagan drops back to the team car to pick up a bidon.

  78. 12:46:20 GMT

    The terrain at the moment is flat, but the mountains are looming all around....

  79. 12:50:32 GMT

    Today too there is an intermediate sprint. It comes up in about 18 km, at 208km.

  80. 49km remaining from 242.5km

    12:53:50 GMT

    49m to go, and the gap is holding steady at 3:40.

  81. 12:56:09 GMT

    • Omega Pharma QuickStep

    Chavanel drops back to the team car for a short chat. We wonder what he is planning....

  82. 12:58:39 GMT

    Tour organizers have made a big effort this year to ask fans to behave themselves on the climb, and not to interfere with the riders. Many riders have joined that campaign, tweeting  their fans to just watch. It will be interesting to see how it all works out.

  83. 13:03:01 GMT

    Andy Schleck led Alberto Contador to the line in the 2009 Tour de France finish on Mont Ventoux

    Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) knows Mont Ventoux well, and calls it a "special mountain."

  84. 13:06:20 GMT

    • Green Jersey

    The sprint is approaching. What a perfect opportunity for Sagan to tank up on points for the green jersey.

  85. 13:07:37 GMT

    Steve is coming back, ready to charge up that climb with you!

  86. 37km remaining from 242.5km

    13:09:17 GMT

    We're getting closer and closer to the start of the climb up to Mont Ventoux now.

  87. 13:10:06 GMT

    The break is close to the intermediate sprint, so watch for Peter Sagan to pick up the points and so further extend his lead in the green jersey points competition.

  88. 13:13:14 GMT

    Here comes the sprint and Sagan eases up to the front to take the maximum points ahead of Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma).

  89. 13:13:44 GMT

    Sagan picked up 20 points for crossing the line first.

  90. 13:16:15 GMT

    Behind Movistar is still setting the pace, with other teams riding together.

  91. 13:16:57 GMT

    Cavendish and Greipel are slightly ahead, fighting for the minor points at the sprint.

  92. 13:17:41 GMT

    But both don't really up their speed, with Greipel crossing the line ahead of the Manxman.

  93. 13:20:16 GMT

    The riders can see and almost feel the presence of Mont Ventoux now. It is an imposing mountain, mythique, legendary.

  94. 13:21:37 GMT

    It is 46 years and one day since Tommy Simpson's tragic death on the climb. He died of exhaustion after consuming a mix of a amphetamines and alochol.

  95. 13:22:56 GMT

    A lot of people are posting photos on social media of the Simpson memorial, situated two kilometres from the summit.

    Tom Simpson memorial

  96. 13:23:49 GMT

    Mont Ventoux is packed with spectators, who have ridden up, or slept on its slopes in tents and camper vans.

  97. 13:24:24 GMT

    We are just seven kilometres from the start of the climb. Team Sky is back on the front.

  98. 13:25:02 GMT

    Radioshack-Leopard is also riding near the front to set up Andy Schleck.

  99. 13:26:00 GMT

    David Lopez, Kansta Siutsuo and Geraint Thomas are leading the peloton.

  100. 13:26:22 GMT

    Behind, some riders and the sprinters are already easing up.

  101. 13:27:30 GMT

    The peloton is lined out in one long line of pain.

  102. 13:29:05 GMT

    Here's a shot of Peter Sagan in the breakaway.

    Peter Sagan (Cannondale) racked up even more green jersey points by making the breakaway on the Ventoux stage

  103. 13:29:55 GMT

    And this is not the Ventoux but the Col de la Madeleine.


  104. 13:32:02 GMT

    Up front Chavanel has surged clear. He loves to fight for victory but the peloton is only 1:45 behind.

  105. 13:32:57 GMT

    The crowds are huge at the start of the climb. French police have estimated that a million people will line the route of the stage today.

  106. 13:35:39 GMT

    The remains of the break are about to be caught by the peloton. It seems the overall contenders will also fight for the stage victory. It should be a battle royale on Bastille Day.

  107. 13:36:43 GMT

    The race is ahead of schedule thanks to a good tail wind. It seems the wind is also a help in the final kilometres of the climb and so that should inspire the attacks.

  108. 13:38:09 GMT

    At the back of the peloton both Tejay van Garderen (BMC) and Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) have been distanced.

  109. 13:39:29 GMT

    Peter Sagan puts on a show before being caught by the bunch, pulling a wheelie just before he is swept up.

  110. 13:40:49 GMT

    Pierre Rolland has also been dropped. He used a lot of energy trying to get across to the breakaway.

  111. 13:41:18 GMT

    Chavanel has a grimace of pain but still holds a lead of 1:35.

  112. 13:42:11 GMT

    Riblon and Irizar are also out front but will soon be caught.

  113. 13:43:10 GMT

    Froome is spinning a low gear, with his GC rivals close behind him. 

  114. 15km remaining from 242.5km

    13:45:08 GMT

    Omega Pharma is on the front of the peloton, trying to block the chasers and so help Chavanel.

  115. 13:47:25 GMT

    There are 40 or so riders in the peloton. 

  116. 13:48:54 GMT

    Jan Bakelants (Radioshack) is off the front of the peloton but teammate Andy Schleck has cracked and been dropped.


  117. 13km remaining from 242.5km

    13:49:29 GMT

    Chavanel's jersey is open but his lead is melting in the sun as the climb begins to hurt him.

  118. 13:50:36 GMT

    Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel) jumps away to try and anticipate expected attacks.

  119. 13:51:10 GMT

    Both Andrew Talansky and Dan Martin are in the front group for Garmin-Sharp.

  120. 13:52:52 GMT

    Here we go! Quintana has attacked alone!

  121. 13:54:07 GMT

    Nieve has caught Chavanel but Quintana is surely going to pass them all soon. He wants the stage win and the white jersey.

  122. 13:54:54 GMT

    Quintana does not seem to be pedaling hard but he's very effective and efficient.

  123. 13:56:04 GMT

    Pete Kennaugh is leading the peloton for Froome as Chavanel is caught and dropped.

  124. 13:57:25 GMT

    Contador is just behind Froome and looks fresher as he takes a drink.

  125. 13:59:27 GMT

    Cadel Evans is suffering at the back of the front group but is fighting hard to stay with the leaders.

  126. 14:00:15 GMT

    Evans has lost the wheels and is out of the saddle.

  127. 14:01:34 GMT

    Upfront Quintana has caught Nieve.

  128. 14:02:11 GMT

    Froome takes a bottle of water from a spectator. He is trying to cool down in the summer heat.

  129. 10km remaining from 242.5km

    14:02:51 GMT

    Bakelants is caught by the peloton.

  130. 14:03:39 GMT

    Sky take on bottles with musettes. hydration will be vital in the last 10km.

  131. 14:04:14 GMT

    Team Sky seem in total control for now...

  132. 14:06:16 GMT

    Kennaugh pulls off after doing a great job setting the pace. He comes to an almost complete stop.  Richie Porte is now the only Team Sky rider with Froome.

  133. 9km remaining from 242.5km

    14:07:29 GMT

    Behind Talansky has been dropped as Team Sky's pace continues to spit riders out of the back.  Kwiatkowski has also been distanced.

  134. 14:08:06 GMT

    Daniel Martin is also losing contact.

  135. 14:09:10 GMT

    It is a very select group up front: Porte, Froome, Contador, Rogers, Kreuziger, Mollema, Rodriguez.

  136. 14:09:41 GMT

    Valverde and De Clerq have also been dropped. Fuglsang is also fading.

  137. 14:10:23 GMT

    Porte is breaking up the front group. Only Froome and Contador are able to stay with him.

  138. 14:11:17 GMT

    Belkin are trying to get back on with ten Dem and Mollema but it will be a tough task. Porte seems to enjoying dishing out the pain.

  139. 14:11:53 GMT

    Quintana has dropped Nieve but the Porte trio is just 15 seconds behind.

  140. 14:12:49 GMT

    Froome attacks! Contador tries to stay with him but blows!

  141. 7km remaining from 242.5km

    14:13:19 GMT

    Can he stay clear all the way to the finish?

  142. 14:13:40 GMT

    Froome is catching Quintana.

  143. 14:14:30 GMT

    The  crowds are huge.

  144. 14:14:56 GMT

    Froome accelerates again and drops Quintana.

  145. 14:15:22 GMT

    Froome seems able to accelerate sharply and then maintain a high pace.

  146. 14:15:50 GMT

    However Quintana fights back and comes back up to Froome.

  147. 6km remaining from 242.5km

    14:17:42 GMT

    Contador seems to have asked Nieve for help but they are already 30 seconds behind.

  148. 5km remaining from 242.5km

    14:18:49 GMT

    Quintana is glued to Froome's wheel and will probably not work again after Froome's attack.

  149. 14:20:11 GMT

    There is a strong side wind blowing on this section and Froome seems to have eased.

  150. 14:21:56 GMT

    Froome surges again but Quintana stays with him.

  151. 14:23:10 GMT

    Froome and Quintana are now talking. Froome should be trying to gain time but he also wants to win the stage.

  152. 14:23:40 GMT

    Contador is fading and is now 45 seconds behind Froome and Quintana.

  153. 14:24:31 GMT

    Quintana is like a sphinx. He is determined to win the stage.

  154. 2km remaining from 242.5km

    14:26:34 GMT

    Quintana is now on the front as the road hugs the bare slopes of Mont Ventoux.

  155. 14:27:15 GMT

    Behind riders are suffering in the rarified air of the summit.

  156. 14:28:12 GMT

    There are wall to wall fans along the roadside, including Didi the Devil.

  157. 14:28:39 GMT

    And Froome accelerates again, this time he seems to have distanced Quintana.

  158. 1km remaining from 242.5km

    14:29:03 GMT

    The finish is in sight. Last Km.

  159. 14:29:44 GMT

    Froome is spinning his gear at almost 100 pedal strokes a minute.

  160. 14:31:35 GMT

    Froome is riding to victory at the summit of Ventoux. He will also extend is overall lead. He proved he is the strongest today.

  161. 14:32:27 GMT

    Froome sweep right and heads to the finish at the very summit of Ventoux.

  162. 14:33:09 GMT

    He dances out of the saddle and celebrates by pointing to the sky and by pointing to his jersey.

  163. 14:33:26 GMT

    Quintana takes second at 29 seconds.

  164. 14:34:57 GMT

    Rodriguez has accelerated but Nieve holds him off to take third at 1:22. Rodriguez is fourth but Contador is further back at 1:40 and finishes with Kreuziger. Mollema is also close and so is Fuglsang.

  165. 14:35:35 GMT

    Rogers, Valverde and Dan Martin also finish 2:30 behind.

  166. 14:36:13 GMT

    Froome raced for almost six hours today.

  167. 14:38:13 GMT

    Froome has extended his overall lead to 4:14 on Mollema. Contador is third at 4:25.

  168. 14:39:29 GMT

    Quintana moves up to sixth place at 5:47.

  169. 14:41:52 GMT

    Riders are still finishing. Pierre Rolland comes home in the polka-dot jersey, just ahead of Cadel Evans (BMC). They both finish eight minutes down on Froome.

  170. 14:45:26 GMT

     Andy Schleck finished more than ten-minutes down with Thomas Voeckler just behind him. 

  171. 14:47:16 GMT

    The gruppetto is expected to finish 30 minutes behind.


  172. 14:48:35 GMT

    Froome has taken the first British victory at the summit of Mont Ventoux. 46 years after Tommy Simpson died on the slopes of the Geant of Provence.


  173. 14:49:52 GMT

    Froome struggled to catch his breath after finishing the stage but can now enjoy the podium ceremony.


  174. 14:50:33 GMT

    Quintana is the new best young rider and so will pull on the white jersey.


  175. 14:50:57 GMT

    Froome took the lead in the mountains competition by winning atop Ventoux.


  176. 14:52:23 GMT

    Well what a day at the 100th edition of the Tour de France. 

    We will have a full report, huge photo gallery, videos, news and interviews on very soon.


  177. 14:54:20 GMT

    The riders will enjoy the second rest day of this year's Tour de France on Monday. Join us on Tuesday for full live coverage of stage 16 from to Gap.


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