The performance of Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) through the first 15 stages of this year's Tour de France has been nothing short of remarkable. The Frenchman has withstood intense challenges to his maillot jaune, only briefly giving up the yellow jersey to Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) on stages 6 and 7 before retaking it and extending his lead in the Pau time trial and on the Tourmalet finish.
The graphic below shows just how many of the pre-race contenders have fallen away over the last few stages.
Romain Bardet's dramatic slide started with stage 6 and intensified in the last three stages, leaving the French hopeful over 27 minutes in arrears. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) also took a nose-dive in the Pyrenees.
Alaphilippe's lead slipped slightly on stage 15 and pre-race favourites like defending champion Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal (Team Ineos), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) and Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) all made some gains.
Some pundits have called the 2019 Tour de France one of the most exciting in years. The second graphic shows the spread of time gaps between the top 10 riders at stage 15 back to 2004, confirming just hoew close this year's race is at the rider head towards the Alps for the decisive stages.
It will be only a matter of a few days until we know if Alaphilippe is a real threat to win the overall Tour de France.
Interact with the graphic below by hovering over or clicking on a rider, or rewinding to a stage by clicking on the stage number at the top.
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