The heat was the talking point of what some may call a ‘Transitional Stage’ of the Tour de France. The race from Rodez to Carcassonne on the third Sunday of the 109th edition covered 202.5km, included 2,416m of elevation gain… and ended in a sprint. Many suffered because of the conditions but Jasper Philipsen will remember the day fondly after picking up his first TDF stage win.

Here is the #ZacWilliamsGalleries of stage 15 from Le Tour of 2022.


– Tour de France Gallery, by Zac Williams: stage 15, Rodez to Carcassonne (202.5km)


This time it was for real: Jasper Philipsen in first place, with compatriot Wout van Aert in second place and the winner of stage 13, Mads Pedersen, third. It was a sprint finish but not all the usual candidates for such a stage were present.

Michael Mørkøv, the maestro of the lead-out who has helped numerous riders achieve outstanding results in finishes like the one in Carcassonne, was dropped early. He rode over 200km on his own and finished 1:05 behind Philipsen… it put him outside the time limit and dropped the number of riders remaining in the race to 152 (from the original start list of 176).

Another rider who was absent is the 2020 TDF runner-up Primoz Roglic who opted not to start stage 15, saying he’s going to focus on recuperation from injuries sustained in the opening stanza of the Tour.

“To let my injuries heal, we decided I will not start today,” explained Roglic in a team statement. “I’m proud of my contribution to the current standings and I’m confident that the team will achieve its yellow and green ambitions. I want to thank everyone for their support.”

Things didn’t improve for the Jumbo-Visma team in stage 15. The undulating stage included a number of incidents and crashes, with the race leader Jonas Vingegaard (above) as well as two key team-mates Steven Kruijswijk and Tiesj Benoot also coming down.

With Roglic a DNS and Kruijswijk a DNF, the Dutch-registered team suffered a couple of heavy hits on a day of intense heat yet Vingegaard maintained his advantage in the general classification, continuing to lead the race 2:22 ahead of Tadej Pogacar, with 2018 Tour champion Geraint Thomas ranked third (at 2:43).

Caleb Ewan is another rider who’s endured intense heat and was still able to pull off a sprint victory in the past, but the Australian from Lotto Soudal continues to suffer through the 2022 Tour, finishing stage 15 in last place while also holding the ‘Lanterne Rouge’ of the last rider on GC.

Ewan (below) hasn’t had much to celebrate in his fourth Tour de France (even if he did gain five places on GC because of a reduced field). He is the only rider over four hours behind Vingegaard and the Pyrenees are yet to come.

Zac Williams Galleries

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LeTour 2022:

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