Cycling

Tour de France: Alexander Kristoff sprints to stage 15 victory

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Alexander Kristoff sprints to victory at the end of stage 15 of the Tour de France after catching the breakaway within the last 50 metres.

Kristoff led the sprinters home with Heinrich Haussler finishing in second and the ever-present Peter Sagan crossing the line in third.

Incredible speed

The speed of the Norwegian was incredible as he approached the line and even the likes of German sprinter Andre Greipel couldn't catch up with him.

Stage 15 was seen on paper as a sprint stage, but the day almost didn't go as planned with breakaway rider Jack Bauer only just falling short of an unexpected win.

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Bauer was part of a two-man breakaway with Martin Elmiger and the pair had led for most of the stage before being caught right at the end.

Mark Cavendish won the stage into Nimes in 2013 and Kristoff, who has now won two stages at the 2014 Tour, admits the finish was extremely close.

Tight finish

The Norwegian told reporters: “It was close – really close. The break were strong. When it rained a lot at the end, it was difficult to close them down, but luckily we just caught them on the line and I’m really happy.”

Vincenzo Nibali remains in the yellow jersey after finishing safely in the peloton along with his main rivals, including Alejandro Valverde and Richie Porte. However King of the Mountains leader Joaquim Rodriguez was caught in a split in the peloton and lost 12 minutes.

The race continues on Tuesday with the riders going back into the mountains and if Nibali is to lose his yellow jersey his rivals will have to attack him during the next few days.

Stage 15 result:

1 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha, 4:56:43
2 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling, same time
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale, st
4 Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol, st
5 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, st
6 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar, st
7 Ramunas Navardauskas (Lit) Garmin-Sharp, st
8 Romain Feillu (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement, st
9 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge, st
10 Jack Bauer (NZ) Garmin-Sharp, st

General classification

1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, 66:49:37
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar, +4:37
3 Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +4:50
4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ, +5:06
5 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC, +5:49
6 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +6:08
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin, +8:33
8 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura, +9:32
9 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin, +10:01
10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar, +10:48

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Topics:
Vincenzo Nibali
Cycling
Tour De France

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