Sprinter Jasper Philipsen from Alpecin-Deceuninck secured his first-ever stage victory in the Tour de France by edging out Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) at the finish line in Stage 15 at Carcassonne.

Jasper Philipsen Stage 15 Le Tour de France 2022 Alpecin-Deceuninck sprint
Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) celebrates his first-career stage win in Stage 15 of the 2022 Tour de France at Carcassonne. (Image: Getty)

Stage 15 featured the last 200-plus km stage during a flat route from Rodez to the walled city of Carcassonne, which would be the penultimate stage for sprinters before the final stage in Paris next Sunday.

Despite a sloppy lead out and discombobulated organization from teams in the final kilometer, a final surge from Philipsen put him ahead of van Aert and Mads Pedersen. Pedersen, Stage 13 winner from Denmark, finished in third place and missed a chance to lock up a second stage victory for Trek-Segafredo since Friday.

  1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 4:27:27
  2. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +0:00
  3. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) +0:00

Van Aert won two stages already on Le Tour, and he was the betting favorite at +500 odds coming into Stage 15, but he finished in second place once again. Philipsen was +550 odds as the second favorite to win Stage 15 on the betting board at DraftKings.

Stage 15: Rodez > Carcassonne

On a sizzling Sunday, temperatures reached 100 degrees. But the race must go on, despite the grueling heat. Even the ridiculous and sweltering weather did not deter protestors from trying to impede the progress of the peloton. Local gendarmes quickly removed the human obstacles.

With 200 meters to the finish line, Philipsen led out the sprint with van Aert on his wheel. Pedersen drifted right to prevent van Aert making move along the guard rail. Philipsen snuck behind Pedersen’s left and smoked both van Aert and Pedersen.

“I felt Wout was coming close but I also knew the finish line from last year,” said Philipsen. “We got boxed in a little bit before the final corner and I knew it was not long anymore after the last corner. I knew I had to make up some positions. It was good that I could pass Mads.”

Belgium’s Philipsen came close to winning a sprint stage multiple times but either finished in second or third on the the podium a total of eight times.

“It makes it super unbelievable,” noted Philipsen. “I know what losing is like in the Tour de France. I was close many many times. That it worked out today is incredible. I can’t believe it.”

Thanks to Philipsen, Alpecin-Deceuninck also secured their first stage win this year.

“It’s been massive search for this victory,” added Philipsen. “We’ve worked really hard for it. I’m super proud we can finally finish it off after a tough Tour. We had to wait til stage 15 with the team but everyone still believed it was possible. I’m super happy.”

Preview Stage 16: Carcassonne > Foix

Monday is the final rest day of the 2022 Tour de France as the peloton makes their way to the Pyrenees for the last mountains stages this week. On Tuesday, Stage 16 features a hilly 178.5 km route from Carcassonne to Foix with four categorized climbs. There’s a pair of Category 1 climbs in the final third of Stage 15 including ascents of Port de Lers and Mur de Peguere.

In the final week of Le Tour, expect teams without any wins to try to stage hunt via a breakaway. At the same time, it’s crunch time for Tadej Pogacar. The defending champ is expected to make a move in Stage 15 to try to shave time off Jonas Vingegaard’s lead.

  1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 59:58:28
  2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +2:22
  3. Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) +2:43
  4. Romain Bardet (DSM) +3:01
  5. Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) +4:06

Pogacar continues to trail Vingegaard by 2:22 and Geraint Thomas (Ineos) is 2:43 off the lead in third place.

Jumbo-Visma took a huge blow on Sunday when they lost two riders and Vingegaard crashed. It was only a minor crash for the overall leader, and Vingegaard shook it off, but it capped off an unlucky day for Jumbo-Visma. Primoz Roglic was a late scratch before the start in Stage 15 and he withdrew from the Tour de France due to injuries. They also lost Steven Kruijswijk — a top climbers assigned to protect Vingegaard in the mountains – who was whisked away in an ambulance after a mid-stage crash. Kruijswijk’s Tour de France is also over.

Oddmakers adjusted the betting lines to reflect Jumbo-Visma’s distress. Vingegaard is now only -225 odds to win the 2022 Tour de France, while Pogacar bumped from +300 to +175.

Check out OG’s extensive coverage of the 2022 Tour de France.