Tadej Pogacar loves riding in the Tour de France on Sundays. The Slovenian won two stages of Le Tour 2020 on a Sunday. Last Sunday, Pogacar took first in Stage 9 at Le Runs. This Sunday, Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) reached the steep Mount Colombier first, edging out overall leader Primoz Roglic, to win Stage 15 of the Tour de France.

Tadej Pogacar Stage 15 Mount Grand Colombier Le Tour de France
Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar rode to second stage victory at Tour de France with a win at Stage 15 Mount Colombier. (Image: AP)

Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) finished in second place behind Pogacar, who shaved four seconds off Roglic’s lead. In the general classification standings, second-place Pogacar trails Roglic by 40 seconds.

“Today was really a tough stage,” said Pogacar. “Jumbo just set the pace all day. The heat made it really difficult.”

  1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 04:34:13
  2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)
  3. Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) +00:05

Egan Bernal’s quest to win back-to-back yellow jerseys on the Tour de France looks like it ended when he cracked on the ascent of Colombier. Bernal lost over seven minutes on Roglic and Pogacar.

Bernal started the day in third place and trailing Roglic by a minute. By the time he reached the top of Colombier, the Colombian champion plummeted to 13th place. Bernal currently trails Roglic by 8:25.

Roglic saw his odds to win the Tour de France improve to -455 once Bernal cracked. Pogacar is now 3/1 odds to pull off the comeback victory over Roglic.

Stage 15: Lyon > Grand Colombier

The locals refer to the ominous mountain as the “Pyramid”, because of the four-sided Mount Colombier. Stage 15 saw the riders attack three of the four routes on Grand Colombier before a summit finish at 1,501 meters.

The 174.5 km stage began in Lyon and riders were challenged with a couple of Category 1 climbs, before a torturous 17 km ascent to the top of Mount Colombier with a Category HC (highest, uncategorizable).

With 17 km to go, the peloton were approximately 65 seconds off a pair of breakaway riders that attacked the ascent.

With 10 km remaining, the chase pack led by Roglic and Jumbo-Visma, caught up to the breakaway. The new lead group consisted of 20 riders. Bernal and Ineos were a full minute behind Roglic and quickly losing ground.

With 8.5 km to go, the lead pack dropped five riders. Bernal’s chase group of four fell behind by two minutes.

With 4 km, the lead back dwindled down to a dozen. Bernal’s group got dropped as the front pack extended a four-minute lead over the defending champ.

“In the end I was aiming for a sprint and I am happy to win again,” said Pogacar.

Pogacar held off Roglic and dusted everyone else in the final 100 meters to reach the summit finish at Stage 15.

“Jumbo did a really hard pace and some riders paid for it,” added Pogacar. “Roglic seems unstoppable for the moment. Today, Bernal cracked and maybe one day I can crack and Roglic too.”

A gassed Bernal reached the finish line 7:20 behind Roglic.

On Deck: Stage 16 La Tour-du-Pin > Villard-de-Lans

The peloton earns a much-needed rest day on Monday. It’s the second and final schedule rest day on the Tour de France, before the peloton faces rigorous mountain stages this week starting with the La Chartreuse mountains.

When action resumes on Tuesday, Stage 16 begins in La Tour-du-Pin and ends 164 km later in Villard-de-Lans. Le Tour does not frequent the rough Vercors region often, but riders will be treated with narrow roads, deep gorges, and steep climbs.

During WWII, the resistance fended off the Nazis with the assistance of the rugged terrain. For a hot minute toward the end of WWII, Vercors declared itself its own individual sovereign nation independent of German-occupied France and Vichy France.

Riders will face five climbs of note including Category 1 Montee de Saint-Nizier-du-Moucherotte before ending the race at the popular ski resort at Villard-de-Lans Cote 2000.

  1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 65:37:07
  2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +00:40
  3. Rigoberto Uran (EF Pro Cycling) +01:34
  4. Miguel Lopez (Astana) +01:45
  5. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +02:03

Roglic held onto the yellow jersey for a full week since he grabbed it last Sunday in Le Runs. Pogacar gained four seconds on his fellow Slovenian, but Roglic still leads the Tour de France by 40 seconds.

Rigoberto Uran, 94 seconds off the lead, slides into third place after Bernal cracked in Stage 15.

Miguel Lopez moved into fourth place, while Adam Yates is back in the Top 5, but he’s over two minutes behind Roglic.