Rik Verbrugghe of the Lotto team, won today’s stage of the Tour de France. The 27 year old outsprinted Marco Pinotti, who was searching for Italy’s first win in this year’s race.
With the battle for the yellow jersey over, the final week gives the riders lower down on the standings a chance at glory. Today was a perfect example with 25 riders breaking clear at the 66km mark. Once away there was little chance of the break being caught and with a lead building to over 15 minutes by the line, only Kelme offered some sort of resisitence in the final kilometres.
With the lead group realising a winner would come from one of them, riders began attacking. However it was Pinotti who gained the first serious gap until Vebrugghe reeled him in. In the final dash for the line the Belgian came around the Italian to win by a nearly a length.
Stage 15, Pau-Lavaur 232.5km
1st Rik Verbrugghe (Bel, Lotto) 5h’16m’31sec
2nd Marco Pinotti (Ita, Lampre) at s.t
3rd Alessandro Pettacchi (Ita, Fasso) at 6sec
4th Sylain Chavanel (Fra, Bonjour) at s.t
5th Nico Mattan (Bel, Cofidis) at s.t