Tour de France stage 15: Wout Poels wins mountain stage

Pogačar and Vingegaard finish together on last summit finish before second rest-day

Clock18:35, Sunday 16th July 2023
Wout Poels wins his first Grand Tour stage win

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Wout Poels wins his first Grand Tour stage win

Bahrain Victorious secured their second win in the space of a week at the Tour de France, as Wout Poels emerged from a large breakaway to take his first Grand Tour stage victory after years of dedicated service on behalf of teammates.

His efforts would be reserved for his own attack this time around, with the Dutch climber dropping Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) atop Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc.

The last time that the Tour visited this category-one test, Poels was all set to contest the win for Team Sky, but their plans were derailed by Chris Froome's crash prior to the final climb. No such duties foiled Poels this time around, with the 35-year-old winning a stage in the 21st Grand Tour of his career.

“I always dreamed to win a stage at the Tour. I won a Monument and now a stage in the Tour," exclaimed Poels in disbelief at the finish. "When you are young, you dream of it, look at all the people watching on tv and at the side of the road. The Tour is the Tour."

Referring to the four Tours de France he helped Team Sky (now Ineos Grenadiers) achieve with team leaders Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal, Poels was in a reflective mood at the finish.

"I’ve had great memories at this race; this is my tenth. I’ve always worked for people, so it’s incredible to have my chance and achieve this dream."

Racing recap

Stage 15 of the Tour de France was another incredibly tough Alpine stage at the Tour de France with a summit finish to Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc, with several other passes along the way to finish the second week.

There were many attacks to get in the breakaway of the day and in the end, it was Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-Quick Step) and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Qazaqstan) who got in a two-up move.

A crash in the peloton behind took down a lot of riders and because of this the two up front managed to get a lead of eight minutes.

A huge group of 32 riders then started off following those up front, including Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Dylan Teuns (Israel Premier-Tech), Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious), Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost), Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Mike Woods (Israel Premier-Tech) and Guillaume Martin (Cofidis).

At the foot of the Col de la Forclaz, the chasing group had nearly caught the two up front and were within a minute of them.

Alaphilippe began to drop Lutsenko on the descent but the pair remained together and after the descent, they were caught by the chasers.

On the Col des Aravis, an attack from Mark Soler (UAE Team Emirates) saw Wout van Aert and Wout Poels follow and the three riders got a gap and went on alone. There were several crashes on the descent but the three up front continued together.

On the climb preceding the final one, Wout Poels managed to attack and immediately got a gap on the other two. Poels continued up the final climb and kept extending his lead, he eventually won comfortably by over two minutes from Van Aert, with Soler having dropped back to help his team leader Tadej Pogačar.

This was Poel’s first-ever Grand Tour stage win, after being in the winning teams working for Chris Froome on other occasions, he finally got his own win today.

The GC favourites then hit the final climb and steadily riders dropped away until it was just three up front, Pogačar, teammate Adam Yates and the yellow jersey of Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma).

They set a pace at the front until Adam Yates rode away, apparently unaware that he’d dropped his leader, but he managed to bridge across to Soler and put time into Carlos Rodríguez (Ineos Grenadiers), who had joined them at the front, and hone in on a podium spot. Pogačar and Vingegaard behind were equally matched and neither could shake the other.

They sprinted for the line but ultimately crossed it together, maintaining Vingegaard’s slim ten-second lead on GC.

With a rest day tomorrow and a time trial the next day, will the GC be as evenly matched coming out of it?

Race Results


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Bahrain Victorious

4H 40' 45"


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+ 2' 08"


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+ 3' 00"


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Team Jayco-AlUla

+ 3' 10"


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Bahrain Victorious

+ 3' 14"


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PINOT Thibaut




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MARTIN Guillaume


+ 3' 32"


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+ 3' 43"


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Team Arkéa-Samsic

+ 3' 59"


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Team Arkéa-Samsic

+ 4' 20"

Provided by FirstCycling

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