Fedrigo takes stage as Tour reaches rest day
PAU, France – Bradley Wiggins knows he’s well-positioned to win the Tour de France. But with the banged-up, frenetic and weary pack nearing the final rest day of the three-week race, he wasn’t taking any chances Monday.
A hasty, nervous start to Stage 15 in the Pyreness foothills ultimately gave way to a stage victory by Pierrick Fedrigo. The Frenchman led a six-man breakaway as Wiggins played it safe – almost 12 minutes behind in the pack.
The 99-mile route from Samatan to Pau was a mostly flat layout that might favor a sprint finish, but teams with strong sprinters didn’t lay chase.
Fedrigo bolted from the breakaway group with about four miles left, with Christian Vande Velde of the U.S. the only rider able to keep pace. The American, not a sprint expert, lost the two-man dash.
Sprinters and breakaway specialists saw this course as one of their last chances to win a stage, knowing mountains and a time trial dominate the last five race days.