Alexander Kristoff of the Katusha team fashioned a second win at Tour de France 2014 in Stage 15 between Tallard and Nimes. Kristoff in an excellent display of sprinting in the last few metres of the race went onto take pole position.
Heinrich Haussler of the IAM Cycling team stood second while third position went to Peter Sagan of Cannondale, the green jersey holder. Italian Vincenzo Niballi still has the overall lead.
Kiwi Jack Bauer of Gamin-Sharp and Swiss Martin Elmiger of the IAM Cycling team had sneaked out shortly after the commencement of the race at Tallard and raced ahead.
Bauer and Elmiger were heading the racers as the last 20 metres began. The two had even done very well to emerge unscathed from the worst part of a rain-affected stage before being caught unawares by Kristoff.
Thereafter Kristoff showed his class as from nowhere he outraced the Kiwi and the Swiss. As the last kilometre began Bauer and Elmiger were still heading the racers. Kristoff it seemed had missed the bus.
"I was scared of course that they would keep ahead," said the Stage 15 winner, reported Velonews.com.
The flat stretches weren't really to his advantage as he wasn't the quickest when it came to sprinting the way the likes of Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel were but his lighter frame helped him here, reckoned Kristoff.
"Normally I'm not the fastest sprinter on the flat against André Greipel and Marcel Kittel but I'm lighter than them. Possibly that turned to my advantage today," said the Katusha man.
Jack Bauer who ended up tenth after doing all the hard work was crushed after Krisstoff sneaked in behind and won the race.
"It's just a bitter, bitter disappointment. It's a childhood dream to win a stage of the tour and for a domestique, like myself, I'm normally working for others," BBC Sport quoted the Kiwi as saying.
Both Martin Elgimer and Bauer seemed to stand a good chance to record wins but in the end there was nothing they could do after Kristoff's fantastic sprint. The Kiwi said with 400 metres remaining he had the race in his hands, however, by the 50 metre mark the winning hopes had completely disappeared
"This was my first chance to be up the road and with the change in the wind and the weather, Martin and I realised we had a chance for the win," Bauer said.
Monday is a rest day for the contestants as Stage 16 will be held on Tuesday.Here is a video of Kristoff winning the race--
Stage 15 Results
1. Alexander Kristoff [Nor/Katusha] 4hrs 56mins 42secs
2. Heinrich Haussler [Aus/IAM Cycling] ST
3. Peter Sagan [Svk/Cannondale]
4. Andre Greipel [Ger/Lotto-Belisol]
5. Mark Renshaw [Aus/Omega Pharma - Quick-Step]
1. Vincenzo Nibali [Ita/Astana] 66hrs 49mins 37secs
2. Alejandro Valverde [Spa/Movistar] +4mins 37secs
3. Romain Bardet ]Fra/AG2R] +4mins 50secs
4. Thibaut Pinot [Fra/FDJ] +5mins 06secs
5. Tejay van Garderen [US/BMC Racing] +5mins 49secs