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The peloton charged along Sunday, helped by a strong tailwind. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
The peloton charged along Sunday, helped by a strong tailwind. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

Tour de France, Stage 15: Harder Than Anticipated

17. July 2011

Montpellier, France

The BMC Racing Team worked hard Sunday to keep Cadel Evans safely positioned on a windy, fast stage at the Tour de France.

'Today Was Brutal'

George Hincapie said the 193 kilometer race presented more challenges than anticipated. "Today was brutal," the three-time U.S. national road champion said. "For a transition day, it was harder than a lot of the mountain stages we've done. It was full-on, all day, fighting for position. You couldn't let your guard down for one second. The team did an awesome job of riding together all day." Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) took the bunch sprint as Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar) kept the overall lead and Evans remained third.

Staying Near The Front
Evans said a strong tailwind made the race "really risky" and imperative to stay near the front, particularly near the finish. "It's a sort of a conflict in the race where the sprinters want to be in the first position, but we have to be in the front and sometimes we have to be in their way at 10 or five kilometers to go," Evans said. "Of course they don't like that, but we can lose the race at five kilometers because we have to at least be at three kilometers if something happens in the peloton." Monday marks the second rest day of the three-week race.