FDJ's Pierrick Fedrigo won stage fifteen of the Tour De France this afternoon.
162 riders minus the very sick Sylvain Chavanel, were at the start line in Samatan for this 158.5km stage to Pau on a day where Bradley Wiggins was setting the record for the British rider who has spent the most time in a Tour De France in yellow.
Picture copyright of ASO
Oss (LIQ), Roelandts (LTB), Valls Ferri (VCD), Vichot (FDJ), Devenyns (OPQ) and Sprick (ARG), were the first to really escape. David Millar did try but was caught.
This group was caught after 15kms and Garmin's Danny Martin (pictured below) along with Fedrigo (FDJ), N. Sorensen (STB), Vinokourov (AST) and Devenyns (OPQ) took over before being joined by Izaguirre (EUS), Burghardt (BMC) and Vanendert at the 21km mark.
That lead failed to last and Friday's stage winner David Millar was back in front in a group of four riders with Grivko (AST), Arashiro (EUC), and Bert Grabsch (OPQ), after 32kms. Rui Costa then joined them.
On the D943 heading for Barran, Millar and the four riders with him were only fourteen seconds clear of a peloton which had swept up JJ Haedo and Kroon who had tried to bridge the gap.
Five became nine when Martinez (EUS), Marcato (VCD), Trofimov (KAT) and Vinokourov (AST) caught up with them just before the D939 at L'Isle De Noe.
They did not get too far ahead and Voeckler (EUC), Vande Velde (GRS), Fedrigo (FDJ), Devenyns (OPQ), Dumoulin (COF) and Sorensen (STB) caught them and took over.
This time, they stayed away, getting five and a half minutes clear as Nicky Sorensen took the points at the days intermediate sprint at Maubourget.
Tommy Voeckler then took the point on offer for the category four climb on the Cote de Lahitte -Troupiere after Brett Lancaster and Kenny Van Hummel riders withdrew along with Jerome and Bernardau to take the amount still in the race to 158.
Inside the final 40kms and the gap went out to 8.42 as the riders made their up the category three Cote de Simacourbe. Again Voeckler took the points ahead of Dumoulin.
This was quickly followed by the category four Cote de Monassut-Audiracq. which again was won by Voeckler.
FDJ's Hutarovich abandoned as the attacks at the front started to happen with 8.5kms to go with the front group, 11.29 ahead of the peloton.
American Christian Vandevelde, who had been set up by David Millar, attacked and Pierrick Fedrigo went with him. They were twenty three seconds clear.going into the final two kilometres.
Fedrigo won in a time of 3.40.12 ahead of Vandevalde and Voeckler, who said he would have prefered it if he had won but he was glad that a Frenchman won.
The peloton, led by Mark Cavendish who again did a large amount of work for his Team Sky Team came home some 11. 49 back.
Bradley Wiggins was safely in the bunch and keeps his yellow jersey with a lead of 2.05 over Chris Froome.
Tomorrow is a rest day before the 197km stage from Pau to Bagneres De Luchon.
Picture copyright of Covsupport News Service.