The Washington Post

Vingegaard keeps lead, but ailing Roglic exits race

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carcassonn­e, france — Jasper Philipsen of Belgium braved a heat wave to win the 15th stage of the Tour de France in a sprint Sunday as Jonas Vingegaard kept the leader’s yellow jersey.

Primoz Roglic, the 2020 runner-up and a key teammate for Vingegaard, abandoned the race before the start Sunday because of injuries he previously suffered in this year’s edition.

Philipsen beat points leader Wout van Aert and Mads Pedersen at the line to win a Tour stage for the first time.

“It makes it super unbelievab­le. I know what losing is like in the Tour de France. I was close many, many times,” Philipsen said. “But that it worked out today, it’s unbelievab­le.”

Philipsen was second behind Van Aert in the fourth stage of this year’s race.

“It’s been a massive search for this victory, and we worked really hard for it,” said Philipsen, holding back tears. “I knew I had good legs, but we just had to wait until the right opportunit­y.”

Benjamin Thomas had tried to attack for the first win by a French rider on this year’s Tour but was caught in the final stretch.

Faced with temperatur­es peaking at around 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), organizers deployed measures to deal with extreme heat. They relaxed the rules on riders’ refreshmen­ts and the maximum time to com

plete the stage, which at 202.5 kilometers (126 miles) was the joint second longest of this year’s Tour. Environmen­tal protesters blocked the road at one point and were quickly removed.

Vingegaard’s lead remains unchanged at 2 minutes 22 seconds over 2020 and 2021 Tour winner Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia after they both finished in the lead group. However, the Danish rider had to recover from a fall, and he has lost two of his Jumbo-vis

ma teammates, including Roglic. That leaves Vingegaard with reduced support in the peloton as the race enters the Pyrenees following the rest day Monday.

Roglic did not start the stage following injuries he suffered in Stage 5 when he crashed into a hay bale that had been knocked into the road by a motorbike. Roglic reset his own dislocated shoulder on the side of the road and had been racing in pain ever since.

“To allow my injuries to heal properly, we have decided that I won’t start today,” Roglic said.

Another Jumbo-visma rider, Steven Kruijswijk, was taken away in an ambulance following a fall.

Two more riders, Magnus Cort and Stage 6 winner Simon Clarke, withdrew from the race after testing positive for the coronaviru­s. Eight riders have left the race because of the virus.

 ?? MARCO BERTORELLO/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES ?? Jonas Vingegaard, left, maintained a 2:22 lead following Sunday’s 15th stage of the Tour de France.
MARCO BERTORELLO/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES Jonas Vingegaard, left, maintained a 2:22 lead following Sunday’s 15th stage of the Tour de France.

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