Primoz Roglic is leading the Tour de France and can not only win Stage 15 on Sunday but put away his competitors.. Photo by @NBCOlympicTalk (Twitter)
- Stage 15 of the TDF (Sunday, September 13) is this year’s first trip into the Alps
- Three trips up the same mountain will go a long way to determining this year’s champion
- What rider provides the top betting value in Stage 15 of the Tour de France? See the full odds below
If someone is going to challenge and pass Primoz Roglic – the current leader and heavy favorite in this year’s Tour de France – it probably will be revealed on Sunday.
In the mountains on Friday, Roglic gained time on defending champ Egan Bernal and looked clearly like the top rider this year. Saturday he maintained his advantage, 44 seconds over Tadej Pogacar, with Bernal 59 ticks back.
Stage 15 is what the Tour de France is all about. A testing mountain stage where the cream rises to the top. With an off day on Monday, anybody who is going to take a run at Roglic is likely to give it a shot on Sunday. GC candidates are among the top contenders to win the stage, which seems reasonable.
2020 Tour de France Stage 15 Odds
|Rider||Odds at DraftKings|
|Daniel Felipe Martinez||+800|
|Miguel Angel Lopez||+1800|
Odds as of Sep. 12th.
A longshot winning stage 14 seemed possible, and luckily Soren Kragh Anderson was among the riders highlighted. As expected most sprinters got dropped, and when Kragh Anderson shot to the front with a couple kilometres left, nobody was able to reel him in.
As for Stage 15, mountain stages of the Tour de France follow several scripts, but by and large they have very challenging climbs, daring descents, and lots of strategy on when to attack.
Usually riders cycle from one mountain to the next. Not on Sunday. Stage 15 is 175 kilometres from Lyon to the top of Grand Colombier. Three times the competitors go up Grand Colombier. The average gradients are in double figures, meaning difficult terrain and incredible strength is required.
Though a breakaway is a real possibility, Stage 15 is likely all about the GC. The Queen Stage in the Tour de l’Ain recently followed a very similar route, and Roglic was the winner. Thibaut Pinot took the same stage in 2019.
While it was suspected that Roglic and his team, Jumbo–Visma, were the strongest of the group this year, that thought seemed to be justified on Friday.
It can be nailed shut on Sunday.
A major challenge in the Alps will come from Pogacar, Bernal, and anyone else with ambitions. The expectation is that Roglic will repel them.
Roglic has made few questionable or risky moves thus far, but this remains his first Tour de France as the favorite, and a lot can happen in the mountains. He also can have a great day, and not lose ground, possibly even further securing his advantage, and not win the stage.
While some riders are trying to win stages, Roglic’s goal is more lofty.
Pogacar does not have the support of a top team like Roglic, but he has had a very strong race. Sure, he lost time over a week ago and perhaps a more experienced rider would have avoided that, but has been impressive and very well may be able to hang with Roglic on the big climbs.
There is no doubt Pogacar has ambitions of winning the Tour, but without the sort of support Roglic has it is somewhat unlikely. Does that mean he is more likely to devote resources and strength to trying to win a second stage this year?
It may be a forgettable Tour for longtime top team Ineos, and Bernal, who is still likely to finish among the top five, but the squad who has dominated the race over the last decade, and rider who is the defending champ has higher aspirations.
It would be a surprise if they didn’t go down fighting. You would guess Sunday they will try to test Roglic.
Bernal did not win an individual stage last year, but certainly had the kick to go after one had he wanted to. This time around, no longer the favorite, he needs to be the aggressor.
Pinot provides some value too. He is familiar with this route, and has three career stage victories at the Tour de France.
If Bernal doesn’t have it, and that is sort of how it looked on Friday, and Roglic is content to keep his lead but not go all out to win an individual stage, Pinot is very viable at a nice price.
Dave Friedman has covered professional and college sports for two decades. From ESPN to the Associated Press, Regional Sports Networks, Metro Networks, and many local outlets, he has written about and broadcast major and minor events throughout the country.