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Stage 15, Tour de France 2017: Laissac-Sévérac-l'Eglise to le Puy-en-Velay

Saugues

Saugues, by Christo42190, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

A guide to Stage 15 of the Tour de France 2017, which is 189.5km from Laissac-Sévérac-l'Eglise to le Puy-en-Velay. This is a hilly stage, rather than a mountainous one, but the riders are above 1000m altitude for a lengthy stretch on the Aubrac Plateau, and there are steep sections (14%) on the climb of the Col de Peyra Taillade. It could be a day for a strong rider to win from a breakaway. Read about Stage 15 of the Tour de France 2017 here.

Brilliant Bauke best on Stage 15

16th July 2017

Bauke Mollema

Bauke Mollema, by filip bossuyt, Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0

Bauke Mollema (Trek Segafredo) won Stage 15 with a long-range attack from a breakaway. Dan Martin gained time with a late move from the group of GC favourites. Chris Froome survived a delay due to a puncture, and finished with the GC group. He stays in yellow, with the time gap to Aru unchanged.

Stage 15, Tour de France 2017: facts, figures, and map

Stage 15 of the Tour de France 2017 starts in Laissac-Sévérac-l'Eglise in the Aveyron, and makes its way via the Lozère to le Puy-en-Velay in the Haute Loire.

Stage classification Hilly
Distance 189.5km
Intermediate sprint Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole
Climbs Montée de Naves d'Aubrac (Category 1)
Côte de Vieurals (Category 3)
Col de Peyra Taillade (Category 1)
Côte de Saint-Vidal (Category 4)

This is the official map of Stage 15.

The official Tour de France stage profile for Stage 15:

Profile of Stage 15, Tour de France 2017

Profile of Stage 15, Tour de France 2017, © ASO/Tour de France organisers

Stage 15, Tour de France 2017: date & timings

Stage 15 takes place on Sunday 16th July 2017.

The publicity caravan sets off from Laissac at 11h00, and arrives at the finish in le Puy-en-Velay at 16h17. The peloton rolls out of Laissac at 13h00, and gets to the finish between 17h47 and 18h17.

Stage 15, Tour de France 2017: the route

Stage 15, Tour de France 2017: the start in Laissac-Sévérac-l'Eglise

Chateau des Bourines

Château des Bourines, Bertholène, near Laissac, by Jean-Claude Charrié, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

The stage starts in Laissac-Sévérac-l'Eglise, east of Rodez, in the Aveyron. The flag goes down and the racing starts around Pont de Palmas, where there's a bridge over the river Aveyron.

Stage 15, Tour de France 2017: Laissac-Sévérac-l'Eglise to Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole

Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole

Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole, by Wivoelke, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

The riders make their way to Saint-Geniez d'Olt (440m altitude), on the river Lot. From here, they climb the Montée de Naves d'Aubrac (Category 1; 8.9km at an average 6.4%; 1,058m at the top). There's some respite from the climbing for a few kilometres, then the Côte de Vieurals takes them higher again, to 1,358m (Category 3, 3.3km at an average 5.9%). This is the plateau d'Aubrac. 

Aubrac cow

Aubrac cow, by Graeme Churchard, Licence CC BY 2.0

There's an Aubrac breed of cattle which originates on the plateau d'Aubrac.

Brameloup

Brameloup, by jmp48, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

The route is now gradually downhill, and it goes past the ski resort of Brameloup, crosses from the Aveyron into the Lozère, and passes the Lac des Moines. In the Lozère, it continues via Nasbinals, Malbouzon, and Aumont-Aubrac to Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole for the intermediate sprint.

Profile of intermediate sprint on Stage 15, TDF 2017, at Saint-Alban

Profile of intermediate sprint on Stage 15, TDF 2017, at Saint-Alban, © ASO/Tour de France

Stage 15, Tour de France 2017: Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole to le Puy-en-Velay

Saugues

Saugues, by Georges Perret, Licence CC BY-ND 2.0

After Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole (928m), the route crosses from the Lozère into the Haute Loire, and reaches l'Hospitalet du Sauvage (1,312m). L'Hospitalet is so-called because there was a refuge there, founded in 1198, for pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela. 

Saint-Arcon-d'Allier

Saint-Arcon-d'Allier, by pedelecs, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

The race route then descends to Saugues, and goes further down to Saint-Arcons-d'Allier, on the river Allier. It follows the course of the river to Prades. Prades marks the start of the Category 1 climb of the Col de Peyra Taillade. That climb is the main difficulty before the finish in le Puy-en-Velay.

Profile of the climb of the Col de Peyra Taillade

Profile of the Col de Peyra Taillade, © ASO/Tour de France organisers

Stage 15, Tour de France 2017: the finish at le Puy-en-Velay

Polignac

Polignac, by TARTAUD-GINESTE, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

The run-in to le Puy-en-Velay is downhill except for a short ascent of the Côte de Saint-Vidal (Category 4, 1.9km at 6.8%), and a little slope up to Polignac. 

View of le Puy-en-Velay

Le Puy-en-Velay, by Georges Perret, Licence CC BY-ND 2.0

Le Puy-en-Velay provides a scenic backdrop to the end of the race. According to L'Eveil, the finish line is on the boulevard du Breuil.

Stage 15, Tour de France 2017: favourites for the stage win

Peter Sagan in the green jersey

Peter Sagan in the green jersey at the 2014 Tour de France, by Alex Duncan, Licence CC BY 2.0

Stage 15 is another chance for the punchers. Peter Sagan is nearly always up there on the stages which suit his talents, and if he doesn't win Stage 14, he could well be in the frame for victory in Stage 15.

Update: since Peter Sagan has been thrown off the race, that leaves the way clear for Greg van Avermaet, Thomas de Gendt, or - why not - Steve Cummings from a breakaway.

Stage 15, Tour de France 2017: comments

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Stage 16, Tour de France 2017

Romans-sur-Isère seen from Bourg-de-Péage

View of Romans-sur-Isère from Bourg-de-Péage, by Enneite, Flickr, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Stage 16 of the Tour de France 2017 is 165km from le Puy-en-Velay to Romans-sur-Isère. 

Read about Stage 16, Tour de France 2017.

Stage 15, Tour de France 2017: towns, sights and attractions

Stage 15, Tour de France 2017: Laissac-Sévérac-l'Eglise

Chateau des Bourines

Château des Bourines, Bertholène, near Laissac, by Jean-Claude Charrié, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Laissac-Sévérac-l'eglise is a fusion of two nearby towns, Laissac and Sévérac-l'Eglsie, which were formerly separate communes. It is in the Aveyron département.

Laissac regularly holds mountain biking events, in particular a race called the Roc Laissagais - an event which has been won by Jean-Christophe Péraud, who made the podium of the 2014 Tour de France. In 2016, Laissac hosted the World Championships of long-distance mountain biking.

Stage 15, Tour de France 2017: le Puy-en-Velay

Le Puy-en-Velay

Le Puy-en-Velay, by Peter Stevens, Licence CC BY 2.0

Le Puy-en-Velay is a town on the river Loire, in the Haute-Loire département.

It is well-known for its Cathedral, Notre-Dame du Puy. The Cathedral was one of the starting points for the pilgrimmage to Santiago de Compostella, and Charlemagne came twice, in 772 and 800.

Statue of the Virgin Mary, le Puy-en-Velay

Statue of the Virgin Mary, le Puy-en-Velay, by François Rey, Licence CC BY 2.0

The Cathedral is overlooked by an iron statue of the Virgin Mary, which was made from 213 Russian cannons taken in the Siege of Sevastopol (!854-55), and presented to the town in 1860; and by the chapel of Saint-Michel-d'Aiguilhe.

Chapel of Saint-Michel-d'Aiguilhe, le Puy-en-Velay

Chapel of Saint-Michel-d'Aiguilhe, le Puy-en-Velay, by Tom Maisey, Licence CC BY 2.0

Le Puy-en-Velay is twinned with Tonbridge, United Kingdom.

Chateau des BourinesSauguesLe Puy-en-Velay

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