Carcassonne: Belgian Jasper Philipsen claimed his maiden victory on the Tour de France when he won a bunch sprint in the 15th stage as overall leader Jonas Vingegaard suffered a bad day today.
Alpecin-Deceuninck rider Philipsen timed his effort to perfection to beat compatriot Wout van Aert and Dane Mads Pedersen, who were second and third respectively.
Vingegaard retained the yellow jersey but hit the deck and lost two of his Jumbo-Visma team mates as Steven Kruijswijk crashed out and Primoz Roglic did not take the start of the 202.5-km ride from Rodez after failing to recover from injuries.
With temperature above 40 degrees Celsius, organisers sprayed parts of the road with water to cool down the melting tar before the riders passed.
Nils Politt and Mikkel Honore built up an advantage of about 2:30 over the peloton while Michael Morkov was dropped early on and suffered an ordeal alone at the back.
The breakaway was reined in with 50km left, shortly after Vingegaard crashed along with team mate Tiesj Benoot.
Track pursuit specialist
Vingegaard made it back into the peloton and still leads defending champion Tadej Pogacar by two minutes and 22 seconds.
Two Frenchmen, Alexis Gougeard and Benjamin Thomas, attacked with 48 kilometres remaining.
Thomas, a track pursuit specialist, went solo in the finale but was caught 500 metres from the line, leaving the French riders still waiting for their first stage win in this edition.
Tomorrow is a rest day on the Tour de France.