Foix, France: Briton Simon Yates won stage 15 on the Tour de France on Sunday as a frantic struggle between the main contenders saw Thibaut Pinot again take time off his rivals with a late attack.

Overall leader Julian Alaphilippe held on to the yellow jersey in a tough mountain slugfest while defending champion Geraint Thomas struggled but eventually retained second place, gaining almost half a minute.

Simon Yates of Britain posted a second stage win with a solo raid during the last Pyrenean trek of the Tour de France as Frenchman Thibaut Pinot gained more time on his rivals in the fight for the yellow jersey with a ferocious attack in the final climb on Sunday.

Yates triumphed at the summit of the Prat d’Albis in Stage 15, three days after his first stage victory in the southwestern mountain range.

Pinot crossed the finish line in second place, 33 seconds behind Yates, and moved to fourth overall.

Julian Alaphilippe was isolated without a single teammate to help him in the 12-kilometer final climb and cracked but managed to salvage his yellow jersey.

Defending champion Geraint Thomas remained second in the general classification.