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Dublin: 8 °C Monday 30 March, 2020

Yates climbs to second stage win as Thomas reduces Alaphilippe's lead

The Brit followed up his win on Thursday with another in stage 15 today.

Simon Yates celebrates his second Tour de France stage win on Sunday.
Simon Yates celebrates his second Tour de France stage win on Sunday.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

SIMON YATES CLIMBED to a second Tour de France stage victory in the space of four days and Geraint Thomas clawed time back on race leader Julian Alaphilippe on the Prat d’Albis.

Yates celebrated a maiden Tour win at Bagneres De-Bigorre on Thursday and the Brit pulled away from Simon Geschke to go solo on a tough final climb in the Pyrenees to win a 185-kilometre stage 15 which started in Limoux.

Thibaut Pinot followed up his victory on the Col du Tourmalet on Saturday by taking second place in his homeland 24 hours later, enhancing his chances of winning the race.

Thomas revealed he “really wasn’t feeling great” when he was dropped by Alaphilippe on the brutal Tourmalet, but the defending champion looked in much better shape as he pulled away from the Frenchman to reduce his lead.

Deceuninck-Quick Step rider Alaphilippe will still be donning the yellow jersey when the final week starts on Tuesday following a rest day, yet Thomas closed the gap by 37 seconds.

An exhausted Alaphilippe crossed the line in 11th place through gritted teeth, with his advantage over Thomas cut to one minute, 35 seconds and Pinot now has just 1:50 to make up on his compatriot.

Steven Kruijswijk finished in the same time as Thomas, leaving the Team Jumbo-Visma rider 1:47 adrift of Alaphilippe in the general classification battle.

Thomas was dropped for the second time in the weekend late in the stage, yet this time he hit back to lead Kruijswijk and Alejandro Valverde over the line.

Mikel Landa finished in third spot ahead of Emanuel Buchmann, with Thomas’ Team INEOS colleague Egan Bernal fifth – the same spot he holds in the GC standings.

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