Tour de France 2009: Stage 15 preview
Tour de France 2009 stage 15 preview logo
When Sunday July 19
Where Pontarlier – Verbier
How far 207.5km
IMPACT ON CLASSIFICATIONS
Yellow Jersey 4/5
Green Jersey 1/5
Polka-Dot Jersey 3/5
The race enters Switzerland for its first Alpine mountain finish, on the first-category climb to Verbier. After almost a week of inaction, the yellow jersey favourites have an opportunity to start making differences again on the tough nine-kilometre final ascent. After several third-category climbs in the Vaud, the day’s early breakaway could be swept up if the contenders start attacking. As the race’s second summit finish, coming before a rest day, more differences will be made to the general classification.
- Erik Dekker won a memorable first-week 2001 Tour stage from a fourteen-man break into Pontarlier. In pouring rain, the bunch soft-pedalled most of the way, losing a mammoth 35 minutes.
- This is the first time a Tour stage has finished at Verbier, a popular winter ski resort. However, stages have finished just over the border in Cluses (Dario Frigo won in 2002) and Chamonix-Mont Blanc.
- The riders pass the headquarters of the UCI in Aigle, 55 kilometres from the finish.
- This is the stage with the most categorised climbs – six – in the 2009 Tour, a distinction it shares with the twelfth stage between Tonerre and Vittel.