Nairo Quintana has elected not to ride in the Vuelta a Espana, with his decision coming a day before the start of the season's final Grand Tour gets under way in the Netherlands.

On Wednesday, Quintana was retrospectively disqualified from this year's Tour de France for an in-competition drug infringement.

The Colombian finished sixth in the General Classification, his first top-10 Grand Tour finish since the 2019 Vuelta and his best performance in the Tour de France since 2016.

However, the UCI announced that two samples of Quintana's blood showed traces of tramadol, a banned substance.

The 32-year-old was given 10 days to appeal the ruling with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), though he has not been banned from competition as it is a first offence.

On Thursday, the Colombian confirmed he would not be riding in the Vuelta, despite initially stating he would be doing so.

In a widely reported statement, Arkea-Samsic rider Quintana said: "I communicate that I will not participate in the Vuelta to assert my reasons before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, I will return to the calendar races at the end of the season."

Quintana had responded to the allegations via his social media channels, stating: "I have been surprised by the announcement of the UCI of an infraction for use of tramadol.

"I am completely unaware of the use of this substance and I deny having used it in my career.

"With my team of lawyers we are exhausting all the processes to assume my defence.

"I also want to ratify that I will be in the Vuelta a Espana, riding my best for the team, my country and my fans."

Nairo Quintana has been disqualified from the 2022 Tour de France for an in-competiton drug infringement.

The Colombian finished sixth in this year's competition, which was won by Danish rider Jonas Vingegaard.

However, the UCI announced on Wednesday that two samples of Quintana's blood showed traces of tramadol, a banned substance.

The 32-year-old has 10 days to appeal the ruling with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), though he has not been banned from competition as it is a first offence.

Quintana's sixth place in the General Classification was his first top-10 Grand Tour finish since the 2019 Vuelta a Espana, and his best performance in the Tour de France since 2016.

The Arkea-Samsic team announced that Quintana had signed a contract extension until 2025 on Tuesday, though he was not named in their squad for this year's Vuelta a Espana, which starts on Friday.

The team released a statement on Wednesday saying: "The Arkea-Samsic team took note of the notification from the UCI and received by Nairo Quintana informing him of the presence of tramadol in two samples of dried blood collected during the last Tour de France.

"Since March 1, 2019, the UCI medical regulations have provided for the banning of tramadol in competition for medical reasons.

"Furthermore, this violation of the UCI medical regulations does not lead to a suspension for the rider.

"The Arkea-Samsic team will not provide any further comment."

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo confirmed discussions are ongoing that could lead to the 2024 Tour de France finishing outside the French capital.

Since 1975, the final stage of the Tour has traditionally concluded on the famous Champs-Elysees avenue, and it was where Jonas Vingegaard sealed his race triumph on Sunday.

The 2024 Tour is scheduled to be held between June 29 and July 21 – its end date coming just five days before the Olympic Games begin in the French capital.

It has been reported that the 111th edition of the race will begin in Tuscany. Nice has been touted as a potential alternative final destination to Paris, and Hidalgo revealed she is in talks with Tour director Christian Prudhomme.

Asked whether the 2024 Tour would conclude in the French capital, she told Le Parisien: "We'll see. This is a subject we are discussing with Christian [Prudhomme]. It is an important subject.

"The arrival of the Tour will almost coincide with the opening of the Olympic Games. We work together intelligently on alternative solutions. We are pragmatic. We'll find a solution.

"The opening of the Games is July 26, 2024. This means that during the preceding weeks, the Place de la Concorde will have to organise itself."

The large city centre square, at the eastern end of the Champs-Elysees, is due to be given a major overhaul for the Olympics.

"The question of the absence of the Champs-Elysees on the Tour is not taboo," said Hidalgo. "We will communicate in due time."

Jonas Vingegaard says life could not be any better after securing his first Tour de France title in Paris on Sunday.

The Jumbo-Visma rider crossed the line on stage 21 in unison with his team-mates at the end of a largely processional finale in the French capital.

Vingegaard had a lead of more than three-and-a-half minutes on back-to-back champion Tadej Pogacar heading into the 116-kilometre stretch, and his triumph was never in doubt.

He is the second Dane to win Le Tour, after Bjarne Riis in 1996, while it is the first time in 30 years the winner of the race has been a native of the country where the race started.

Saluting his victory on the Champs-Elysees, an emotional Vingegaard said: "It's just incredible. I have finally won the Tour. Nothing can go wrong anymore. 

"I'm sat with my daughter. It is just incredible. It is the biggest cycling race of the year, the biggest one you can win, and now I have done it. Nobody can take this away from me."

Vingegaard finished in the chasing bunch on the final stage, which was won by Jasper Philipsen, to retain the yellow jersey that he had been in possession of since stage 11.

Pogacar's hopes of a third title in a row were effectively ended on Thursday when Vingegaard increased his GC lead after the final mountain stage in the Pyrenees.

 

"I always had the feeling that at least I could fight for the win," Vingegaard added. "But I think in the end, when I really started believing was after the stage. 

"I always believed in the victory, but I was thinking something really has to go wrong after Hautacam."

Asked how he plans to celebrate, Vingegaard said: "Tuesday, I go to Holland, Wednesday in Copenhagen, Thursday in the town I live in, and Friday, I'll be on the couch for a week!

"Of course, I'm super happy about my victory now. Of course, now I want to celebrate, relax, but then I also want more, yes."

Vingegaard was also crowned King of the Mountains, while team-mate Wout van Aert came out on top in the Points Classification.

Jumbo-Visma are the first team to win the yellow, polka dot and green jerseys at the same edition of the race since Faema managed the feat in 1969, thanks to Eddy Merckx.

Jonas Vingegaard sealed a maiden Tour de France title in Paris after finishing safely in the chasing bunch on the final stage, which was won by Jasper Philipsen.

Team Jumbo-Visma rider Vingegaard led back-to-back champion Tadej Pogacar by more than three and a half minutes heading into the largely processional finale on Sunday.

The Dane saw out the job in a stress-free manner – even enjoying some champagne during the 116-kilometre stretch – to end Pogacar's spell of General Classification dominance.

A few packs of riders tried to break free of the bunch on the Champs-Elysees, setting up a frantic late sprint that saw Belgium's Philipsen earn his second stage win of this year's race.

Vingegaard crossed over moments later, in unison with his Jumbo-Visma team after retaining the yellow jersey, which he had been in possession of since stage 11.

He was also crowned King of the Mountains, while team-mate Wout van Aert joined the celebrations in his green jersey after another solid outing.

Jumbo-Visma are the first team to win the yellow, polka dot and green jerseys at the same edition of the race since Faema managed the feat in 1969, thanks to Eddy Merckx.

Pogacar never came within two minutes and 18 seconds of Vingegaard in the GC, once the Danish rider had the lead.

The Slovenian therefore had to settle for the consolation prize of the white jersey for a third year running, with that award given to the best-placed rider under the age of 26.

Jonas Vingegaard went into the final weekend of the Tour de France with his yellow jersey all but assured.

It is the mountain stages that so typically settle the general classification in Grand Tours, and this edition of Le Tour proved no different.

A dominant ride on stage 18 saw Vingegaard, with admirable support from Sepp Kuss and Wout van Aert, drop two-time defending champion Tadej Pogacar on the final ascent in the Pyrenees.

Vingegaard powered away on that last climb, leaving Pogacar in his wake, and well over three minutes behind overall in the hunt for the yellow jersey, as the Dane collected just a second Grand Tour stage win of his career, the first having come on July 13 to put him in command of the race.

That left Vingegaard merely needing to safely negotiate the final three stages – two sprint finishes and a time trial – and he did just that, parading into Paris on Sunday with his grip on the yellow jersey firmly intact. Now he is the champion, a remarkable feat considering where he has come from.

Pogacar's Slovenian compatriot Primoz Roglic has previously been Jumbo-Visma's main hope, but an exceptional team ride has also represented a passing of the baton to Vingegaard, the 25-year-old who four years ago was working at a fish factory to supplement his income. Vingegaard was recruited by the team based on a remarkable time up a daunting climb in Spain, which was subsequently posted to the popular training application Strava.

Jumbo-Visma have turned in a team performance for the ages. Their plan, and subsequent execution, has been near-perfect. Even the loss of Roglic, whose attention will now turn to winning yet another Vuelta a Espana title, could not derail this powerhouse unit heading into the final week.

 

Vingegaard's first win, on stage 11 up the Col du Granon, came as a result of Jumbo-Visma attacking early, luring Pogacar into responding, and draining the Slovenian's energy as the 23-year-old was proven to be a mere mortal after all.

Even when stacked up against the days of when Team Sky (now INEOS Grenadiers) dominated Le Tour, Jumbo-Visma's performance this time around has been something special. As a result, they are the first team to win the yellow, polka dot (Vingegaard) and green (Van Aert) jerseys at the same edition of the race since Faema managed the feat in 1969, thanks to the great Eddy Merckx.

Vingegaard is the second Dane to win the Tour de France after Bjarne Riis in 1996, and it is the first time since 1992 that the winner of the race has been a native of the country where it started, with the first three stages of this Tour having taken place across Denmark.

Not since 2006 (Michael Rasmussen) has a Dane won the polka jot jersey, though it is the third successive edition of Le Tour that the GC leader has also claimed the King of the Mountains classification, with Pogacar having done so in 2020 and 2021. Before 2020, it had happened only three times across the previous 50 races – Merckx in 1970, Carlos Sastre in 2008 and Chris Froome in 2015.

Van Aert, meanwhile, is another star. The 27-year-old finished in second place in the opening three stages before finally claiming victory at the fourth time of asking, and his decisive attack on Hautacam gave Vingegaard the platform he needed to end Pogacar's hopes.

A sprinter by trade but a brilliant climber to boot, Van Aert never looked likely to relinquish the green jersey, easily fending off Jasper Philipsen and Pogacar for that prize. He is the first Belgian rider to win the points classification of the Tour de France since Tom Boonen in 2007.

As for Pogacar, three in a row proved one triumph too many, but when you contrast the talents of UAE Team Emirates with Jumbo-Visma, his achievements so far must be considered even more remarkable.

The white jersey, which Pogacar won in each of the last two years for the best young rider, was retained. He has been leading the youth classification over each of the last 51 racedays in the Tour de France (from stage 13 in 2020 to stage 21 in 2022), which is the longest run of consecutive racedays in the first place of a specific classification.

 

Pogacar will surely be back out to regain his crown in 2023 and along with Vingegaard could dominate for years to come, though do not count out Tom Pidcock from one day contesting for a jersey.

On his Grand Tour debut, the 22-year-old Briton has mightily impressed. His triumph on the famous Alpe d'Huez will go down in the record books. He not only broke the 100km/h mark on a descent, but became the youngest stage winner on the mountain in Le Tour history, breaking a 38-year record held by Lucho Herrera.

Pidcock, who won gold on the mountain bike at the Tokyo Olympics, is the 15th British rider to win a Tour de France stage, but just the second to do so on the Alpe d'Huez after Geraint Thomas, who at 36 has battled to a brilliant third-place finish overall.

It might well be the 2018 champion's swan song at Le Tour, while another veteran campaigner, Nairo Quintana, came in sixth in the general classification. That is Quintana's first top-10 Grand Tour finish since the 2019 Vuelta a Espana, and his best performance in this race since 2016.

Jonas Vingegaard declared his impending Tour de France title win is the "biggest in cycling" after increasing his lead on the penultimate stage.

The Dane's second place behind Team Jumbo-Visma team-mate Wout van Aert in Saturday's stage 20 time-trial saw him add eight seconds to his advantage over Tadej Pogacar, meaning he has a lead of over three-and-a-half minutes heading into Sunday's final stage.

Vingegaard is set to secure his first Tour title in Paris, and with tears in his eyes, he outlined what it means to him, especially after finishing second behind Pogacar last year.

"It means everything to me," he said. "It's really incredible. It's hard for me to put words on it. It's the biggest win in cycling.

"Since last year, I always believed I could do it. It's a relief that I did. I'm just so happy and proud."

Vingegaard detailed how determined the team was to right the wrongs of two years ago, when Pogacar overturned the lead of another Jumbo-Visma rider, Primoz Roglic, to pip him to the yellow jersey.

"What happened two years ago, we always thought about it and we didn't want it to happen again," he said. "We just wanted to go for it today. [The emotion] just shows how close everyone is in this team. It's a special thing we have."

Pogacar was reflective after finishing third on Saturday, but anticipates many more battles between himself and Vingegaard.

"It's been a good three weeks, with many ups and downs, with lots of bad luck for my team, but the battle between me and Jonas for the yellow jersey has been very special," Pogacar said.

"I think we have some very interesting next two or three years ahead of us. Jonas has stepped up his game this year. I'm motivated and looking forward to the next challenges."

Jonas Vingegaard is poised to win his first Tour de France title on Sunday after all-but finishing off the job in a stage 20 time trial that was won by Wout van Aert.

Vingegaard's Team Jumbo–Visma team-mate Van Aert produced a stunning ride to win the 40.7km stage from Lacapelle-Marival to Rocamadour on Saturday.

Dane Vingegaard - who went into penultimate stage with a near three-and-a-half minute lead over rival Tadej Pogacar - crossed the line 19 seconds slower than Van Aert in second spot, but eight quicker than the third-placed two-time defending champion.

Vingegaard is set to secure the general classification title in Paris and was understandably emotional after finishing the time trial, embracing his wife as the scale of his achievement sunk in.

It could have been a very different story though, as Vingegaard came within inches of crashing in the closing stages, with his tyres clipping a grass verge and almost hitting a wall.

Geraint Thomas, who sits third in the GC standings, also put in a strong showing, finishing in fourth place.

Christophe Laporte became the first Frenchman to win on this year's Tour de France after sprinting to victory on stage 19, while Jonas Vingegaard edged closer to general classification glory.

Laporte had largely played a supporting role for his excellent Jumbo-Visma team-mate Vingegaard, the yellow jersey holder and King of the Mountains victor.

But Laporte came to the fore on the 188.3-kilometre route from Castelnau-Magnoac to Cahors, overtaking Fred Wright to sprint to victory and secure Jumbo-Visma's fifth stage win of the Tour.

Wright headed the leading group, alongside Jasper Stuyven and Alexis Gougeard, with just under 30km to go, but Laporte produced a perfectly timed attack to leave the trio in his wake in Cahors.

Laporte was indebted to the work of his team-mates to support his late charge and revealed Wout van Aert's message of encouragement before the race had spurred him to glory.

"I am super happy. I find it hard to realise. Wout said to me, 'Today is for you'. The last time he said that to me was at Paris-Nice, so here it brings me luck," Laporte told broadcaster RMC after his victory.

"One and a half kilometres from the finish, I made the jump to catch up with those who were in front. I threw it from afar so that they wouldn't come back, and it worked.

"It's incredible. It's more than just a reward, it's huge!"

Vingegaard finished safely behind the leading riders in 13th, with his lead over defending champion Tadej Pogacar staying at three minutes and 26 seconds.

LAPORTE SPARES FRENCH BLUSHES

Laporte made the bold call to move away through the streets of Cohors and, helped by his Jumbo-Visma team-mates, was duly rewarded.

The 29-year-old ensured France will not end Le Tour without a stage winner, as they did in 1926 and 1999, while he secured his first stage win in his eighth appearance.

STAGE RESULTS

1. Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) 3:52:04
2. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) +0:01
3. Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) +0:01
4. Florian Senechal (Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl Team) +0:01
5. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +0:01

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS 

General Classification

1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 75:45:39
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +3:26
3. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) +8:00

Points Classification

1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 460
2. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 236
3. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 235

King of the Mountains

1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 72
2. Simon Geschke (Cofidis) 64
3. Giulio Ciccone (Trek–Segafredo) 61

Jonas Vingegaard raced to victory on stage 18 of the Tour de France to extend his general classification lead as Jumbo-Visma all but clinched the three main jerseys.

Vingegaard started the 143.2-kilometre route between Lourdes and Hautacam, the last mountain stage of Le Tour, with a lead of two minutes and 18 seconds over defending champion Tadej Pogacar.

But Jumbo-Visma star Vingegaard stretched that lead to three minutes and 26 seconds on Thursday, with team-mate Wout van Aert starring before allowing the Dane to take over in the final four kilometres to triumph.

Numerous riders tried and failed to contest with the yellow jersey contenders throughout the climb, with a moment of sportsmanship between Pogacar and Vingegaard coming with 28 kilometres to go.

Vingegaard almost crashed, but it was Pogacar who ended up falling in the descent. The Dane then slowed in front to wait for the UAE Team Emirates rider before the pair shook hands and continued.

"I think he kind of missed the corner and then he went down into the gravel. The bike disappeared. I waited for him," Vingegaard said of the incident after victory before dedicating the win to his team.

"It's incredible. This morning, I said to my girlfriend and my daughter that I wanted to win for them and I did. This one is for my two girls back home.

"I was just happy that it finally ended. I am so really happy that I won the stage, but there are more days to come.

"Luckily, I have to thank all my team-mates. You see Wout van Aert dropped Pogacar in the end. Everyone was incredible. They were all incredible."

VINGEGAARD OUT TO END POGACAR RUN

Vingegaard was quick to quell talk of his potential yellow jersey victory, telling reporters: "I don't want to talk about it. Let's talk about it in two days."

But the 25-year-old is on the verge of securing both the general classification (GC) and king of the mountains titles, which would halt Pogacar's search for history, while Van Aert comfortably leads the points classification.

Pogacar has been aiming to become the first rider since Richard Virenque to win the polka dot best climber's jersey in three consecutive editions, and the second to win his first three Tour de France races after Eddy Merckx, who triumphed in the GC on his first five attempts.

STAGE RESULTS

1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 3:59:50
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +1:04
3. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +2:10
4. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) +2:54
5. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) +2:58

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS 

General Classification

1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 71:53:34
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +3:26
3. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) +8:00

Points Classification

1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 451
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 219
3. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 196

King of the Mountains

1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 72
2. Simon Geschke (Cofidis) 64
3. Giulio Ciccone (Trek–Segafredo) 61

Chris Froome was forced to abandon the Tour de France on Thursday as the four-time champion tested positive for COVID-19.

The British rider sat 26th overall after Wednesday's stage 17, having spent over 69 hours on the road for the Israel Premier-Tech team.

The 37-year-old achieved his best Tour stage result since 2018 when he finished third on stage 12 up the Alpe d'Huez.

After a huge crash at the 2019 Criterium du Dauphine, Froome was left in intensive care with multiple serious injuries. He looked nailed on for his best general classification result in a Grand Tour since then as the riders edged closer to the finish in Paris this Sunday.

However, in a video message posted on his Twitter page, Froome said he had received "pretty disappointing news".

"A test has revealed that I've contracted COVID, so I'm not going to be taking the start today," he said.

"I'm really disappointed not to be able to roll into Paris and finish off this Tour de France. It's been an extremely special race for us as a team and me personally as well. I've been finding my legs again.

"I'm going to head home now, switch off for a few days, and refocus on being ready for the Vuelta a Espana later this season."

The Vuelta begins in the Netherlands on August 19, with a time-trial opener in Utrecht, before taking place in Spain from stage four onwards.

Tadej Pogacar claimed a thrilling win in stage 17 of the Tour de France following a remarkable battle in the Pyrenees with yellow jersey holder Jonas Vingegaard.

UAE Team Emirates rider Pogacar claimed his third stage victory of this year's Tour, producing a decisive final kick to edge Jumbo-Visma rider Vingegaard on an enthralling and tortuous final climb.

Pogacar and Vingegaard somehow found the legs to produce a stunning finish on imposing gradients at the end of the 130-kilometre stage from Saint-Gaudens to Peyragudes.

The Slovenian's victory owed much to the efforts of team-mate Brandon McNulty, who set a furious pace to help the trio drop the rest of the field, ensuring Pogacar was in a position to go for the win for a depleted UAE team.

UAE lost Rafal Majka to a muscle tear having already been robbed of the services of Marc Soler, who finished stage 16 outside the time limit. Soler had appeared to be struggling from the effects of the searing heat that has spread across Europe.

Despite having only four riders left in the peloton to start the stage, UAE blew the race open, enabling Pogacar to launch his first attack after reaching the summit of the penultimate climb first.

Yet he could not succeed in putting distance between himself and Vingegaard as the pair proved incredibly evenly matched.

Indeed, it initially appeared as if Vingegaard would claim the glory after McNulty, who won the day's combativity award, was dropped.

But Pogacar had a final burst left in the tank that allowed him to cross the line arms aloft, though he gained only four seconds on Vingegaard, whose lead is two minutes and 18 seconds in the general classification.

POGACAR OPTIMISTIC OVER GC HOPES

Despite his minimal gains in the GC, Pogacar retains high hopes he can overhaul Vingegaard with one mountain stage left. The Tour will effectively be decided on stage 20's time trial. Both Pogacar and Vingegaard are excellent time-triallers.

"The team rode today, we were only four, to take the stage win is incredible," Pogacar said. "We can be proud, we see tomorrow as another chance. Tomorrow is another day, which I'm looking forward to.

"I gave absolutely everything. I know that I need to win, there's no other way, I gave it all for the team. I was so happy.

"Brandon did an amazing job. He was so good today. Special mention goes to him.

"I am optimistic [about his GC hopes]. Tomorrow is a more hard day, we can try again tomorrow."

STAGE RESULTS

1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 3:25:51
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma)
3. Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) +0:32
4. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) +2:07
5. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) +2:34

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS 

General Classification

1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 67:53:54
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +2:18
3. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) +4:56

Points Classification

1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 416
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 202
3. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 196

King of the Mountains

1. Simon Geschke (Cofidis) 64
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 52
3. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 46

Hugo Houle dedicated victory on stage 16 of the Tour de France to his late brother as Jonas Vingegaard kept a tight hold on the yellow jersey.

Canadian Houle lost brother Pierrik in December 2012 when he died in a hit-and-run crash while jogging in Sainte-Perpetue, Quebec.

Almost 10 years later, Houle pointed to the sky as he crossed the line alone after the 178.5-kilometre ride from Carcassonne to Foix, earning his first Grand Tour stage win.

"This one is for my brother, man," said an emotional Houle, moments later.

The riders were put to the test over the climbs of Port de Lers and Mur de Peguere in the second half of Tuesday's stage, as the race reached the Pyrenees after a rest day.

The three days in the mountains only get tougher from here, and Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar will be duking it out in the push for the peaks before they look to clinch victory in Paris on Sunday. Geraint Thomas remains third, with the top three starting the day precisely as they began it.

Pogacar and Vingegaard were playing cat and mouse on Port de Lers, with the man in yellow refusing to let his nearest rival make up any ground in the general classification, practically setting up camp on his back wheel.

Far away in the distance, Houle (Israel-Premier Tech) was almost riding a separate race, with France's Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ) taking second place, over a minute down the road, and Houle's fellow Canadian and team-mate Michael Woods in third.

Matteo Jorgensen came off on a corner late on as his grip gave way, costing the American valuable seconds that pushed him out of contention to win the stage, eventually coming home fourth.

Brotherly love as Houle savours long-awaited win

Houle was close to tears as he took in the magnitude of his victory.

He said: "I never win a race, so I guess it's the right place to win my first race.

"When I attacked, it was basically to set the table for Michael Woods. When I saw they let me go, Mike made a gap, I just went full gas. At the end, I hung on. I was suffering so bad in the steep climbs.

"I made it, and it means a lot to me. I had one dream: to win the stage for my brother who died when I turned professional, and today that one is for him. I've worked for 10, 12 years, and today I got my win for him, so it's incredible. I'm just so happy."

STAGE RESULTS

1. Hugo Houle (Israel-Premier Tech) 4:23:47
2. Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ) +1:10
3. Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech) +1:10
4. Matteo Jorgensen (Movistar) +1:12
5. Michael Storer (Groupama-FDJ) +1:25

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS 

General Classification

1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 64:28:09
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) +2:22
3. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) +2:43

Points Classification

1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 399
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) 182
3. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 176

King of the Mountains

1. Simon Geschke (Cofidis) 58
2. Louis Meintjes (Intermarche–Wanty–Gobert Materiaux) 39
3. Neilson Powless (EF Education–Easypost) 37

Jasper Philipsen secured his first Tour de France victory on stage 15 as race leader Jonas Vingegaard recovered from a crash but lost another Jumbo-Visma team-mate.

Primoz Roglic withdrew due to injury before the 202.5-kilometre ride – the second-longest of this year's Tour – between Rodez and Carcassonne on Sunday.

Steven Kruijswijk became the second Jumbo-Visma to abandon after crashing with 135km to race before Vingegaard came down, but was able to maintain a lead of two minutes and 22 seconds over defending champion Tadej Pogacar.

After the drama of crashes during the climbing section of the stage, Alpecin-Deceuninck rider Philipsen edged out green jersey holder Wout van Aert and Mads Pedersen to sprint to victory.

"It makes it super unbelievable," said Pedersen, who had previously finished in the top three eight times in Le Tour sprints without victory.

"I know what losing is like in the Tour de France. I was close many, many times. That it worked out today is incredible. I can't believe it.

"I felt Wout was coming close, but I also knew the finish line from last year. We got boxed in a little bit before the final corner and I knew it was not long anymore after the last corner.

"I knew I had to make up some positions. It was good that I could pass Mads. It's been a massive search for this victory.

"We've worked really hard for it. I'm super proud we can finally finish it off after a tough Tour. We had to wait till stage 15 with the team, but everyone still believed it was possible. I'm super happy."

Vingegaard's rapid recovery to protect yellow jersey

All may have looked lost when yellow jersey leader Vingegaard was involved in a crash that also included Jumbo-Visma team-mate Tiesj Benoot.

But the Dane (4:05) smashed the previous King of the Mountains record on Cote du Lac de Saint-Ferreol, held by Daryl Impey since 2016 (4:18), to maintain his lead over Pogacar and Geraint Thomas.

Yet with no Roglic or Kruijswijk, Le Tour may be blown wide open with a week remaining.

STAGE RESULTS

1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 4:27:27
2. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +0:00
3. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) +0:00
4. Peter Sagan (Team TotalEnergies) +0:00
5. Danny van Poppel (BORA–hansgrohe) +0:00

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS 

General Classification

1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 59:58:28
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) +2:22
3. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) +2:43

Points Classification

1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 378
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) 182
3. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 176

King of the Mountains

1. Simon Geschke (Cofidis) 46
2. Louis Meintjes (Intermarche–Wanty–Gobert Materiaux) 39
3. Neilson Powless (EF Education–Easypost) 37

Primoz Roglic has withdrawn from the Tour de France due to injury, dealing a blow to Jumbo-Visma team-mate Jonas Vingegaard's hopes of winning the competition.

Roglic played an integral role as Vingegaard claimed the yellow jersey at stage 11, with Jumbo-Visma executing their game plan in perfect fashion to displace Tadej Pogacar.

Le Tour heads through Rodez and finishes in Carcassonne as part of stage 15 on Sunday, but Slovenian Roglic will play no further part in the event.

The 32-year-old, who is a three-time stage winner on Le Tour, is unable to continue after battling back problems following a fall that saw him collide with a hay bale at stage 5 between Lille and Arenberg.

"To allow my injuries to heal properly, we have decided that I won't start today [Stage 15]," said Roglic, who occupied 21st position in the standings.

"I'm proud of my contribution to the current standings and I trust that the team will realise our yellow and green [jersey] ambitions. Thanks to everybody for your great support."

Roglic will hope to recover for the upcoming Vuelta a Espana, which begins on August 19, while Magnus Cort (EF Education–EasyPost) and Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) have both also withdrawn from Le Tour due to COVID-19.

Jumbo-Visma team-mate Wout van Aert will remain in the race, though, and will aim to again support Vingegaard, who held a 2:22 second advantage over Pogacar in the general classification standings heading into stage 15.

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