Geniez wins as Vuelta visits France

Today's winner Geniez in a stage in the TdF - Bryn Lennon

After a nightmare stage yesterday the peloton was relieved to find the Pyrénées a little more inviting on the long 225 km stage 15 to Peyragudes in France. A big breakaway of 27 riders went clear and from that group Alexandre Geniez of FDJ attacked on the penultimate climb, the Port de Báles, to set himself up for a solo win as the favorites rode a bit defensively behind. On the final climb he held his tempo admirably to prove what a climbing talent he is, not dropping that much time even as the favorites attacked each other to gain time.

The one major play for GC gains was made by Saxo's Nicholas Roche who lost time as he suffered with the wet and cold conditions yesterday. Saxo had two men, Zaugg and Majka, in the breakaway who were able to drop back and aid their captain as he attacked near the top of Port de Bales. Zaugg aided on the descent and Majka on the first half of the final climb to help Roch stay ahead of the other favorites. In the end he only gained 17 seconds but he showed he hasn't given up in this race yet.

All the favorites tried a few jabs on the Peyresourde but with little result. Most active were Katusha's J-Rod and Moreno and Thibaut Pinot who tried repeatedly. For Pinot this only resulted in him getting dropped by the raised tempo of Horner and Nibali in the final kms of the stage.

The only change in the jerseys today was Nicholas Edet who used the breakaway to grab the climbers jersey that Ratto took yesterday with his exploits in the breakaway.

Top 10 stage 15

1. FRAGENIEZ, Alexandre 104 FDJ.FR 6h 20' 12''
2. ITASCARPONI, Michele 131 LAMPRE-MERIDA 6h 23' 15'' + 3' 03''
3. IRLROCHE, Nicolas 205 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 6h 23' 19'' + 3' 07''
4. ITANIBALI, Vincenzo 31 ASTANA PRO TEAM 6h 23' 32'' + 3' 20''
5. ESPVALVERDE, Alejandro 1 MOVISTAR TEAM 6h 23' 32'' + 3' 20''
6. USAHORNER, Christopher 184 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 6h 23' 32'' + 3' 20''
7. ESPRODRIGUEZ, Joaquin 121 KATUSHA TEAM 6h 23' 32'' + 3' 20''
8. ITAPOZZOVIVO, Domenico 11 AG2R LA MONDIALE 6h 23' 32'' + 3' 20''
9. ESPHERRADA, José 5 MOVISTAR TEAM 6h 23' 35'' + 3' 23''
10. ESPARROYO, David 61 CAJA RURAL - SEGUROS RGA 6h 23' 35'' + 3' 23''

General Classification

1. ITANIBALI, Vincenzo 31 ASTANA PRO TEAM 60h 20' 21''
2. USAHORNER, Christopher 184 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 60h 21' 11'' + 50''
3. ESPVALVERDE, Alejandro 1 MOVISTAR TEAM 60h 22' 03'' + 1' 42''
4. ESPRODRIGUEZ, Joaquin 121 KATUSHA TEAM 60h 23' 18'' + 2' 57''
5. ITAPOZZOVIVO, Domenico 11 AG2R LA MONDIALE 60h 24' 04'' + 3' 43''
6. IRLROCHE, Nicolas 205 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 60h 24' 10'' + 3' 49''
7. FRAPINOT, Thibaut 101 FDJ.FR 60h 25' 20'' + 4' 59''
8. CZEKONIG, Leopold 151 TEAM NETAPP-ENDURA 60h 26' 39'' + 6' 18''
9. ESPSÁNCHEZ, Samuel 91 EUSKALTEL EUSKADI 60h 28' 07'' + 7' 46''
10. ESTKANGERT, Tanel 36 ASTANA PRO TEAM 60h 29' 32'' + 9' 11''
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