Cycling | 16 juli 2017

Strong Roglic settles for 4th in Tour de France stage 15

LottoNL-Jumbo’s Primoz Roglic fought his way in an escape through the Massif Central of the Tour de France, but could not hold back eventual solo stage winner Bauke Mollema. 

Mollema won the 15th stage to Le Puy-en-Velay, Roglic finished fourth and George Bennett slipped back from 11th to 12th overall. Tomorrow, they will rest and recover before the final week. 

“I am very disappointed,” the Slovenian Roglic said. “You always want to win and I really tried to win it. 

“It was difficult to be in the breakaway. I am very grateful to the boys, who worked really hard to not let the gap become too big on the early breakaway. Eventually, on the first climb I was able to escape with a group and close the gap to the leaders. 

“In the chase on Mollema, there was not really collaboration. That was frustrating. The next time, I will have to make a plan and try to win solo myself.

“All riders in the bunch want to win, so you are really good when you win a stage in the Tour de France. Only winning counts, but this result is a good step up towards the coming stages. And this is also a good step in my development." 

“It was a superb day,” Frans Maassen said. “It was a good day to be a sports director. Even though we did not get the reward, Primoz had the legs to win today. When Mollema jumped from the group, they were looking at each other. Then they just came up short to close the gap in the final. 

“I cannot blame Primoz of anything. He rode with the best today, he divided his energy right over the whole stage and rode a good final. It is unfortunate that he was not able to finish it off.” 

Maassen was also satisfied with George Bennett “who gave everything” when others slipped out of contention. 

“Again, he finishes with in the group with GC favourites while other GC riders like Quintana finished behind that group. A top 10 result is still possible for him in Paris.”