Bike change for Wiggins
Tour de France leader Bradley Wiggins needed a bike change at the start of stage 15 as the peloton were recovering from their sabotage attack.
After an investigation was opened into how a spectator managed to throw tacks in the road on Sunday's 14th stage, causing around 30 punctures, Wiggins began his eighth day in the Tour leader's yellow jersey needing to stop almost as soon as the peloton rolled out of the neutralised zone and the 158.5-kilometre route from Samatan to Pau began.
Wiggins, praised for neutralising the peloton on stage 14 and nicknamed Le Gentleman, received a new bike, complete with yellow handlebars and yellow paint, and was paced back to the main bunch by three Team Sky colleagues, while up ahead three riders made an early attempt to form the day's breakaway.
They were Arthur Vichot (FDJ-Bigmat), Dries Devenyns (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Daniel Oss (Liquigas-Cannondale).
Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol), Rafael Valls (Vacansoleil-DCM), and Matthieu Sprick (Argos-Shimano) bridged the gap to make the escape six strong after 10km of racing, but the gap was closing all the time.
The day's route featured two category four climbs and a category three ascent, with a sprint finish in Pau likely prior to tomorrow's rest day and two big mountain days in the Pyrenees on Wednesday and Thursday.
Tour organisers reported there were 61 punctures following yesterday's incident on the Mur de Peguere, with six team cars affected and 22 of the organiser's vehicles, carrying race officials and invited guests, also impacted.
The initial effort to establish the breakaway was short-lived and others tried to break free, with Devenyns, Pierrick Fedrigo (FDJ-Bigmat) and Nicki Sorensen (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff) taking to the front to try to go clear in a frantic opening.