Tour de France stage 15 LIVE - Céret to Andorra la Vella

Updates as peloton takes on huge mountain stage

Hello and welcome to  live coverage from stage 15 of the 2021 Tour de France.

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Sepp Kuss wins stage 15 of the Tour de France 2021

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Good morning cycling fans and welcome to live coverage from stage 15 of the 2021 Tour de France, another huge mountain day as the peloton crosses the border into Andorra. 

Here's how today's stage looks: 

Today's stage starts at 12.20pm French time (that's 11.20am British time), and is expected to finish at around 5.30pm French time (4.30pm British time).

Ever wondered what Tadej Pogačar does with his soft toy lions he's given for every day he's in the yellow jersey? 

A bit more on today's final climb, Biexalis. 

A massive 4,000m of climbing today and the highest point of the 2021 Tour de France. 

Nairo Quintana says he's targeting the polka-dot jersey, so is likely to try and get in the breakaway today.

Riders are out for the neutralised start, 3.5km before the flag drops.

The flag has dropped and we're racing. 

The peloton has strung out to chase down the leading group and is now back together. 

De Gendt is pressing hard! He attacked on the climb and already has a decent gap on the peloton.

Nielson Powless is the rider from EF on the move, but he's only got a small gap. The peloton has caught him as De Gendt is still out front on his own.

The sprinters are struggling already, Nacer Bouhanni is out the back on this first climb. It's been a rapid start. 

More attacks from the peloton, Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma), Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) are in the attacking group. 

A super strong group has bridged across to De Gendt and caught him.

Make sure you get involved with our Twitter poll for who you think will take the stage today.

Second overall, Guillaume Martin right at the back of the peloton at the moment interestingly. The peloton does look to have sat up though.

Mark Donovan and Lukas Pöstlberger are the first riders to bridge across to the leading group, making it 10 up the road. 

Michael Matthews is the next to try and bridge across to the leaders from the chase group. There are a lot of talent in the chase. Groupama-FDJ have three riders up here with their two main men in there of Madouas and Gaudu. 

Right, we have AT LEAST 32 riders in this front group.

Just as I write that huge list of riders in the break, it starts to break up again. Six riders breaking away with Kruijswijk leading it with 148km to go with 4-30 to the peloton.

Matthews, Ballerini, Powless, Bernard, Nibali and Kruijswijk are the leading six now. Ballerini marking Matthews I believe as he will try and beat the Australian in the intermediate sprint.

Poels bridges across to the leaders, couple of dangerous moves behind with the lead group made up of 10 riders. 

The group is now coming back together again making the group 32 riders yet again. 139km to go with 6-04 back to the peloton.

Brian Smith on the Eurosport comms making the point that Pogačar is not a fan of heat. He has already unzipped his jersey as today is the hottest day of the race with the final climb getting the full sun all the way up later this afternoon.

Matthews took the 20 points at the intermediate sprint with De Gendt in second oddly, Ballerini in third. 122km to go, 8-23 back to the peloton.

So Matthews is now 72 points behind Cavendish in the green jersey standings.

We have got onto the first climb of the day! The category one climb of the Montée de Mont-Louis. First of four climbs today, which includes the highest point of this year's race with the Port d'Envalira.

Looks like the breakaway could be running away with this stage.

The peloton are onto the first categorised climb of the day, the Montée de Mont-Louis, 8.5km at 5.7 per cent. 

Mark Cavendish is just starting to lose contact with the bunch and is fighting hard to try and keep a good pace on the climb. 

Speaking of time cuts, we've put together a guide to Tour de France time limits and how they work, just for occasions. 

The breakaway hit the summit of Montée de Mont-Louis and there was a sprint for the KoM points, Wout Poels was first scoring 10 points, followed by Wout van Aert who takes eight and Mike Woods was third, taking six. 

With 96km to go, we still have a 32-rider group out front with a 9-32 gap over the yellow jersey group. 

The break are onto the second categorised climb the Col de Puymorens, they now have 10-14 over the peloton. 

The breakaway is 3km from the summit of the Puymorens, with 32 riders still in the leading group, including the likes of  Alaphilippe, Van Aert, Kruijswijk, Nibali, Dan Martin, Mike Woods, Valverde and Thomas De Gendt. 

Big sprint to the top of Puymorens in the breakaway., with Van Aert going full gas against Wout Poels.

The yellow jersey group are really pulling the breakaway back now on the Puymons.

The break is well onto the Port d'Envalira, the highest point of the 2021 Tour de France. 

 Big attack by Quintana here, hitting out for the stage win most likely.

Nairo Quintana crests the Envalira, winning the Souvenir Henri Desgrange, award to the first rider to reach the highest point on the Tour de France. 

Quintana onto the descent, but the chasing group is just 15 seconds behind. It's going to take a big effort for Quintana to stay away on the descent. 

Back in the bunch, Ineos Grenadiers have taken control to try and put Tadej Pogačar under pressure. 

Geraint Thomas is drilling it on the front of the GC for Ineos as they approach the summit of this climb. 

Nairo Quintana has been caught by rest of the break on the descent, but he looked super strong so he will no doubt attack again on the final climb of the day. 

Quintana on the attack again on the final climb of the day, the Col de Beixalis. 

Nine riders in that front group now, but Alaphilippe is struggling to hold on. 

Back in the peloton, which is still 4-49 behind the break Ineos are still digging in to try and dislodge Pogačar but he's not moving. 

In the fight for the stage win, Sepp Kuss has attacked solo and is 30 seconds in front of his companions, with 4km left to the summit of the climb.

Carapaz attacks!

Kuss is flying towards the summit, 2.7km from the finish. He has 26 seconds over the chasers. 

In the GC group Ben O'Connor (Ag2r-Citroën) attacks! The Australian has been a revelation this Tour after finding his way onto the podium earlier in the race.

Pogačar now leads the GC group and is starting to apply some pressure, but Vingegaard has attacked and is putting his rivals under the hammer.

Vingegaard again! He's insanely strong. But he's not able to shake them with his latest attack.

More attacks from the GC group, this time O'Connor again. These guys are just going and going, it's brilliant stuff, but no one is able to get a gap and Pogačar is leading the group once again. 

Still 23 seconds for Kuss on the descent, but it's a narrow margin when you have a rider like Alejandro Valverde on your tail. 

The GC group is over the summit of the climb and onto the descent. 

In the fight for the stage, Kuss is into the final 3km and is maintaining his advantage over Valverde. 

300m Kuss has done it! 

He's done it! 

Stage result: 

The GC group is in, no major time gaps between the existing favourites, but Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) has dropped out of second place, as Uran moves back up behind Pogačar, with Vingegaard third again. 

Martin drops down into ninth overall, almost eight minutes off the race lead. 

General classification after stage 15: 

Read the race report: Sepp Kuss came out on top on stage 15 of the Tour de France with Pogačar keeping control of yellow

Read Tadej Pogačar's comments after stage 15 here: Bullish Tadej Pogačar fully confident of winning yellow after passing Tour de France's 'most scary stages' 

Sepp Kuss had 'to go as deep as possible' to take maiden Tour de France victory: Read more 

Read: Five talking points from stage 15 of the Tour de France 2021 

Right that's us done here at CW for today! 

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