Team Ineos say ‘everything is perfect for us’ with two riders in top-10 at Tour de France 2019

The British outfit showed they’re still up for the fight on stage 15

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Team Ineos said “everything is perfect for us” as they threw themselves right back into the Tour de France battle on stage 15.

Cracks in the armour of the British team began to show during the second week, as race leader Julian Alaphilippe began to pull further ahead of reigning champion Geraint Thomas in the Pyrenees.

But the demands of a hard-fought general classification battle appear to be taking their toll on Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), as he cracked on the summit finish at Prat d’Albis and Thomas was able to narrow the advantage slightly.

>>> Five talking points from stage 15 of the Tour de France 2019

Ineos still faced threats from all sides however, as Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) launched himself right back into the GC battle and pulling himself back within two minutes of the yellow jersey.

Speaking after stage 15, Team Ineos sports director Nicolas Portal said: “It’s exciting to be in this kind of battle and to see the guys getting better today. It was Pinot today and not Alaphilippe. I’m really impressed.

“The good thing is our guys are stable. G lost a little bit of time yesterday and was back in the game today. We took time on Julian and only Pinot stepped up.”

Pinot persisted with his aggressive tactics near the summit, with Egan Bernal (Team Ineos), Alaphilippe, and Emanual Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) following.

Alaphilippe proved over-ambitious in chasing Pinot, cracking with around 5km of the climb left.

Thomas was able to pass Alaphilippe on the road and claw back seconds, after losing time in both the time trial on stage 13 and on the Tourmalet the following day.

Team Ineos now have Thomas in second overall, 1-35 down on Alaphilippe, and Bernal in fifth at 2-02.

>>> Julian Alaphilippe says he’s learning from his mistakes as his advantage narrows in Tour de France 2019

On having two riders in the top-10 as the Tour heads into the second rest day, Portal said: “Everything is perfect for us. They can play the tactics between them, play the two cards and put pressure on Julian or Pinot, but there’s still other guys - Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) was really strong today and he’s got a good team.”

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.