After today’s stage the rider’s can relax on the rest day but today they have to negotiate a route that takes them from France into Switzerland and finish that concludes in Fabian Cancellara's (Trek Segafredo) hometown Berne.
On paper it is an undulating day with lots of rolling hills; but if the sprinters team get their tactics right, money is on a sprint finish; although Cancellara might have other ideas as the stage rolls into his hometown.
Spartacus has been really quiet this Tour so far as he has been working for GC hope Bauke Mollema. But before he retires at the end of this season he would love a farewell victory in the most famous of races, the Tour de France. And if he can get his tactics right and also if his legs are feeling up to it we could see a long breakaway win from the legendary rider.
Stage 15 recap – Team Sky dominate proceedings
It was a day that was supposed to be full of attacks from Chris Froome’s (Team Sky) rivals, but in truth it turned out to be a rather disappointing day in the mountains as Sky controlled the pace and prevented Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), and Mollema from taking any time.
But it certainly showed the strength that Sky possess, Wout Poels rode an imperious race, as he dictated the pace in the final 20km; it was only a brief attack from Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) that had the British team in a spot of bother, but other that it was a superb day at the office for Sky.
But if one Columbian is failing to dislodge Froome at the top of the rankings, another Columbian rode to his first Tour stage victory. Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling) combined well with Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) throughout and then at the finale he had enough energy to outsprint the Pole to claim only his second ever professional win at the age of 29-years-old.
Stage 16 – A bunch sprint likely, but Cancellara will have other ideas
For the sprinters they only have really have two more opportunities left to take a prestigious stage victory at the Tour; and with the course being fairly flat, a bunch sprint could be the order of the day in the finale.
Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) has dominated the sprints so far, racing to four wins. It has been Marcel Kittel of Etixx Quickstep which has disappointed this Tour, but with time running out the big German will certainly want to make amends.
In terms of climbs and Polka Dot Jersey there is not much on offer today except one climb towards the end, the Cote de Muhleberg (1.2km, 4.8%) might give Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) the chance to claw back some points to Majka.
But other than that it should be a fairly quiet day for the GC contenders as they will want to save their legs for the four tough days in the Alps which are just round the corner.