2017 Tour de France: Stage 15 live race updates, blog

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    With Chris Froome back in the yellow leader’s jersey and Aussie Michael Matthews winning his first stage, all eyes are on the Tour de France as the riders tackle a mountainous Stage 15. Join The Roar for all the live coverage, updates and results of Stage 15 from 9.30pm (AEST).

    Today’s high-altitude stage takes the riders from the commune of Laissac-Sévérac l’Église in the south of France up north to the historic Le Puy-en-Velay.

    It’s shaping up to be a fascinating 189.5 kilometres of trekking in what is a unique stage layout.

    Less than 20km in the field will be hit with the first of four category climbs throughout the day.

    The Montee de Naves d’Aubrac is a Category 1 climb over 9km that averages out to a 6.4% gradient, although it jumps as steep as 10% in some places and will be the early marker for how the day will play out.

    It’s the perfect chance for a breakaway to get the early jump over the peak and play the peloton.

    There’s little rest though as the riders hit the Aubrac Plateau, riding along the mountain tops for over 100km as they spend the bulk of the stage above 1,000 metres altitude, a factor of the day that will surely take a toll on the field.

    Just over ten kilometres from the opening Cat 1 climb is the Cote de Vieurals, a Category 3 ascent that is much shorter than the first and not quite as sharp, but an awkward length coming off the opening climb, leaving little time for the legs to rest.

    As the trail undulates all over the place, with a string of uncategorised climbs and ascents, the stage only continues to get tougher on the riders.

    The day heats up again with over 40km to go as the riders hit a steep descent down, dropping over 300 metres in just 5 kilometres of winding road.

    A short flat section is about the only reprieve the riders have all day following the drop before they head up arguably the toughest section of the day.

    Col de Peyra Taillade is the second Category 1 climb of the day and it reaches gradients of up to 14% for over 8km, a gruelling task on already tired legs 148km into the stage.

    It’s relatively downhill to the finish from the peak apart from a short and sharp Category 4 climb 12km from the finish line.

    This could be one of the most action-packed and simultaneously chaotic stages of the tour with the real chance of a leading breakaway to take the day.

    The General Classification standings have been heating up with a pair of lead changes over the last few days and that may continue.

    Froome is back in yellow and will be looking to keep it that way, but the nature of the climbing will take it’s toll on a lot of the field today and we could see some big movers in the pack.