For once Jack Bauer needed just a few more seconds

Jack Bauer has never been afraid of doing a full day’s work. The Kiwi cyclist got in the break from the very start of stage 15, alongside Swiss rider, Martin Elmiger. No-one joined them and so the two of them were committed to an all-but-impossible day-long attempt to stay away from the peloton over flat terrain.

They got as far as the finishing straight and Bauer got as far as sprinting for the line.

“I thought I had it but then I realised in the last 50 metres, that I had nothing.”

He didn’t even get the award for being the most combative rider. That went to Elmiger.

Who won?

Alexander Kristoff. The Alps have blunted most of the sprinters, but Kristoff seems to get better and better . ‘Seems’ is the operative word there. In reality, he’s just deteriorated the least. This was his second win after also taking stage 12.

There’s perhaps cause for optimism for Mark Cavendish here. Watching Marcel Kittel in the early days of the Tour, it seemed unlikely anyone would ever beat him in a sprint, but clearly tougher terrain has a lasting impact on the German. Cavendish is another, like Kristoff, who recovers well from day to day, so he might yet pick up a few more wins to add to his already monster haul in the years to come.

Did Peter Sagan come second?

No, Heinrich Haussler did. Sagan came third.

Rest day

I have some more great rest day entertainment for you. Stick around.