A young rider wins a stage (Saturday), when the breakaway succeeds, and the tour leader wins one Sunday overpowering everyone. Froome is still in yellow having opened his lead a bit.
Another note. The polka dot holder Pierre Rolland was given a penalty for holding on to the team car during the race for a bit. A couple of seconds is usually allowed, but this was different. He had been dropped by the peleton and was catching up. He went along the team car and his mechanic applied the "magic spanner" to fix an imaginary issue with his rear brake. If he really had a problem, this would be allowed, but it was just faking it. So a penalty, including time (10 seconds).
Stage 14 on Saturday
Matteo Trentin of Italy, riding for Omega Pharma-Quickstep, who was in a 14 man (originally 18) breakaway wins the day. There was little change in the standings overall for any of the Jerseys, except that Movistar rode well and is now second in the team classification. The breakaway started a bit late but held on to the end over many many climbs. Froome finished 7'17" later, but with all of the other GC riders, so retains yellow.
It is possible, actually, to carry the yellow jersey all the way to Paris, yet never win a stage. You have to be near the top every day and beaten by a different combination of riders, but it is possible.
The escapees also got all of the sprint and climbing points, but none was in competition for those jerseys either. Kwiatkowski keeps white as the best young rider.
Stage 15 on Sunday
This was a very long stage with an extreme finish atop Mont Ventoux. It was the longest stage in this years race (238km). It had five climbs but only the last was a real challenge. The early part of the race was very fast (over 50k/h during the second hour). A breakaway of 10, including Peter Sagan kept away for a long while, letting Sagan increase his lead for green over his rivals at the intermediate. He wears the green not because he is the best sprinter (Cavendish and Greipel vie for that honor), but because he is a very good sprinter and a superior all around rider. You have to get TO the sprint point, not just over the line to collect points.
Anyway, most of the breakaway was caught near the middle of the final climb (21k at 7.5%). At this point the peleton also starts to break apart. Sky finally seems to get it together and races hard in support of Froome. Their group starts expelling riders out the rear. Cadel Evans (past winner) is dropped with about 11 k to go. Andy Schleck went even earlier. Contador held on for a while, but is eventually dropped by Froome, leaves the last of his group (Quintana) behind with a bit over 1 k to ride. Froome wins by 29 seconds with Contador a minute 40 seconds back. It isn't often that the yellow jersey wins a stage. His rivals are usually attentive to any moves he makes. He will be hard to overtake if he can hold up for another week.
By reaching the top of Ventoux first, Froome also wins enough points in king of the mountains to take the lead for polkadots. Also Quintana Rojas (second place today) of Movistar takes back the white jersey from Kwiatkowski. Sylvan Chavanel, who instigated the breakaway and was last to be caught, gets the fighting spirit award. Saxo-Tinkoff has the team lead, with Movistar moving down to fourth.
I didn't do the excitement of this stage justice and had to glean this from the newsflashes. Sorry I missed it.
Tomorrow is a rest day. On Tuesday 168km with a three climbs, though not extreme. They are scheduled to start at 13:15 continental time, six hours earlier on the US east coast. The high mountains of the Alps start on Thursday.
ETA. How did I ever beat BlitzGirl to popishness? My decree, which shall extend beyond this page, is that you shall all have a marvelous time here and IRL all weekH