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Tour de France Stage 16 Report

by rod   No Comments

July 16, Stage 16: Vaison-la-Romaine – Gap 168km

Tour de France: Costa solos to victory in Gap

Article Content from Report By: Stephen Farrand Published: July 16

Video Recap from

Movistar rider drops break on Col de Manse, Froome remains in yellow

Portugal’s Rui Costa (Movistar) proved he was the strongest of the 26-rider breakaway that dominated and decided stage 16 to Gap, winning alone after a solo attack on the last climb of the Col de Manse.

The stage was not expected to change the overall classification but a series of attacks by Katusha and then Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) on the final climb, and then the descent made famous by Lance Armstrong and Joseba Beloki in 2003, kicked off the action.

Contador was kept in check by Richie Porte and then Chris Froome on the climb but then in almost a re-enactment of the Armstrong/Beloki moment, Contador crashed on a corner, with Froome also going down after taking to the grass to avoid Contador. Both got up and closed the gap but yet again this year’s Tour de France produced further unexpected drama.

It also changed the top ten overall, with Laurens ten Dam (Belkin) the biggest loser. He was not part of the front group with Froome, Contador, Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Roman Kreuziger (Saxo-Tinkoff), Porte, Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana (Movistar). Ten Dam finished 1:00 behind the Froome group with Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and others, losing his fifth place overall to Quintana. Rodriguez also moved past Fuglsang to take seventh place at 7:11, with Fuglsang now eighth at 7:22.

Froome still leads Bauke Mollema (Belkin) by 4:14, with Contador third overall at 4:25.

“There’s no such thing as an uneventful day here,” Froome said with a smile.

“It’s a really tough race. If they’re not attacking me on the climbs, they attacking me on the descent.

“It was quite a dangerous descent and quite famous for Beloki’s crash and Armstrong doing his off-road stuff. It was a bit careless of Contador to attack. He was pushing the limits and crashed. I went off the road and had to unclip before getting back going again. I was lucky to have Richie Porte there. He covered about 10 attacks and I’m really happy to have him there with me.”

Froome’s thoughts quickly turned to Wednesday’s time trial but he warned that too big an effort could see riders pay in the following Alpine stages.

“It’s going to be really tough,” he said. “Everyone is going to go going hard but it’s important to keep in mind we go up Alpe d’Huez twice the day after. People will need to keep in mind that this is the difficult part of the race now.”

The stage victory by Costa, the second of his career at the Tour de France, provided some relief for he and his Movistar squad that had their multiple general classification options reduced solely to Nairo Quintana following a disastrous outing on stage 13.

“This win is important for me and for the team,” Costa said. “I worked hard to be ready for this Tour but I lost a lot of time on the same day that Valverde did, so I had to change my plans for this Tour. We were looking for a stage victory and now that we have one, we can be more relaxed going into the Alps.

“It was a good stage for a breakaway. It was a big fight to get into the move, but once we pulled clear, I was feeling good and was confident. Winning helps take away from the disappointment of the overall.”

Early attacks and the break of the day

The stage to Gap was the last rolling stage before the time trial and the high mountain stages and so was expected to be dominated by a breakaway, with riders looking for glory before the final fight for the general classification. Several riders warmed up on the rollers before the start after studying the hilly profile of the stage. Early fireworks were expected.

The attacks came as soon as race director Christian Prudhomme dropped the start flag at kilometre zero. 179 riders were left in the peloton after Thibaut Pinot ( retired to illness and 19-year-old Danny van Poppel (Vacansoleil-DCM) was pulled out of the race by his team.

Manuele Mori (Lampre-Merida) was the first to surge clear and he was quickly joined by others in a hectic first hour of racing. Twenty riders formed a significant attack and then the group increased to 32 riders. Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) were in there and the Canadian was the first to the top of the first climb. However they dropped back, along with several others. Thirty two riders was just too big a group to work smoothly together. Eventually 26 riders came together up front, with the peloton – lead by Team Sky – happy to let them go.

The 26 included some quality riders: Adam Hansen (Lotto Belisol), Philippe Gilbert and Manuel Quinziato (BMC), Andreas Kloden, Laurent Didier and Tony Gallopin (RadioShack Leopard), Cyril Gautier and Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar), Blel Kadri and Christophe Riblon (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Nicolas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff), Yury Trofimov (Katusha), Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Rui Costa (Movistar), Jerome Coppel and Daniel Navarro (Cofidis), Manuele Mori (Lampre-Merida), Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp), Michael Albasini and Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge), Tom Dumoulin (Argos-Shimano), Thomas De Gendt and Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM), Jean-Marc Marino (Sojasun) and Arnold Jeannesson (

They rode together for close to 100km, working smoothly in a double pace line, with some riders trying to miss turns to save their legs for the climbs in the finale. Behind, Sky’s Ian Stannard, Geraint Thomas and David Lopez did much of the chasing for race leader Froome. The rest of the peloton was happy to sit behind them and enjoy the transfer to the heart of the Alps.

The attacks up front began with 34km to go, with Marino and Kadri the first to try their hand. However it was too early and they were quickly passed by Hansen on the early slopes of the 9.5km-long Col de Manse. The attacks blew the break apart, spitting riders out of the back and revealing the form and strength of everyone else.

Costa quickly passed Hansen and surged on alone. The two-time Tour de Suisse winner is a class act and quickly opened a lead on four chasers, riding a time trial to the summit and down the descent. Kloden, Riblon, Coppel and Jeannesson worked hard to try to chase him down but made little impact on the climb and on the descent to Gap.

The overall battle heats up

Behind the battle for the overall classification also came alive when Katusha hit the front. Two teammates blew the peloton apart for Rodriguez, forcing a select group clear. Dan Martin and Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) were unable to go with them, Cadel Evans (BMC) and ten Dam were also dropped in a surprise split.

Near the top of the climb there was a further escalation when Contador had two serious digs in the big ring. The first caused little damage but the second seemed to hurt Froome slightly. However Richie Porte was Contador’s match and pulled him back to the group.

Contador also had a try on the twisting descent but paid for his own exuberance. He crashed just after a corner and forced Froome onto the grass . The incident could have had a huge impact on the race but both got up quickly and chased back onto the front group with some help from Porte.

Contador sarcastically gave Quintana the thumbs up just before the finish, apparently unhappy that the Colombian had attacked on the descent while he was down.

The stage to Gap had been a painful day for everyone. It was supposed to be a day of transition and transfer. Instead it hinted that there will be far more attacks in this year’s Tour de France before Sunday’s final stage in Paris.

General classification after stage 16
1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 65:15:36
2 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:04:14
3 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:04:25
4 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:04:28
5 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:05:47
6 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:05:54
7 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha 0:07:11
8 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:07:22
9 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:08:47
10 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp 0:09:28
11 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:09:37
12 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:10:54
13 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp 0:13:32
14 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:13:54
15 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:14:42
16 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack Leopard 0:14:47
17 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:16:40
18 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:19:51
19 Andy Schleck (Lux) RadioShack Leopard 0:21:07
20 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team 0:22:34
21 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha 0:23:35
22 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:24:50
23 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:29:45
24 Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack Leopard 0:31:09
25 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:32:05
26 Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:32:53
27 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:34:20
28 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:34:28
29 Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack Leopard 0:34:29
30 Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-Merida 0:34:41
31 Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:35:07
32 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:36:05
33 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:38:49
34 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:40:12
35 Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:42:12
36 Maxime Mederel (Fra) Sojasun 0:42:17
37 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar 0:44:16
38 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:44:55
39 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) 0:45:45
40 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha 0:47:28
41 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:55:36
42 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack Leopard
43 Bram Tankink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:56:31
44 Arthur Vichot (Fra) 0:59:07
45 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:59:53
46 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha 1:01:04
47 Laurent Didier (Lux) RadioShack Leopard 1:01:43
48 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 1:01:58
49 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano 1:02:03
50 Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team Europcar 1:04:56
51 Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team 1:05:29
52 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Sojasun 1:05:40
53 Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard 1:06:27
54 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 1:07:05
55 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 1:08:10
56 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar Team 1:09:58
57 Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team 1:10:11
58 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida 1:16:01
59 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol 1:17:23
60 Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 1:17:47
61 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge 1:18:23
62 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 1:18:50
63 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol 1:23:04
64 Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida
65 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 1:25:28
66 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge 1:25:43
67 Alexandre Geniez (Fra) 1:26:04
68 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team 1:27:44
69 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp 1:28:05
70 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro Team 1:28:30
71 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 1:28:41
72 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp 1:28:54
73 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team 1:29:30
74 Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 1:29:41
75 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 1:32:04
76 Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 1:32:19
77 Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack Leopard 1:34:56
78 Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 1:34:58
79 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) 1:35:10
80 Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky Procycling 1:37:10
81 Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 1:37:14
82 Julien El Fares (Fra) Sojasun 1:38:20
83 Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 1:39:18
84 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano 1:40:17
85 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 1:40:29
86 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 1:41:53
87 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 1:42:30
88 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 1:43:04
89 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 1:43:17
90 Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha 1:43:33
91 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team 1:43:41
92 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team 1:44:18
93 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 1:45:14
94 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Sky Procycling 1:46:45
95 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 1:47:43
96 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar 1:48:28
97 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 1:48:46
98 Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 1:48:54
99 Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale Pro Cycling 1:49:02
100 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp 1:50:50
101 Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 1:51:31
102 David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Sharp 1:52:02
103 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha 1:53:01
104 Jean-Marc Marino (Fra) Sojasun 1:53:33
105 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Sojasun 1:55:01
106 Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Sojasun 1:55:43
107 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 1:57:21
108 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 1:58:10
109 Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar Team 1:58:26
110 Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 1:58:51
111 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) RadioShack Leopard 1:59:14
112 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 1:59:46
113 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale Pro Cycling 2:00:41
114 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol 2:01:14
115 Julien Simon (Fra) Sojasun 2:01:43
116 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano 2:02:28
117 Brice Feillu (Fra) Sojasun 2:03:34
118 Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 2:03:40
119 Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 2:09:05
120 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 2:09:15
121 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 2:10:35
122 Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha 2:12:24
123 Elia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-Merida 2:12:31
124 Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 2:12:45
125 Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 2:14:23
126 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol 2:14:42
127 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 2:18:00
128 Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team 2:18:07
129 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano 2:20:14
130 Jérémy Roy (Fra) 2:20:21
131 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 2:20:51
132 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida 2:22:57
133 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 2:22:58
134 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 2:23:02
135 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 2:23:27
136 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol 2:23:37
137 David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar 2:23:44
138 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 2:24:05
139 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha 2:24:32
140 Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 2:24:54
141 Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha 2:25:36
142 Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 2:25:42
143 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 2:26:14
144 Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano 2:30:29
145 Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) 2:31:19
146 David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Sky Procycling 2:31:30
147 Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling 2:31:44
148 Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel-Euskadi 2:32:30
149 Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Sharp 2:32:49
150 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 2:33:45
151 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 2:33:58
152 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 2:34:08
153 Boy van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 2:35:19
154 Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar 2:35:38
155 Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano 2:36:10
156 William Bonnet (Fra) 2:36:58
157 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida 2:37:11
158 Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 2:37:37
159 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 2:38:02
160 Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 2:38:45
161 Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol 2:39:10
162 Thomas Leezer (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 2:39:18
163 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling 2:39:43
164 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 2:41:01
165 Brian Vandborg (Den) Cannondale Pro Cycling 2:41:26
166 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 2:42:54
167 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol 2:43:08
168 Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar 2:44:19
169 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 2:45:30
170 Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano 2:45:51
171 Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol 2:46:44
172 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano 2:47:36
173 Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar 2:54:44
174 Tom Veelers (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano 2:54:49
175 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun 2:55:12
176 Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 2:55:13
177 Assan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 2:55:48
178 Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 2:56:40
179 Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-GreenEdge 2:57:30


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