Tour de France: Two for One on Stage 16


Fans got two races on the one stage with Rui Costa soloing to victory while Froome narrowly escaped falling and kept his yellow jersey

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Photo: ASO/B.Bade

While Costa battled for the stage win, 30 seconds or so ahead of a four men chasing group, there was a battle royal behind for the GC as Contador and Kreuziger were on the attack to try and move up the GC. This saw the peloton go from 100 plus riders to a dozen in a few kilometres. That was only the start as Contador then pushed it hard on the descent, crashing and nearly taking Froome with him who had been following too close.

Lucky for Froome, Richie Porte, who had been so valuable on the climb, then became even more so on the descent as he helped drag Froome and Contador back to the front, going so fast on the downhill that Froome struggled to hold his wheel. The trio got back to the front and the only change was Ten Dam losing 5th to Quintana to finished with the yellow jersey group.


Photo: ASO/B.Bade

The stage
The stage to Gap has a habit of creating several stories at the same time and it happened again on stage 16 of the 100th Tour de France. An escape had formed after an hour of attacking early on in the stage and there were 26 men involved and at the finish, Costa would prove to be the best of this group.

He would savour a moment of success only a few days after slipping out of the top 10 while fulfilling his role as domestique on the Movistar team. He lost time while trying to help Valverde minimise his losses after an ultimately puncture in stage 13. But now there’s the consolation: a stage win for Movistar and a moment to celebrate for Costa who started punching the sky well before the line.

Meanwhile, the battle behind was providing the major story of the stage. The antics of Contador and Kreuziger were putting Froome into a position of having to chase every attack. It happened on the way up the final climb, the col de Manse and on the way down it almost ended in disaster. Contador was throwing the gauntlet down and Froome reacted.


Photo: ASO/B.Bade

Around a sharp turn about 7.5km from the finish, the Spaniard lost control of his bike and the yellow jersey swerved to avoid him and ended up off the road wher ehe had to stop and unclip. It was a scene similar to what happened en-route to Gap in 2003 but this time there was no riding over a field and the fallen Spaniard would remount his bike, race back to the other GC rivals and finish together.

The progress report
The start of the 16th stage of the 100th Tour de France was at 1.22pm with 179 riders still in the race. The two non-starters were Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Danny van Poppel (VCD). Ahead lay a 168km course that included three categorised hills: the cote de la Montagne de Bluye (cat-3 at 17.5km), the col de Macuègne (cat-2 at 48km) and the col de Manse (cat-2 just 11.5km from the finish).

The intermediate sprint on this hot stage that started in Vaison-la-Romaine and ended in Gap was in Vyenes at 123km. The temperature at the start was 28.5 degrees Celsius.


Photo: ASO/B.Bade

20 riders in the escape
At the 4km mark, Voigt and Sagan were on the move at the front of the peloton. There were a range of attacks and counter-attacks and eventually 32 got ahead that group included: Sagan (CAN), Hansen (LTB), Morabito (BMC), Bakelants, Didier, Gallopin, Kloden and Voigt (RTL), Voeckler (EUC), Jeannesson (FDJ), Kadri and Riblon (ALM), Bennati, Hernandez and Roche (TST), Brutt and Trofimov (KAT), Valverde, Costa and Rojas (MOV), Navarro (COF), Mori (LAM), Chavanel and Velits (OPQ), Boom (BEL), Hesjedal, Martin and Navardauskas (GRS), Dumoulin (ARG), De Gendt (VCD) and Vuillermoz (SOJ).

But the attacks kept coming until 35km when Sky moved to the front and stopped the counter-attacks. After an hour of racing a group of 23 gained a good advantage on the peloton. The riders involved were: Hansen (LTB), Gilbert and Quinziato (BMC), Didier, Gallopin and Kloden (RTL), Gautier and Voeckler (EUC), Kadri and Riblon (ALM), Roche (TST), Trofimov (KAT), Astarloza (EUS), Costa (MOV), Coppel and Navarro (COF), Mori (LAM), Velits (OPQ), Navardauskas (GRS), Albasini and Meyer (OGE), Dumoulin (ARG), De Gendt and Hoogerland (VCD) and Marino (SOJ).


Photo: ASO/B.Bade

At 39km they were ahead by 2’50”. Jeannesson (FDJ) joined the lead group at 42km. Hoogerland led the escape over the second climb with a lead of 6’35” over the peloton. The best on GC of the men in the lead was Navarro who started the stage in 20th overall, 23’26” behind Froome.

The average speed for the first hour was 42.4km/h; the second hour: 43,6km/h and there was a little scare for the peloton which was was stopped at a level crossing for 20” at the 92.5km mark. This helped the escapees lift their advantage up to 8’10”. At 101.5km, the escape had a lead of 9’00”. The average speed for the third hour was 43.6km/h.


Photo: ASO/P.Perreve

Costa makes his winning move 18km from the finish
With 35km to go in the stage, Marino launched an attack from the lead group. He was chased by Kadri and the pair worked well together to gain time on their former breakaway companions: with 25km to go, they were 20” ahead of the other escapees while the peloton was at 11’40”.

Aussie Adam Hansen then chased the leading pair and caught them with 19km to go but the star of the stage, Rui Costa – who was also voted winner of the ‘Fighting Spirit’ award, was the rider who seized the day 18km from the line. He surged into the lead and left the other escapees in his wake.

He wouldn’t see them again until after he’d won his second Tour de France stage, following the success at Super Besse in stage eight of the 2011 race. Behind him a group of four formed: Kloden, Kadri, Coppel, and Jeannesson but this French trio and the German couldn’t close the gap opened by Costa on the final climb.

Costa had been in 10th place overall at the start of stage 13 but he dropped to 18th overall as he tried to help Valverde minimize his time losses after a puncture that day. The consolation has come in Gap; he became the second Portuguese rider to win his this city in three years (following Sergio Paulino’s success in 2010).


Picture: PhotoSport International. uk usa asia.

Contador rolls the dice and nearly pays a big price!
Behind Costa in the battle for the GC, all the way up and down the final climb, the Saxo-Tinkoff team attacked the yellow jersey. With 18km to go, Contador fired the first shot from Froome’s group and this prompted a pursuit by Richie Porte (SKY) and his team leader. Once the Spaniard was caught, however, his Czech team-mate Kreuziger attacked.

This one-two punch routine happened five times on the way on the col de Manse and although it briefly elminated Porte from the equation, it had little effect otherwise, except for cracking the rider who had been ranked fifth overall, Lauren Ten Dam (BEL). In the group of the yellow jersey was Froome, Porte, Contador, Kreuziger, Quintana, Valverde, Rodriguez, and Mollema.


Photo: ASO/B.Bade

Problems for Froome and Contador
With 7.5km to go, the rider in third overall was taking the fight to the yellow jersey and, in a scene reminiscent of events leading to Gap in the 2003 Tour, we saw two of the riders at the top of the GC rankings caught up in an incident. Contador lost control of his bike, Froome went off the left side of the road but both quickly remounted and sped off in pursuit of the Mollema group.

Froome finished the stage in 29th place, 11’08” behind Costa but in the same time as his main GC rivals. He will wear the yellow jersey in stage 17 and shall be the last rider to start the mountain time trial.


Photo: ASO/B.Bade


Chris Froome was not happy afterwards, and whilst others have pointed out he didn’t have to follow Contador so closely, the Yellow jersey told TV “I think he was actually taking a few too many risks there. He was pushing the limits too far and he took himself down in front of me which also put me as risk.”

“I had to go off the road for a second to try and get around him. I didn’t really come off, I just had to reclip into my bike and get going again. I don’t think it was necessary to take those kinds of risks”.


Photo: ASO/P.Perreve

“He was pushing, I think, a little bit too fast on the descent. Trying to get away from us and he crashed in front of me. That put me in danger. I went around, off the road, and then I had to correct myself and get back in. I was lucky enough to have my team-mate Richie Porte there to keep me in the front of the race and to keep an eye on things.”

“It did give me a lot of confidence having my team-mate there and I knew the race wasn’t going to ride away from me there and then… we were in quite a small group already. We’ve got a really big day tomorrow with the time trial and following that we’ve got another three really hard days so there’s going to be some exciting racing coming up.”

Alberto Contador: “It’s a bike race and the game is on – on the climbs and on the descents. I just hope the bruises are superficial. Now I put ice on my knee and I think I´ll be fine for tomorrow. Today we tried and in the end, a Belkin rider was unhooked and another was on the ropes. Now I just hope that the fall does not affect me more than to sleep a little worse. Tomorrow could be an important day.”

“Everyone was very attentive on the final part of the slope and we were not able to make the difference but the legs are getting better and I hope I can create some fuss in the final part of the Tour. I don’t know if we’ll win or not but I hope the people behind the TV-screens will enjoy the race. For me, it isn’t a great motivation to do the race calmly behind the wheel in the bunch.”

“Whenever I see a chance, I’ll grab it, either at the beginning or at the end of the race. And we’ll see what the final result in Paris will be,”


Photo: ASO/G.Demouveaux

Richie Porte: Porte admitted he had been expecting those attacks and predicted there would be plenty more to come as the race traverses the Alps. “It made sense that they were going to attack, he said. “It was a hard start and we expected they would try something on that last climb and descent.”

“They had to try something so hats off to them. They were good today, the Tour’s not over yet and they are going to keep riding aggressively. “I’m ready for the Alps. After a rest day it’s always tricky but this wasn’t anything we didn’t expect. It’s nice to be able to cover those moves for Chris and make it a little bit easier on him.”

Bauke Mollema: “I think we can expect more attacks from riders like Contador in the coming days. Today I felt good. Before the stage, I watched a video of the final climb’s descent so that I knew exactly how it flowed. Tomorrow’s time trial is quite tricky, but I hope I can take time on Contador. With two climbs, I fancy my chances on the parcours. The previous time trial gave me a lot of morale.”


1 COSTA Rui Movistar Team 03:52:45
2 RIBLON Christophe AG2R La Mondiale 00:42
3 JEANNESSON Arnold Equipe Cycliste @ st
4 COPPEL Jérome Cofidis Solutions Crédits@ st
5 KL̦DEN Andr̩as RadioShack РLeopard@ st
6 DUMOULIN Tom Team Argos – Shimano 01:00
7 ASTARLOZA CHAURREAU Mikel Euskaltel – Euskadi 01:01
8 GILBERT Philippe BMC Racing Team 01:04
9 MEYER Cameron Orica GreenEDGE@ st
10 NAVARDAUSKAS Ramunas Garmin – Sharp@ st
11 VELITS Peter Omega Pharma – Quick-Step@ st
12 GAUTIER Cyril Team Europcar@ st
13 TROFIMOV Yuri Katusha Team@ st
14 DIDIER Laurent RadioShack – Leopard@ st
15 DE GENDT Thomas Vacansoleil – DCM 01:09
16 ROCHE Nicolas Team Saxo-Tinkoff 01:26
17 MARINO Jean Marc Sojasun@ st
18 NAVARRO GARCIA Daniel Cofidis Solutions Crédits@ st
19 VOECKLER Thomas Team Europcar@ st
20 HOOGERLAND Johnny Vacansoleil – DCM 02:21
21 GALLOPIN Tony RadioShack – Leopard 02:26
22 MORI Manuele Lampre – Merida 03:34
23 KADRI Blel AG2R La Mondiale 03:42
24 ALBASINI Michael Orica GreenEDGE@ st
25 HANSEN Adam Lotto Belisol Team@ st
26 QUINZIATO Manuel BMC Racing Team 05:27
27 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander Movistar Team 11:08
28 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team@ st
29 FROOME Christopher Sky Procycling@ st
30 MOLLEMA Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling Team@ st
31 KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff@ st
32 CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto Team Saxo-Tinkoff@ st
33 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team@ st
34 PORTE Richie Sky Procycling@ st
35 TALANSKY Andrew Garmin – Sharp 12:08
36 PERAUD Jean-Christophe AG2R La Mondiale@ st
37 MONFORT Maxime RadioShack – Leopard@ st
38 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana Pro Team@ st
39 TEN DAM Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling Team@ st
40 EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team@ st
41 MORABITO Steve BMC Racing Team@ st
42 BARDET Romain AG2R La Mondiale@ st
43 MARTIN Daniel Garmin – Sharp@ st
44 ROGERS Michael Team Saxo-Tinkoff@ st
45 CHAVANEL Sylvain Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 12:47
46 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step@ st
47 GADRET John AG2R La Mondiale@ st
48 SERPA PEREZ Jose Rodolfo Lampre – Merida@ st
49 MOLARD Rudy Cofidis Solutions Crédits@ st
50 GESINK Robert Belkin Pro Cycling Team@ st
51 DUPONT Hubert AG2R La Mondiale@ st
52 TANKINK Bram Belkin Pro Cycling Team@ st
53 NIEVE ITURALDE Mikel Euskaltel – Euskadi@ st
54 EL FARES Julien Sojasun 13:01
55 VUILLERMOZ Alexis Sojasun@ st
56 BAKELANTS Jan RadioShack – Leopard@ st
57 SCHLECK Andy RadioShack – Leopard@ st
58 ROLLAND Pierre Team Europcar@ st
59 POELS Wout Vacansoleil – DCM@ st
60 MORENO FERNáNDEZ Daniel Katusha Team@ st
61 MEDEREL Maxime Sojasun@ st
62 VICHOT Arthur Equipe Cycliste 15:10
63 GENIEZ Alexandre Equipe Cycliste @ st
64 MATE MARDONES Luis Angel Cofidis Solutions Crédits@ st
65 IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI Gorka Euskaltel – Euskadi@ st
66 WESTRA Lieuwe Vacansoleil – DCM 15:41
67 OROZ UGALDE Juan Jos̩ Euskaltel РEuskadi@ st
68 VORGANOV Eduard Katusha Team@ st
69 ROJAS GIL Jose Joaquin Movistar Team 16:54
70 NIEMIEC Przemyslaw Lampre – Merida@ st
71 GASPAROTTO Enrico Astana Pro Team@ st
72 SIUTSOU Kanstantsin Sky Procycling@ st
73 AMADOR BAKKAZAKOVA Andrey Movistar Team@ st
74 LOPEZ GARCIA David Sky Procycling@ st
75 LEMOINE Cyril Sojasun 17:59
76 FEDRIGO Pierrick Equipe Cycliste 18:28
77 DE CLERCQ Bart Lotto Belisol Team@ st
78 GESCHKE Simon Team Argos – Shimano 19:16
79 FROHLINGER Johannes Team Argos – Shimano@ st
80 IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI Ion Euskaltel – Euskadi@ st
81 MINARD Sébastien AG2R La Mondiale@ st
82 DELAPLACE Anthony Sojasun@ st
83 LEVARLET Guillaume Cofidis Solutions Crédits@ st
84 VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC Racing Team@ st
85 KOREN Kristjan Cannondale Pro Cycling Team@ st
86 MOINARD Amaël BMC Racing Team@ st
87 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE Haimar RadioShack – Leopard@ st
88 FLECHA Juan Antonio Vacansoleil – DCM@ st
89 ERVITI OLLO Imanol Movistar Team@ st
90 DUMOULIN Samuel AG2R La Mondiale@ st
91 LAGUTIN Sergey Vacansoleil – DCM@ st
92 GAVAZZI Francesco Astana Pro Team@ st
93 TAARAMäE Rein Cofidis Solutions Crédits@ st
94 MILLAR David Garmin – Sharp 20:57
95 O’GRADY Stuart Orica GreenEDGE@ st
96 KUSCHYNSKI Aleksandr Katusha Team@ st
97 TOSATTO Matteo Team Saxo-Tinkoff@ st
98 NORDHAUG Lars Petter Belkin Pro Cycling Team@ st
99 GERRANS Simon Orica GreenEDGE@ st
100 BOOKWALTER Brent BMC Racing Team@ st
101 VEILLEUX David Team Europcar@ st
102 REZA Kevin Team Europcar@ st
103 LOSADA ALGUACIL Alberto Katusha Team@ st
104 SMUKULIS Gatis Katusha Team@ st
105 VAN POPPEL Boy Vacansoleil – DCM@ st
106 MARTIN Tony Omega Pharma – Quick-Step@ st
107 IRIZAR ARANBURU Markel RadioShack – Leopard@ st
108 BAK Lars Ytting Lotto Belisol Team@ st
109 HERNáNDEZ BLAZQUEZ Jesús Team Saxo-Tinkoff@ st
110 CUNEGO Damiano Lampre – Merida@ st
111 HENDERSON Gregory Lotto Belisol Team@ st
112 DANIELSON Thomas Garmin – Sharp@ st
113 MOREIRA PAULINHO Sergio Miguel Team Saxo-Tinkoff@ st
114 ARASHIRO Yukiya Team Europcar@ st
115 COUSIN Jérôme Team Europcar@ st
116 BAUER Jack Garmin – Sharp@ st
117 PLAZA MOLINA Ruben Movistar Team@ st
118 HESJEDAL Ryder Garmin – Sharp@ st
119 BRUTT Pavel Katusha Team@ st
120 PEREZ MORENO Ruben Euskaltel – Euskadi@ st
121 CASTROVIEJO Jonathan Movistar Team@ st
122 SICARD Romain Euskaltel – Euskadi@ st
123 DE MARCHI Alessandro Cannondale Pro Cycling Team@ st
124 ROELANDTS Jurgen Lotto Belisol Team@ st
125 PINEAU J̩rome Omega Pharma РQuick-Step 21:46
126 VOIGT Jens RadioShack – Leopard@ st
127 DE KORT Koen Team Argos – Shimano@ st
128 GREIPEL Andre Lotto Belisol Team@ st
129 BURGHARDT Marcus BMC Racing Team@ st
130 SABATINI Fabio Cannondale Pro Cycling Team@ st
131 MARANGONI Alan Cannondale Pro Cycling Team@ st
132 SIEBERG Marcel Lotto Belisol Team@ st
133 BODNAR Maciej Cannondale Pro Cycling Team@ st
134 BOOM Lars Belkin Pro Cycling Team@ st
135 TIMMER Albert Team Argos – Shimano@ st
136 MOSER Moreno Cannondale Pro Cycling Team@ st
137 SAGAN Peter Cannondale Pro Cycling Team@ st
138 CAVENDISH Mark Omega Pharma – Quick-Step@ st
139 FAVILLI Elia Lampre – Merida@ st
140 WILLEMS Frederik Lotto Belisol Team@ st
141 CURVERS Roy Team Argos – Shimano@ st
142 DEGENKOLB John Team Argos – Shimano@ st
143 KRISTOFF Alexander Katusha Team@ st
144 VEELERS Tom Team Argos – Shimano@ st
145 ANTON HERNANDEZ Igor Euskaltel – Euskadi@ st
146 LOBATO DEL VALLE Juan Jose Euskaltel – Euskadi@ st
147 LEEZER Tom Belkin Pro Cycling Team@ st
148 KITTEL Marcel Team Argos – Shimano@ st
149 BONNET William Equipe Cycliste @ st
150 SIMON Julien Sojasun@ st
151 GARCíA ETXEGIBEL Egoitz Cofidis Solutions Crédits@ st
152 STEEGMANS Gert Omega Pharma – Quick-Step@ st
153 FISCHER Murilo Antonio Equipe Cycliste @ st
154 BENNATI Daniele Team Saxo-Tinkoff@ st
155 ROY Jérémy Equipe Cycliste @ st
156 TERPSTRA Niki Omega Pharma – Quick-Step@ st
157 WYNANTS Maarten Belkin Pro Cycling Team@ st
158 LANCASTER Brett Orica GreenEDGE@ st
159 CLARKE Simon Orica GreenEDGE@ st
160 IMPEY Daryl Orica GreenEDGE@ st
161 GOSS Matthew Orica GreenEDGE@ st
162 GENE Yohann Team Europcar@ st
163 VANMARCKE Sep Belkin Pro Cycling Team@ st
164 MURAVYEV Dmitriy Astana Pro Team@ st
165 VANDBORG Brian Cannondale Pro Cycling Team@ st
166 TUFT Svein Orica GreenEDGE@ st
167 BAZAYEV Assan Astana Pro Team@ st
168 FEILLU Brice Sojasun@ st
169 LUTSENKO Aleksey Astana Pro Team@ st
170 STANNARD Ian Sky Procycling@ st
171 TRENTIN Matteo Omega Pharma – Quick-Step@ st
172 THOMAS Geraint Sky Procycling@ st
173 MALACARNE Davide Team Europcar@ st
174 KENNAUGH Peter Sky Procycling@ st
175 HIVERT Jonathan Sojasun@ st
176 LE MEVEL Christophe Cofidis Solutions Crédits@ st
177 FERRARI Roberto Lampre – Merida@ st
178 CIMOLAI Davide Lampre – Merida@ st
179 BOECKMANS Kris Vacansoleil – DCM 22:01

1 FROOME Christopher Sky Procycling 65:15:36
2 MOLLEMA Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling Team 04:14
3 CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto Team Saxo-Tinkoff 04:25
4 KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff 04:28
5 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander Movistar Team 05:47
6 TEN DAM Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling Team 05:54
7 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team 07:11
8 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana Pro Team 07:22
9 PERAUD Jean-Christophe AG2R La Mondiale 08:47
10 MARTIN Daniel Garmin – Sharp 09:28
11 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 09:37
12 ROGERS Michael Team Saxo-Tinkoff 10:54
13 TALANSKY Andrew Garmin – Sharp 13:32
14 NAVARRO GARCIA Daniel Cofidis Solutions Crédits 13:54
15 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team 14:42
16 MONFORT Maxime RadioShack – Leopard 14:47
17 EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team 16:40
18 NIEVE ITURALDE Mikel Euskaltel – Euskadi 19:51
19 SCHLECK Andy RadioShack – Leopard 21:07
20 COSTA Rui Movistar Team 22:34


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