Tour de France 2015

July 4-26, 2015, Utrecht (ITT), France, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Patrick Fletcher

Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the 102nd Tour de France. Stage 16 sees the riders travel 201km from Bourg-de-Péage to Gap with racing getting underway at 12:25 local time.

 

Tour de France Stage 15 report
The Cyclingnews Tour de France Podcast episode 17
Tour de France 2015 stage 16 forum
Tour de France 2015 preview
Tour de France 2015 start list

 

  1. 11:54:32 CEST

    So, after leaving the Pyrenees on Friday, today we arrive at the foothills of the Alps. Stage 16 takes us from the Rhône Valley to Gap in what is the fourth and final transition stage of this year's Tour. The riders will be rolling out at 12:25 local time and racing proper will commence at kilometre zero about quarter of an hour later. 

  2. 11:57:33 CEST

     

  3. 12:06:18 CEST

    It's a steadily rising uphill drag today but it's not entirely straight forward - there is scope for a shake-up on the Col de Manse. Going up the category 2 climb won't be too much of a challenge but the descent into Gap will be fast and furious. It's where Andy Schleck pretty much lost the 2011 Tour and where Alberto Contador crashed trying to put time into Chris Froome in 2013. It looks like it will be dry today but it's technical in parts and, with nerves high, some may be caught out. 

  4. 12:12:52 CEST

    • BMC Racing 2015 team jersey

    News has come in this morning that Greg Van Avermaet has withdrawn from the Tour to return home to his wife, who is about to give birth. The Belgian won stage 13 in Rodez and his BMC teammate Tejay van Garderen is currently third overall. 

     

  5. 12:23:51 CEST

    As we await the start of stage 16, have a listen to the latest instalment of the Cyclingnews Tour de France podcast, sponsored by British Eurosport.

     

    On the agenda is André Greipel's stage 15 win, Peter Sagan's quest for the green jersey, and the polemic surrounding Chris Froome. We hear from Froome himself, who had urine thrown at him on Saturday, and we also get Greg Lemond's thoughts on power, data and the atmosphere surrounding the current race leader. 

     

    Tour de France podcast episode 17

     

  6. 12:30:47 CEST

    • Start

    The riders are on their way and are currently rolling through the neutral zone

  7. 12:33:28 CEST

    A reminder of the general classification shapes up after stage 15.

     

    1 Christopher Froome (Team Sky) 59:58:54
    2 Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) 0:03:10
    3 Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) 0:03:32
    4 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 0:04:02
    5 Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) 0:04:23
    6 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) 0:04:54
    7 Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) 0:06:23
    8 Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) 0:08:17
    9 Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) 0:08:23
    10 Bauke Mollema (Trek) 0:08:53

     

  8. 12:34:15 CEST

    A reminder of how the general classification is shaping up after stage 15.

     

    1 Christopher Froome (Team Sky) 59:58:54
    2 Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) 0:03:10
    3 Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) 0:03:32
    4 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 0:04:02
    5 Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) 0:04:23
    6 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) 0:04:54
    7 Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) 0:06:23
    8 Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) 0:08:17
    9 Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) 0:08:23
    10 Bauke Mollema (Trek) 0:08:53

     

  9. 12:39:24 CEST

    Nairo Quintana, Joaquim Rodriguez, and Chris Froome side by side as the riders pedal towards kilometre zero.

  10. 12:42:29 CEST

    • Green Jersey

    We have an intermediate sprint on the menu today after 86.5 kilometres. Will we see the bunch trying to keep things together until then? Here are how things are looking in the race for the green jersey:

     

    1 Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) 360 pts
    2 André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) 316
    3 John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) 264
    4 Mark Cavendish (Etixx - Quick-Step) 192
    5 Bryan Coquard (Europcar) 122

     

  11. 12:48:49 CEST

    • Start

    And we're off! The flag has been dropped and the start has been given for stage 16.

     

     

  12. 12:51:44 CEST

    We've got some early moves here and one attacker is Peter Sagan, looking to get himself in the break for a third day in a row. 

     

  13. 12:55:12 CEST

    • Break

    A large group of 29 riders, including Sagan, has formed ahead of the peloton with a lead of 25 seconds. We'll bring you the identities of those riders shortly. 

     

  14. 12:59:24 CEST

    • Lotto-Soudal 2015 team jersey

    Tony Gallopin is one of the riders out front. He's ninth on GC at 8:24 minutes back, so the peloton may be reluctant to let this group off the leash. 

     

  15. 13:07:00 CEST

    The escape group has split and there are now 12 riders out front. They are:

     

    Andriy Grivko (Astana), Christophe Riblon (AG2R), Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Simon Geschke, Marco Haller (Katusha), Bob Jungels (Trek), Nelson Oliveira (Lampre-Merida), Ruben Plaza Molina (Lampre-Merida), Daniel Navarro (Cofidis), Pierrick Fedrigo (Bretagne-Seche-Environnement), Serge Pauwels (MTN-Qhubeka)

     

  16. 13:15:09 CEST

    Behind the lead group there is a group of 16

     

    Michele Scarponi (Astana), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal), Michal Golas (Eitxx-QuickStep), Matteo Trentin (Etixx-QuickStep), Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Laurent Didier (Trek), Markel irizar (Trek), Pippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida), Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis), Jan Barta (Bora-Argon), Pierre-Luc Perichon (Bretagne-Seche Environnement), and Edvald Boasson-Hagen (MTN).

     

  17. 13:17:09 CEST

    That second group had about half a minute on the bunch, but Gallopin's presence can't have been welcome in the breaks this morning. The Frenchman is dropping back to the peloton. 

  18. 13:23:13 CEST

    Jan Barta has also dropped back and the second group now contains 12 riders. 

     

  19. 13:24:51 CEST

    • Cannondale Garmin 2015 team jersey

    One of the riders in the lead group has history with Gap. Frenchman Pierrick Fedrigo won a Tour stage there in 2006.

     

  20. 166km remaining from 201km

    13:28:50 CEST

    The situation after a chaotic opening 35 kilometres. 

     

    A lead group of 12, including Sagan, has five minutes on the peloton. 

     

    A chase group of 12 is a minute behind. 

     

    Jan Barta is 30 seconds behind the second group. 

     

  21. 13:37:42 CEST

    The leading group has over six minutes now on the bunch and this is clearly the move of the day. The gap to the second group on the road, though, is falling under a minute and we may see them join forces soon. 

     

  22. 13:42:36 CEST

    Things are starting to settle down in today's stage, but the polemic surrounding race leader Chris Froome is showing no sign of following suit. He's not happy about Laurent Jalabert's comments, and subsequent denial of them. Read the latest right here

     

  23. 13:44:26 CEST

    • Team Sky 2015 team jersey

    British champion Peter Kennaugh has just abandoned the Tour de France. That's one less teammate now for Froome. 

     

  24. 13:47:13 CEST

    Barta sits up and waits for the bunch. Two groups of 12 and a peloton now. 

     

  25. 13:59:01 CEST

    Cyclingnews spoke to UCI President Brian Cookson at the stage start today in Bourg de Péage. He called for responsible behaviour over the controversies that have hit the race so far. Read the full story using the link below:

     

    Cookson calls for calm after controversy at the Tour de France

     

  26. 14:04:34 CEST

    There's not a great deal of change in the situation. The leading group of 12 still has six minutes on the peloton, with the chasing group still 45 seconds or so behind. 

     

  27. 14:13:32 CEST

    • BMC Racing 2015 team jersey

    Greg Van Avermaet hoping to get back in time for the birth of his child

     

    The stage 13 winner did not start today's stage as he returns home with his wife due to give birth. He gave an explanation to letour.com and looked back on his Tour de France.

     

    "I wanted to leave tomorrow morning but a phone call asked me to go earlier. I hope to be there on time. It's always hard to leave the Tour. It's the greatest race in the world. But the team can perform as well without me. I'm pretty sure they'll keep riding a great Tour and hopefully get a great place in Paris.

     

    "It's my best Tour ever, winning the prologue with Rohan Dennis and the team time trial, winning a stage and putting Tejay in a podium position. It couldn't go any better. It's normal to go home. She's been supporting me for ten years riding my bike It's time for me to give something back."

     

  28. 123km remaining from 201km

    14:18:42 CEST

    The leading group is not keen to join forces with the 12 riders behind. They've increased their advantage to 1:15. The category 2 Col de Cabre is coming up after 120 kilometres and that might see things come together, or shaken up further. 

     

  29. 14:22:53 CEST

    The leaders are a few kilometres away from the intermediate sprint at Die. It's a slightly uphill drag which suits Sagan, but he's obviously the red-hot favourite anyway to take maximum points. 

     

  30. 14:27:54 CEST

    • Green Jersey

    Sagan does indeed take maximum points and does so unopposed. He extends his lead in the green jersey standings by 20 points and is now 64 ahead of André Greipel. 

     

  31. 14:32:56 CEST

    The peloton now roll through Die, five minutes 21 in arrears. The riders will now be back with a tailwind as the road turns south once more. 

  32. 14:34:32 CEST

    Sagan strolling through the intermediate sprint in pole position.

     

     

  33. 14:37:31 CEST

    Lots of issues and racing to dissect at the Tour de France at the moment. Why not head over to the Cyclingnews stage 16 forum to have your say?

     

     

  34. 14:41:55 CEST

    It's yet another hot day out there. It's 30 degrees Celsius currently and riders, if not dousing themselves with the contents of their bidons, are sticking their hands up in the air in request of fresh ones. 

  35. 14:45:47 CEST

    The peloton are well and truly cruising and the gap goes out to eight minutes. The breakaway riders will battle it out for stage honours today, it seems. Will we see the two groups of 12 link up? The gap is still just shy of a minute.

     

  36. 14:47:53 CEST

    A shade under 100km to and the bunch are rolling along at comfortable pace. Contador is being brought back to the front after dropping back to the cars.

  37. 14:49:16 CEST

    Quintana already near the front and at the back of the long Movistar train. Today may be a day for the white jersey to test Froome on the final climb and the descent into Gap.

  38. 14:50:54 CEST

    But it's Team Sky who set the pace at this point as Mollema drops back to the Trek team car, the Dutch rider in 10th place on GC.

  39. 14:53:31 CEST

     Susan stepping in here for a short time. Will those first two groups come together? Will they stay away until the end, or will the peloton catch them again? Nothing but questions today....

  40. 14:55:47 CEST

    The gap back to the peloton has now jumped to 9:21.

     

  41. 14:58:00 CEST

    Sky is at the head of the field, leading the chase -- if you can call it a chase....

     

  42. 15:02:49 CEST

    It is another very hot day today, so we can certainly understand why the field is willing to take it easy.

     

  43. 15:06:33 CEST

    Slightly more than the first half of this stage has  been a slight but steady uphill. Soon however, they will start climbing the first ranked mountain of the day, the cat. 2 Col de Cabre, which peaks at km 130.

     

  44. 15:08:20 CEST

    The two lead groups have now come together, giving us a huge group of 23, with a lead of more than 10 minutes. 

     

  45. 15:12:21 CEST

    And here, courtesy of Letour, a list of the 23 leaders: Grivko (Astana), Riblon (AG2R), Sagan (Tinkoff Saxo), De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Geschke (Giant Alplecin), Haller (Katusha), Irizar and Jungels (Trek), Oliveira and Plaza Molina (Lampre), Navarro (Cofidis), Erviti (Movistar), Hansen (Lotto Soudal), Golas and Trentin (Etixx), Voeckler (Europcar), Mate (Cofidis), Pantano (Cannondale Garmin), Fedrigo and Perichon (Bretagne Séché), Boasson Hagen, Pauwels and Teklehaimanot (MTN).

  46. 15:17:15 CEST

    More beautiful scenery, as always, and fascinating ruins. 

     

  47. 15:18:27 CEST

    The peloton is now back at 10:31. Laurent Didier is dangling between the two groups, roughly halfway.

     

  48. 15:20:29 CEST

    Lots of riders now have their jerseys fully unzipped and flapping around, hoping to catch as much breeze as possible. 

     

  49. 15:21:27 CEST

    An AG2R rider has what looks like a bag of ice on top of his helmet. 

     

  50. 15:24:30 CEST

    The gap just keeps climbing, now over 11 minutes.  Sagan is taking a turn at the front, but he is starting to look a little wilted.

     

  51. 15:27:03 CEST

    • Climb

    Five km to the summit for the lead group!

     

  52. 15:28:24 CEST

    Ryder Hesjedal does some fancy stretching exercises at the back of the field.

     

  53. 15:39:08 CEST

    • Tinkoff-Saxo 2015 team jersey

    Rafal Majka is currently holding onto the medical car receiving treatment on his knee. He was off his bike at the back of the bunch, not looking too happy after bit of a tangle with a LottoNL-Jumbo rider. 

  54. 15:41:50 CEST

    The breakaway riders take bottles and gels from team soigneurs as they crest the Col de Cabre. Serge Pauwels leads them onto the descent. 

     

  55. 15:45:44 CEST

    Peter Sagan is in no mood to hang around. He immediately comes to the front on the descent and turns up the heat. 

     

  56. 15:47:44 CEST

    Things come back together at the front and Matteo Trentin has words with Sagan. Something along the lines of "chill out" I imagine. 

  57. 15:50:25 CEST

    A brief statement of intent from Sagan? There can't be many stronger descenders than him in this group, and the drop from the Col de Manse to the finish is where the stage will be won and lost. 

     

  58. 15:54:17 CEST

    The road levels out again and Sagan continues to shake things up, going off the front again. Grivko joins him but the Slovak is ostensibly sizing up his breakaway companions. 

     

  59. 15:57:38 CEST

    Team Sky lead the peloton over the top of the climb, 13:20 behind, and things begin to string out on the descent. 

     

  60. 16:09:39 CEST

    The Col de Manse is famous for what it did to Joseba Beloki. The Basque rider was in the form of his life and sitting second to Lance Armstrong on GC in the 2003 Tour, but then crashed on the descent of the Col on stage 9. His wheels slid on the melting tarmac and he broke his femur, which ended his 2003 season. He has never been the same since and retired after a few years of trying to get his career back on track. 

     

  61. 16:10:44 CEST

    • Attack

    Adam Hansen attacks off the front of the break. He clearly feels he can't leave it too late in the company of Sagan. 

  62. 16:15:32 CEST

    Not long beforehand, Sagan had shut down small digs from Boasson-Hagen, Oliveira and Haller. Hansen, though, has opened up a gap and has a lead of half a minute already.

     

  63. 16:18:57 CEST

    • Team Katusha 2015 team jersey

    Marco Haller attacks from the break now, setting off in pursuit of Hansen.

     

  64. 16:23:16 CEST

    Haller has caught Hansen but their lead is slightly less than 30 seconds. It's difficult to see them staying away. 

     

  65. 16:31:37 CEST

    Hansen and Haller are stretching out their lead to nearly a minute. They'll soon be heading downhill towards gap, before looping round to take on the Col de Manse. They are going to need a bigger cushion to stay away on the climb. 

     

  66. 16:36:41 CEST

    A few riders punctured on the descent of the Col de Cabre. MTN-Qhubeka Martijn Van Schaijk has just tweeted this image, suggesting that tacks were thrown on the road. 

     

     

  67. 16:40:19 CEST

    • Cult Energy Pro Cycling 2015 team jersey

    There are troubling times for the Cult Energy team, who are set to fold in September unless they can find sponsorship. 

     

    Read our report here: Team Cult Energy hanging by a thread and could fold in September

     

  68. 16:45:12 CEST

    Sagan leads the chasers on the early slopes of the climb, but then Geschke goes off the front. 

     

  69. 16:47:13 CEST

    Geschke has dragged Sagan, Riblon, Teklehaimanot and Plaza Molina with him and they're closing down on the leading duo now. 

     

  70. 16:49:43 CEST

    Plaza attacks! The Spaniard opens up a gap immediately and this group has well and truly broken up. Behind him is a chasing quartet of Sagan, Geschke, Riblon, and Teklehaimanot. 

     

  71. 16:53:13 CEST

    Voeckler leads the dropped riders back to the primary chasing quartet and on that note Riblon puts in a brief attack. 

  72. 14.5km remaining from 201km

    16:57:07 CEST

    Six riders have come across and there is now a group of nine chasing Plaza. Voeckler, De Gendt, Pantano, Jungels, and Hansen, and Mate are the newcomers. 

     

  73. 14.5km remaining from 201km

    16:58:06 CEST

    Five riders have come across and there is now a group of 10 chasing Plaza. Voeckler, Pantano, Jungels, and Hansen, and Mate are the newcomers. 

     

  74. 16:59:32 CEST

    Plaza has almost a minute here. This is dangerous. Are the others all just riding against Sagan? 

  75. 17:01:23 CEST

    Team Sky lead the peloton onto the climb behind. 

     

  76. 17:05:25 CEST

    There are a few small digs here in the chasing pack but they're all refusing to drag Sagan. It's uncoordinated and that will only play into the hands of Plaza, who has crested the Col de Manse and is descending with a gap of just over a minute. 

  77. 8km remaining from 201km

    17:06:55 CEST

    Sagan attacks! The Slovak goes off the front on the descent in pursuit of Plaza. 

     

  78. 17:08:34 CEST

    Pantano has bridged across to Sagan, who is going all out and misjudges a right hand bend. A couple more seconds go begging. How's Plaza's descending?

  79. 5km remaining from 201km

    17:09:34 CEST

    Sagan is gaining ground. The gap is 43 seconds. It's falling, but is it going to be too late?

     

  80. 17:10:49 CEST

    Sagan is a nutter. An absolute nutter. It's brilliant to watch though! 35 seconds. 

     

  81. 2.5km remaining from 201km

    17:12:09 CEST

    Sagan is taking every possible risk here and resembles a Moto GP rider as he leans into some of these bends. 30 seconds is the gap. It's going to be too much to ask. 

     

  82. 1km remaining from 201km

    17:13:15 CEST

    Plaza has hit the flat and goes under the flame rouge. It looks like this is in the bag. 

     

  83. 17:14:06 CEST

    Plaza is on the home straight and clenches his fist - he knows he's won it. 

     

  84. 17:14:40 CEST

    Plaza crosses the line, victorious on stage 16

     

  85. 17:15:35 CEST

    Sagan beats his heart and shakes his head as he crosses the line in second place. Pontoon comes home third. 

     

  86. 17:17:11 CEST

    Sagan beats his heart and shakes his head as he crosses the line in second place. Pantano comes home third. 

     

  87. 17:18:47 CEST

    The remaining breakaway riders come across the line but attention now turns to the peloton and the general classification contenders. They're still climbing and we're set to see more drama on the descent of the Col de Manse. 

  88. 17:19:51 CEST

    Warren Barguil attacks, but is chased down by Contador, then Nibali goes clear. The Italian has opened a gap here and is a strong descender. 

  89. 17:21:59 CEST

    Nibali crests the climb with 15 seconds advantage. Sky are on the front but they're not that worried. 

     

  90. 17:23:53 CEST

    Valverde attacks but fails to get away. Froome now down to one man on the front. 

     

  91. 17:24:53 CEST

    This select yellow jersey group contains Froome, Contador, Quintana, van Garderen, Barguil, Bardet. 

     

  92. 17:26:21 CEST

    • Crash

    Crash! Thomas has smashed his head into a telegraph pole on the verge. Barguil misjudged a bend and shouldered into Thomas, who could do nothing to avoid the collision. That looked nasty. 

     

  93. 17:28:14 CEST

    Thomas is out of the running. Let's just hope he's ok. 

     

  94. 17:29:19 CEST

    Gallopin is not in this select group. He's three minutes behind. 

     

  95. 17:30:40 CEST

    There's always something on this descent, isn't there? Thomas is said to be back on his bike. 

     

  96. 17:31:18 CEST

    Meanwhile Nibali comes under the flame rouge with a 22-second lead. Froome has had no real issues in the group behind. 

     

  97. 17:32:48 CEST

    Nibali crosses the line, Contador sprints but they all finish on the same time. 

     

  98. 17:34:15 CEST

    Thomas comes into sight now, being paced to the line by Poels. That's a remarkable escape from what looked like a potential horror crash. He's barely even lost much time. 

     

  99. 17:37:39 CEST

    The rest of the riders filter in. Not much change at the top of the GC, but a dramatic conclusion to the stage nonetheless. 

     

  100. 17:38:35 CEST

    Top 10 on stage 16

     

    1 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Lampre-Merida
    2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo
    3 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling
    4 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
    5 Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing
    6 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
    7 Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka
    8 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal
    9 Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
    10 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar

     

  101. 17:41:33 CEST

    General classification after stage 16

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 64:47:16
    2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:10
    3 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:03:32
    4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:02
    5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:04:23
    6 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:05:32
    7 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:06:23
    8 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:07:49
    9 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:08:53
    10 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:11:03

     

  102. 17:43:33 CEST

    • Lotto-Soudal 2015 team jersey

    Tony Gallopin is the big loser today. He drops out of the top-10 overall. 

     

  103. 17:47:30 CEST

    Ruben Plaza celebrating his stage win.

  104. 17:52:05 CEST

    • Lampre Merida 2015 team jersey

    And here's what Plaza had to say after the stage:

     

    "It was very difficult to get to the finish of the stage today, for the stage victory. I felt pretty good in the breakaway today, and everyone was working pretty well together. This was a stage that had interested me. Thank you very much to my team."

     

  105. 17:57:51 CEST

    Here's what Geraint Thomas had to say about his crash:

     

    "I'm alright, I'm a bit shaken up but fine. I've had a lot worse. It's frustrating, I tried so hard to get over the climb, I don't know why some guys just sit where you are on the descent. What's the difference between fifth and third. Just get down the descent. Everyone knows it's a tough descent."

     

  106. 17:59:16 CEST

    We already have a stage report up with photos, and plenty more to come. 

     

    Tour de France stage 16: Plaza gives Lampre-Merida a win in Gap

     

  107. 18:07:33 CEST

    • Team Sky 2015 team jersey

    Geraint Thomas's sense of humour was clearly not affected by that crash. 

     

    "I guess the doctor will ask me my name and date of birth soon," he said in another interview. When asked if he could remember, he joked: "Chris Froome".

     

    "A nice Frenchman [pulled me out of the ditch]. They are nice here, there's a few that aren't, but a nice Frenchman. I lost my glasses as well - they don't even make them anymore," he continued. 

     

  108. 18:13:46 CEST

    This picture speaks volumes. That's 10 top-fives now for Sagan in this Tour and we've only had 14 road stages. It is the 16th time he's finished second in the Tour. 

     

     

  109. 18:22:38 CEST

    • Tinkoff-Saxo 2015 team jersey

    Tinkoff-Saxo owner Oleg Tinkov was open in his criticism of Sagan earlier in the year but he has taken to Twitter in the aftermath of this stage to show his support for his rider. 

     

    "@petosagan is the strongest rider of this Tour de France, not Chris Froome. iMHO. @tinkoff_saxo and I are proud of him."

     

  110. 18:31:21 CEST

    Alberto Contador put in a brief dig on the Col de Manse but gained no time today. Here's his assessment of his bid for the yellow jersey so far:

     

    "There's absolutely no chance I'm in the same form as I was at the Giro d'Italia earlier this season, obviously. It was a dream to try to win both the Giro and the Tour, but it's not easy to do. You start the race and it's a very hard first week, and you don't have the sensations that you know will lead you to victory.

     

    "The principal objective of being here is to win the yellow jersey, we didn't come here to just take part. In the first week it was really hard for me. I knew I needed to try to attack and pick up time there and wasn't able to. The second week was hard as well. In the third week in the Alps, I still think there's an opportunity. Sky is a very strong team, Thomas is doing really well, but there are other members of the team who aren't great. We're still a long way from Paris, and I think maybe we'll be able to do something against Sky."

     

  111. 18:45:57 CEST

    The debate surrounding the current yellow jersey Chris Froome is roaring on. Today Cyclingnews spoke to Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford about power data and more. Here's the latest:

    Brailsford considers releasing limited Froome data on Tour de France rest day

     

  112. 18:47:22 CEST

    The debate surrounding the current yellow jersey Chris Froome is roaring on. Today Cyclingnews spoke to Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford about power data and more. Here's the latest:

     

    Brailsford considers releasing limited Froome data on Tour de France rest day

     

     

  113. 18:53:37 CEST

    We also have a quotes story from some of the main protagonists of today's stage. Hear the reaction of Geraint Thomas, Ruben Plaza, Chris Froome, Alberto Contador, and Lampre-Merida DS Philippe Mauduit:

     

    Tour de France stage 16 quotes

     

     

  114. 19:04:37 CEST

    Former Tour de France winner Greg LeMond has waded into the murky waters of the debate surrounding Chris Froome and his power data. 

     

    Check out our report here: LeMond: Froome 'within the realm of human performance' at Tour de France

     

     

     

  115. 19:07:20 CEST

    And that's about it for stage 16 of the Tour de France. Our team out in Gap will be brining you all the latest from the race, not to mention a new podcast episode, so make sure you keep an eye on Cyclingnews.com over the next few hours. 

     

    Here's our full report from stage 16: Plaza gives Lampre-Merida a win in Gap

     

     

     

     

  116. 19:10:53 CEST

    Thanks for joining everyone. A rest day tomorrow but we'll be back with live coverage from the Alps on Wednesday. I'll leave you with this picture - he may not have won but there was beauty in Sagan's ride today. 

     

     

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