Tour de France: Matthews wins stage 16

Michael Matthews (Sunweb) took a well-deserved win on stage 16 of the Tour de France, edging out Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) and John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) in a reduced bunch sprint in Romans-sur-Isère. The win marked Matthews second stage of the race and saw him claw back 50 points on Marcel Kittel (QuickStep Floors) in the green jersey competition.

The stage was marked by the constant threat of crosswinds but the lead group only split inside the final 15 kilometres with Team Sky putting the hammer down. Their surge in pace put Daniel Martin (Quick-Step Floors), Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Louis Meintjes (UAE Emirates) to the sword. Martin and Meintjes both lost thirty seconds on the yellow jersey group, while Contador conceded well over a minute to see his top 10 chances take a further hit. Chris Froome had a relatively calm day and leads the race by 18 seconds from Fabio Aru (Astana) and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) in third, a further five seconds adrift.

Rigoberto Urán remains in fourth with Mikel Landa back up to fifth after Martin missed the key split. The Irishman now sits seventh, 2:03 off yellow with Meintjes one place further down the standings, a full six minutes down on Froome.

The stage, however, belonged to Matthews and his Sunweb team who served up one of the best examples of teamwork and sacrifice witnessed at this year's Tour de France. Their masterpiece began early as they dictated the race in the early stages – seeing off Kittel on the first climb of the day before neutralising early breaks and positioning Matthews in the first group. The Australian pulled back 20 points by winning the intermediate sprint with KOM leader Warren Barguil instrumental in pulling the peloton along.

When the lead group eventually did split in the frantic crosswinds Sunweb kept their numbers near the front with Matthews gunning for his second win in less than a week. With Kittel dispatched with early in the stage and Nacer Bouhanni's (Cofidis) reserves depleted after a long chase, the Australian had to be happy to be facing fewer rivals, but Degenkolb, Boasson Hagen and André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) would be no pushovers, especially given that all three are still searching for their first stage wins this year.

In the technical finale Matthews was brought to the front by Nikias Ardnt, just as Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet began to lead out with 300 metres to go. The BMC rider's tactics were clear – hit the front through the tight corners and hold out for as long as possible – but with Boasson Hagen, Matthews, and Degenkolb all hovering it was always going to be a tough ask.

The leading sprinters simply used Van Avermaet as their final marker, kicking past him with the line in sight, as Boasson Hagen went left and Degenkolb and Matthews opted for the other side. Degenkolb cut a frustrated figure as he came over the finish, gesturing that Matthews – who took his place on Sunweb – had deviated his line in the sprint. Matthews took the win as Boasson Hagen passed Degenkolb in the closing metres to take second place.

Matthews, who left Orica-Scott to focus on days like today now has two wins to his 2017 Tour palmares, and with the lead to Kittel cut to just 29, even greater reward could lie ahead.

How it unfolded

After Monday’s rest day one would have been forgiven for thinking that all the hot air had been used up in Dave Brailsford’s four letter rant but the forecast at Le Puy-en-Velay warned of severe cross winds as the peloton embarked on the 165km to Romans-sur-Isère.

The weather conditions provided a chance for team directors to break out their highlighters and scribble frantic notes on their Tour road books as they attempted to warn their riders of the dangers that lay ahead.

However, it was the riders and not the weather that made the race inside the opening few kilometres of the stage. Lotto Soudal's Thomas De Gendt made his customary assault in the early kilometres with Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) among a small pocket of riders joining the Belgian.

The peloton were in no mood to allow a group to move clear and Sunweb’s intent became clear as the rode began to climb. They posted men on the front in a bid to test Kittel on the first fourth-category climb, with Matthews himself jumping away. Kittel held the Australian once but when Sunweb put the hammer down for a second time the Green jersey was forced to relent, and he duly switched tactics in a bid to limit his losses.

As the descent began, Kittel and a clutch of sprinters were at 29 seconds, as a volley of QuickStep riders nursed the German towards what they thought would be quick return to the lead group.

However half a minute quickly doubled, and doubled again, before QuickStep – perhaps the team best equipped for crosswinds – realised that their GC leader Martin was isolated up front with just two men. It was a move they would pay for later in the stage.

If Kittel was having a bad day it was even worse for George Bennett, who started the day with genuine hopes of finishing inside the top 10 come Paris. However, hampered by sickness, he was forced out of the race.

Meanwhile, Nacer Bouhanni had no intentions of throwing in the towel. The Frenchman, disgusted that he had missed the split, called back teammates, and surged off the front in a bid to close down the peloton. He flew out of the Kittel group as if there were just 500 metres to go but made the improbable juncture with over 50 kilometres left to race.


After Matthews picked up 20 points at the intermediate sprint all eyes turned back to the crosswinds. The key sectors were to come with around 37 kilometres remaining and the tension was palpable as riders dragged their GC candidates to the front and rubbed shoulders with their rivals.

Sky were well positioned and had numbers, only missing Luke Rowe from the early cut, while Bardet, Urán and even Nairo Quintana (Movistar) had strong supporting casts. Martin, with only two men, looked vulnerable, as did Trek's Alberto Contador, who despite an attack from his team at one point, never looked comfortable as he searched for the best place to position himself.

With 15 kilometres to go it looked as though the worst sectors had been navigated safely enough but as the bunch rounded a corner Team Sky put the hammer down. The first acceleration almost caught out Astana's Fabio Aru, who sprinted like his life depended on it, as fractures in the field began to show. As Team Sky turned the screw further splits appeared. Bardet made it by the skin of his teeth but Martin, Meintjes and Contador were left stranded with the maillot jaune, Sunweb and Movistar all the willing to keep the pace high.

When Movistar's Daniele Bennati jumped off the front with 2000 metres to go it looked as though Matthews and the surviving sprinters would be thwarted but Barguil made one last push, with Dimension Data also keen to play a part. Sometimes though, you get what you deserve in cycling and in Romans-sur-Isère Matthews and Sunweb were rewarded with the spoils their daylong efforts warranted.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb3:38:15
2Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension DataRow 1 - Cell 2
3John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-SegafredoRow 2 - Cell 2
4Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 3 - Cell 2
5Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 4 - Cell 2
6Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-ScottRow 5 - Cell 2
7Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto SoudalRow 6 - Cell 2
8Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 7 - Cell 2
9Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 8 - Cell 2
10Romain Hardy (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 9 - Cell 2
11Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension DataRow 10 - Cell 2
12Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-DrapacRow 11 - Cell 2
13Christopher Froome (GBr) Team SkyRow 12 - Cell 2
14Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-ScottRow 13 - Cell 2
15Mikel Landa (Spa) Team SkyRow 14 - Cell 2
16Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 15 - Cell 2
17Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 17 - Cell 2
19Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar TeamRow 18 - Cell 2
20Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 19 - Cell 2
21Warren Barguil (Fra) Team SunwebRow 20 - Cell 2
22Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 21 - Cell 2
23Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:15
24Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team0:00:17
25Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 24 - Cell 2
26Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb0:00:22
27Scott Thwaites (GBr) Dimension Data0:00:23
28Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar Team0:00:28
29Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team Emirates0:00:51
30Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 29 - Cell 2
31Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step FloorsRow 30 - Cell 2
32Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-ScottRow 31 - Cell 2
33Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 32 - Cell 2
34Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 33 - Cell 2
35Sergio Henao (Col) Team SkyRow 34 - Cell 2
36Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 35 - Cell 2
37Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 36 - Cell 2
38Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-DrapacRow 37 - Cell 2
39Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-HansgroheRow 38 - Cell 2
40Amael Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing TeamRow 39 - Cell 2
41Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 40 - Cell 2
42Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin0:00:53
43André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal0:01:25
44Brice Feillu (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro0:01:33
45Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain-MeridaRow 44 - Cell 2
46Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 45 - Cell 2
47Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar TeamRow 46 - Cell 2
48Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension DataRow 47 - Cell 2
49Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 48 - Cell 2
50Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 49 - Cell 2
51Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 50 - Cell 2
52Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Katusha-AlpecinRow 51 - Cell 2
53Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team SkyRow 52 - Cell 2
54Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar TeamRow 53 - Cell 2
55Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar TeamRow 54 - Cell 2
56Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team EmiratesRow 55 - Cell 2
57Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team EmiratesRow 56 - Cell 2
58Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Orica-ScottRow 57 - Cell 2
59Matteo Bono (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 58 - Cell 2
60Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJRow 59 - Cell 2
61Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-ScottRow 60 - Cell 2
62Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension DataRow 61 - Cell 2
63Elie Gesbert (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 62 - Cell 2
64Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 63 - Cell 2
65Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:40
66Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe0:01:43
67Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 66 - Cell 2
68Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 67 - Cell 2
69Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team0:01:58
70Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:02:06
71Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie0:02:09
72Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky0:02:14
73Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:02:32
74Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky0:02:39
75Jack Bauer (NZl) Quick-Step Floors0:02:44
76Koen De Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo0:02:51
77Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team SunwebRow 76 - Cell 2
78Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 77 - Cell 2
79Maxime Bouet (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 78 - Cell 2
80Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 79 - Cell 2
81Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 80 - Cell 2
82Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 81 - Cell 2
83Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La MondialeRow 82 - Cell 2
84Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 83 - Cell 2
85Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team EmiratesRow 84 - Cell 2
86Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale-DrapacRow 85 - Cell 2
87Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Bahrain-MeridaRow 86 - Cell 2
88Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:03:35
89Yohann Gene (Fra) Direct Energie0:04:24
90Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-Alpecin0:04:54
91Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 90 - Cell 2
92Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 91 - Cell 2
93Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 92 - Cell 2
94Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 93 - Cell 2
95Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 94 - Cell 2
96Simon Geschke (Ger) Team SunwebRow 95 - Cell 2
97Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 96 - Cell 2
98Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie0:05:05
99Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 98 - Cell 2
100Davide Cimolai (Ita) FDJRow 99 - Cell 2
101Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 100 - Cell 2
102Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 101 - Cell 2
103Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team SkyRow 102 - Cell 2
104Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:05:19
105Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:05:45
106Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb0:06:19
107Roy Curvers (Ned) Team SunwebRow 106 - Cell 2
108Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 107 - Cell 2
109Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-ScottRow 108 - Cell 2
110Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJRow 109 - Cell 2
111Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 110 - Cell 2
112Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale-DrapacRow 111 - Cell 2
113Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 112 - Cell 2
114Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 113 - Cell 2
115Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:06:45
116Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Drapac0:07:02
117Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:07:38
118Javier Moreno (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:09:09
119Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 118 - Cell 2
120Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Sunweb0:09:59
121Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team SunwebRow 120 - Cell 2
122Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-SegafredoRow 121 - Cell 2
123Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension DataRow 122 - Cell 2
124Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal0:16:19
125Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 124 - Cell 2
126Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 125 - Cell 2
127Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto SoudalRow 126 - Cell 2
128Adam James Hansen (Aus) Lotto SoudalRow 127 - Cell 2
129Luke Rowe (GBr) Team SkyRow 128 - Cell 2
130Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 129 - Cell 2
131Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-AlpecinRow 130 - Cell 2
132Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 131 - Cell 2
133Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 132 - Cell 2
134Julien Vermote (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 133 - Cell 2
135Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-AlpecinRow 134 - Cell 2
136Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step FloorsRow 135 - Cell 2
137Florian Vachon (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 136 - Cell 2
138Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-DrapacRow 137 - Cell 2
139Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 138 - Cell 2
140Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-AlpecinRow 139 - Cell 2
141Borut Bozic (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 140 - Cell 2
142Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 141 - Cell 2
143Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 142 - Cell 2
144Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 143 - Cell 2
145Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 144 - Cell 2
146Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-SegafredoRow 145 - Cell 2
147Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 146 - Cell 2
148Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 147 - Cell 2
149Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 148 - Cell 2
150Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 149 - Cell 2
151Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 150 - Cell 2
152Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJRow 151 - Cell 2
153Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 152 - Cell 2
154Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 153 - Cell 2
155Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 154 - Cell 2
156Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 155 - Cell 2
157Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 156 - Cell 2
158Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 157 - Cell 2
159Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 158 - Cell 2
160Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step FloorsRow 159 - Cell 2
161Ondrej Cink (Cze) Bahrain-MeridaRow 160 - Cell 2
162Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 161 - Cell 2
163Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-DrapacRow 162 - Cell 2
164Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 163 - Cell 2
165Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 164 - Cell 2
166Thomas Leezer (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 165 - Cell 2
167Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension DataRow 166 - Cell 2
168Robert Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 167 - Cell 2
169Taylor Phinney (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 168 - Cell 2
170Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 169 - Cell 2
171Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:26:17
172Laurent Pichon (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 171 - Cell 2
173Daniel Mclay (GBr) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 172 - Cell 2
DNFGeorge Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 173 - Cell 2
DNSPhilippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 174 - Cell 2
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Sprint 1 - Chantemerle-Les-Blés - 121.5 Km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb20pts
2André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal17Row 1 - Cell 3
3Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida15Row 2 - Cell 3
4Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Sunweb13Row 3 - Cell 3
5Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-Scott11Row 4 - Cell 3
6Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-Scott8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Sunweb6Row 9 - Cell 3
11Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data5Row 10 - Cell 3
12Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky4Row 11 - Cell 3
13Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky3Row 12 - Cell 3
14Scott Thwaites (GBr) Dimension Data2Row 13 - Cell 3
15Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team1Row 14 - Cell 3
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Finish Line Points - Romans-Sur-Isère - 165.0 Km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb30pts
2Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data25Row 1 - Cell 3
3John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo22Row 2 - Cell 3
4Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team19Row 3 - Cell 3
5Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits17Row 4 - Cell 3
6Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-Scott15Row 5 - Cell 3
7Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal13Row 6 - Cell 3
8Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal11Row 7 - Cell 3
9Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe9Row 8 - Cell 3
10Romain Hardy (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro7Row 9 - Cell 3
11Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data6Row 10 - Cell 3
12Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac5Row 11 - Cell 3
13Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky4Row 12 - Cell 3
14Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott3Row 13 - Cell 3
15Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky2Row 14 - Cell 3
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KOM 1 - Côte de Boussoulet - 20.5 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal2pts
2Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie1Row 1 - Cell 3
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KOM 2 - Col du Rouvey - 65.0 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb1
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Most Combative
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie
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Best Young Rider
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits3:38:15
2Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 1 - Cell 2
3Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-ScottRow 2 - Cell 2
4Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 3 - Cell 2
5Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team Emirates0:00:51
6Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 5 - Cell 2
7Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 6 - Cell 2
8Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 7 - Cell 2
9Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-DrapacRow 8 - Cell 2
10Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-HansgroheRow 9 - Cell 2
11Jasha Sütterlin