Preview — 2016 Tour de France, stage 16
Stage 16 offers the sprinters another chance. But given the finish atop a short and steep cobbled climb in Switzerland’s capital of Berne, it’s hard not to think that Fabian Cancellara, taking part in his final Tour, will have a go. The finish also sits just a few kilometers from Spartacus’s hometown, Wohlen bei Bern, so he’ll be on familiar terrain. The joy of the local fans will be palpable, especially if he manages to win.
The photo finish booth has been busy at this year’s Tour de France, and on Monday, it was Peter Sagan winning stage 16 by a whisker ahead of Alexander Kristoff in Bern, Switzerland. It was the Tinkoff rider’s third victory in this Tour, and for Katusha’s Kristoff, another disappointing close call after he mistimed his bike throw.
“It was very long stage, it was very hot. I am so happy, so proud of my team because they did very good job,” said Sagan. “It’s unbelievable, a lot of times I lose the race for this [indicating the narrow margin of victory], and today I won. I believe in destiny, and now it’s turning back.”
Stage 16, top 10
- 1. Peter SAGAN, TINKOFF, in 4:26:02
- 2. Alexander KRISTOFF, TEAM KATUSHA, at :00
- 3. Sondre HOLST ENGER, IAM CYCLING, at :00
- 4. John DEGENKOLB, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at :00
- 5. Michael MATTHEWS, ORICA-BIKEEXCHANGE, at :00
- 6. Fabian CANCELLARA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at :00
- 7. Sep VANMARCKE, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :00
- 8. Maximiliano Ariel RICHEZE, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at :00
- 9. Edvald BOASSON HAGEN, DIMENSION DATA, at :00
- 10. Greg VAN AVERMAET, BMC RACING TEAM, at :00
- 1. Christopher FROOME, TEAM SKY, in 72:40:38
- 2. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 1:47
- 3. Adam YATES, ORICA-BIKEEXCHANGE, at 2:45
- 4. Nairo Alexander QUINTANA ROJAS, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 2:59
- 5. Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 3:17
- 6. Romain BARDET, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 4:04
- 7. Richie PORTE, BMC RACING TEAM, at 4:27
- 8. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC RACING TEAM, at 4:47
- 9. Daniel MARTIN, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at 5:03
- 10. Fabio ARU, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 5:16
The 209-kilometer ride from Moirans-en-Montagne, France to Berne was animated by Etixx – Quick-Step’s Julian Alaphilippe and Tony Martin, who held off the peloton for much of the day, riding a two-man team time trial.
Alaphilippe was caught with about 25km to go, and soon thereafter, Martin returned to the peloton. Next, it was Lampre – Merida’s Rui Costa with a quick counterattack. The Portuguese rider lasted out front for a while but was caught with about 4.5km to go.
On a technical run to the line, LottoNL – Jumbo’s Sep Vanmarcke attacked on a cobblestone climb with 2km to go. Raimunas Navardauskas (Cannondale – Drapac) followed. Their move was quickly brought back by the peloton, which was led by Giant – Alpecin’s Warren Barguil.
Sagan sat second wheel, ready to pounce with one kilometer to go.
Etixx – Quick-Step started the sprint with about 200 meters to go on the gradual uphill to the line. Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde had a go, moving to the front on the grinding finish.
Kristoff launched his sprint, and Sagan hopped off his wheel with about 100 meters to go. It appeared that the Norwegian mistimed his bike throw and was pipped at the line by the green jersey wearer.
“I was not waiting for the results, I thought I was second until they came and told me I had won. It’s unbelievable after so many times finishing second,” said Sagan, who has been second 17 times on Tour stages. The Slovak, who won his third Tour stage this year and seventh in total, said it was a technical mistake that cost Kristoff what would have been his third stage success at the race after two in 2014.
“You can see from the final picture — I’ve lost a lot of times like this, by a very small piece of tyre,” Sagan, 26, added. “Today I was lucky. Alexander just made his jump on the line very late; I jumped before. When you jump you have to pull the bike on the front — at that moment he was pulling on the back, not on the front.”
The peloton will take its second and final rest day on Tuesday ahead of a string of tough mountain stages in the Alps, Wednesday through Saturday.