Tour de France at a glance
BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France – A brief look at the 16th stage of the Tour de France yesterday:
Stage: The first of three high mountain stages in the Pyrenees, yesterday’s 147.6-mile race was the longest of this year’s Tour. The route took the 169 riders still in contention out of the medieval fortress town of Carcassonne and over a series of small foothills before tackling the ‘beyond category’ ascension of the Port de Bales.
Winner: Australian Michael Rogers scored Tinkoff-Saxo team’s second stage win of this year’s Tour, dropping three breakaway companions in the final descent off the Port de Bales into Bagneres-de-Luchon. It was Rogers’s first Tour stage win, and comes on the heels of a stage win in this year’s Giro d’Italia.
Yellow jersey: Vincenzo Nibali of Italy retained his tight grip on the overall lead. Spain’s Alejandro Valverde kept his 4:37 deficit to Nibali to remain in second place overall, while Frenchman Thibaut Pinot leapfrogged from fourth to third place, 5:06 behind.
Quote of the day: “It’s definitely disappointing. I had high hopes for a podium and now it looks like it’s taken a big hit.” – U.S. rider Tejay van Garderen.
Stat of the day: 7: The number of 1st category and ‘beyond category’ climbs that the riders will ascend during the three stages in the Pyrenees.
Next stage: Today’s Stage 17 is the shortest road stage in the 2014 Tour at only 77 miles. Short, but far from easy. After leaving Saint-Gaudens, riders will go up and over three 1st category climbs including the Col de Peyresourde, before finishing with the terrible 6-mile uphill finale at Saint-Lary Pla d’Adet, where American George Hincapie gained his greatest individual Tour glory with a dazzling mountain stage win in 2005.