2016 Tour de France: Stage 16 Results & Commentary

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    Stage Results:

    Peter Sagan took his third win of the 2016 Tour de France with a photo finish victory over Alexander Kristoff for Stage 16 Moirans En-Montagne to Berne.

    The Slovakian World Champ capped off a brutal day of racing, managing to throw his bike across the line at the last second, overtaking Kristoff with just centimeters to go.

    The relentlessly fast pace for the stage was set early by the unexpected breakaway duo of Jullian Alaphilippe and three time World Time Trial Champion Tony Martin, both from Etixx Quickstep.

    The two were never allowed to get a lead of more than 6 minutes but it took some of the peloton’s strongest domestiques to reel in the two teammates who lasted nearly 170km at the front setting an average pace of 47km/h.

    Their catch with 20km to go set off a number of counterattacks as the race entered the outskirts of the Berne with Lampre-Merida’s Rui Costa staying away until the final 2km.

    The final cobbled climb whittled down the bunch, leaving behind the likes of pure sprinters: Andrea Greipel, Marcel Kittel and Bryan Coquard.

    The sentimental favourite, home town legend Fabian Cancellara made it to the final sprint but didn’t get the fairy tale win coming in sixth as Sagan and Kristoff duked it out for the win.

    The last gasp win all but seals Sagan’s stranglehold on the Green Points Classification Jersey which he will now wear all the way to Paris.

    Despite the high tempo and narrow roads in the final 5km there were no crashes and all the major General Classification riders made it to the finish in the final bunch.

    1. Peter Sagan (Tinkoff)
    2. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)
    3. Sondre Holst Enger (IAM Cycling)
    4. John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin)
    5. Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange)

    Chris Froome (Sky)
    Bauke Mollema (Trek) +1.47’
    Adam Yates (Orica-Bike Exchange) +2.45’
    Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +2.59’
    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +3.17’

    Stage Preview:

    It’s the last chance for the sprinters to make their mark before Paris as the Tour de France travels from Moirans En-Montagne to the Swiss Capital of Berne for Stage 16. Join The Roar for live coverage from 9:30pm (AEST).

    Today is a welcome break for the general classification riders, before a rest day and the week’s alpine finale.

    However, today’s 209-kilometre trek through the valleys of the Jura and into Switzerland is no easy day in the saddle, with a number of non-categorised hills that’ll wear down the men hoping to take the win.

    The finale, in the urban center of Berne, is almost ‘classic-esque’: two climbs in the final three kilometres, the first, 250 metres at seven per cent, followed quickly by 600 metres at 6.5 per cent, then a one-kilometre flat drag to the finish line.

    With only one Category 4 climb, there isn’t enough tough terrain before the final five kilometres for the breakaway to stay away from the peloton, but the final short burst will likely rule out pure sprinters Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel.

    Hometown boy and soon-to-retire Fabian Cancellara will be desperate to have one last day on the podium at the Tour, but is up against stiff competition from the likes of Alexander Kristoff, Greg Van Avermaet, Julian Alaphilippe and Michael Matthews.

    However, the favourite for today has to be Peter Sagan. His four years of green jersey dominance have been built on stages like this one, too steep for the pure sprinters but not long enough for the climbers.

    He won the world championships on a climb just like this, and has the gas to hold off the chasers over the final, flat kilometre.

    I’d love the fairytale finish for ‘Spartacus’, but cannot go past the world champ and green jersey holder, Sagan, taking the honours today.

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    The Crowd Says (142)

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    • 9:57am
      Isiah Pergram said | 9:57am | ! Report

      However, the British cyclist once again hit his marks and remained clear of his main competitors as the stages begin to evaporate in France. Despite the lack of climbing after Sunday’s heavy gradients, the hills were too steep for the sprinters to fully take advantage of the climbers’ tactics.

    • 1:48pm
      Darrin Gagel said | 1:48pm | ! Report

      “The team has worked really hard since the beginning of the Tour and right at the end we lost by a few millimetres. That’s cycling, that’s sport, and so we have another chance in Paris and hopefully Kristoff can win on the Champs-Elysees.” “I wasn’t actually up at the front those last few kilometers, it was pretty sketchy through all the towns, with lots of road furniture, lefts and rights and obviously over the cobbles,” Froome said. “I was just trying to stay out of trouble and get to the finish as good as possible. I think everyone is quite glad there’s a rest day tomorrow, that was a tough day out there.”

    • 1:37am
      Jono said | 1:37am | ! Report

      So many close sprints this year. A bit different from the Giro earlier this year where you had the sprinters winning by a mile in 90% of the sprints.

      Maybe it is just Matthews is still a bit gun shy from the crashes, but his positioning in these bigger sprints has been really poor this tour. If he improves in that he’ll could become an actual Green Jersey/sprinters jersey threat in the grand tours.

    • Roar Guru

      Scott Pryde said | 1:36am | ! Report

      Something tells me the Etixx boys have enjoyed that run into the line! They look rather relaxed.

    • Roar Guru

      Sam Brown said | 1:34am | ! Report

      1. Peter Sagan (Tinkoff)
      2. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)
      3. Sondre Holst Enger (IAM Cycling)
      4. John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin)
      5. Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange)
      6. Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo)

      Full report coming soon.

    • Roar Guru

      Sam Brown said | 1:28am | ! Report

      In the chaos of it all the peloton has split and some of the GC guys have may have dropped off and lost time.

      Froome, Quintana and Porte were all there in the final group. Waiting to see if anyone has lost time.

    • Roar Guru

      Sam Brown said | 1:26am | ! Report

      In the photo finish Sagan has come from behind throwing his bike across the line and beating Kristoff by mere centimeters.

      Michael Matthews has taken 3rd.

    • Roar Guru

      Scott Pryde said | 1:25am | ! Report

      Wow what a finish. Unfortunate for Cancellara because he was up that, but what a finish from Sagan!

      Just wait to hear now if any GC guys lost time. Doubt it, looked like they were all there.

      Cheers for the call Sam.

    • Roar Guru

      Sam Brown said | 1:25am | ! Report

      Kristoff and Sagan take the slowest sprint at the Tour in a long time. It’s a photo finish.

    • Roar Guru

      Sam Brown said | 1:24am | ! Report

      Cav and CAncellara have both made t up the top

    • Roar Guru

      Sam Brown said | 1:23am | ! Report

      Done with the climbs 1km to go. Final sprint.

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