Fedrigo Wins Stage 16 of Tour
Pierrick Fedrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) has won Stage 16 of the 2010 Tour de France.
Pierrick Fedrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) has won Stage 16 of the 2010 Tour de France. The Frenchman took an eight-man sprint to win the mountainous, 199.5-km ride from Bagneres-de-Luchon to Pau in 5:31:43. Stage 8 winner Sandy Casar (Francaise des Jeux), another Frenchman, outsprinted Ruben Plaza (Caisse d'Epargne) for second. Alberto Contador (Astana) remains the maillot jaune.
The break of the day formed early. At six km, Lance Armstrong and Chris Horner (both from RadioShack), Roman Kreuziger and Sylvester Szmyd (both from Liquigas), Nicolas Roche (Ag2r), Matthew Lloyd (Omega Pharma), Steve Morabito (BMC), Carlos Barredo (Quick Step), Rui Costa (Caisse d'Epargne), Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel), Eros Capecchi (Footon), and Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin) went off of the front. A chase group joined the original break, which eventually included 20 riders, none of whom was a GC threat. Anthony Charteau (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), Alexander Vinokourov (Astana), and Carlos Sastre (Cervelo) joined the break on the descent of the Category 1 Col de Peyresourde.
On the Hors Categorie Col du Tourmalet, Casar attacked. Armstrong chased and caught the Frenchman as the peloton absorbed the rest of the break. The pair led the bunch by 1:42 at 61 km. During the next few km, Horner, Damiano Cunego (Lampre), Fedrigo, Christophe Moreau (Caisse d'Epargne), Jurgen Van de Walle and Barredo (both from Quick Step), and Plaza joined the pair. Eventually, Ignatas Konovalovas (Cervelo) joined the break, which led the bunch by 3:44 at 68 km.
The escapees' advantage grew to 4:23 at 97 km and 6:30 at 111 km. On the Col du Soulor, a series of attacks by Armstrong, Barredo, and Cunego reduced the break to these three riders, Fedrigo, and Plaza. Moreau, Van de Walle, and Horner were at 0:30, and the peloton was at 8:40.
With 67 km left, the Horner group rejoined the break. Moreau led the fugitives over the summit of the Hors Categorie Col d'Aubisque (138 km). At this point, the break led the bunch by about 9:30.
With 45 km remaining, Casar rejoined the break. Barredo attacked. For a time, the Quick Stepper looked like he might pull it off. Barredo led by 0:45 with 35 km to go and by 0:25 10 km later. With 16 km left, however, the Spaniard's lead was down to 0:16.
Barredo fought back. The Spaniard led by 0:20 with 10 km left and by 0:30 six km later. Behind, Moreau and Horner led the charge and cut the gap to 0:12 with two km left. With one km left, the chase group reeled in Barredo.
Horner worked for Armstrong, and Moreau worked for Plaza. In the end, however, Fedrigo charged into the lead on the right side and held off the others. Today's win was Fedrigo's third career Tour stage win.
In the overall, Contador leads Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) by 0:08 and Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel) by 2:00. Stage 17 could change the overall. With only two minutes separating the first three men on GC, tomorrow's final mountain stage of this year's Tour should produce fireworks. During the 174-km ride from Pau to the Col du Tourmalet, the riders will breast the Category 1 Col de Marie-Blanque and the Category 1 Col du Soulor before tackling the Hors Categorie climb up the Col du Tourmalet to the finish. Who will win? Will the yellow jersey change backs? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
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