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2010 Tour de France – Stage 16 News and Updates

| by Sports Nickel

97th Tour de France

Stage 16 – Bagneres-de-Luchon to Pau – 199.5 km (123.7 mi)

20 July 2010

 

France hasn’t been able to celebrate six individual stage wins in a single Tour de France since the 1997 edition. That year, Cedric Vasseur kicked off the festivities with a Stage 5 win on the road from Chanttonay to La Chatre that put him in the yellow jersey for five days. His last day in the jersey would be the Stage 9 ride into Loudenvielle at the foot of the Peyresourde in the Pyrenees in which Laurent Brochard claimed France’s second victory. Two days later, Laurent Desbiens would win the transitional stage from Andorra back into France, stopping in Perpignan for the night. On the slopes of Courcheval, the race now into the Alpa, Richard Virenque sealed his King of the Mountains jersey with a win on the slopes of Courcheval in the Alps. Christophe Mengin won the fifth French stage, as the Tour detoured into Switzerland via Fribourg. The half-dozen would be completed when Didier Rous won into Montbeliard three days away from Paris.

France also hadn’t seen three of its native sons win consecutive stages of the Tour since the 1994 race. That feat also came in the Pyrenees, with breakaway agitator Jacky Durand leading the charge in their direction on Stage 10 to Cahors. On the next two stages, the mountains would arrive proper and again it would be domestic riders taking the spoils. Festina teammates Luc Leblanc and Richard Virenque would be the beneficiaries. Leblanc won Stage 11 to the ski resort of Hautacam, the first time the destination held a Tour stage on its slopes. Stage 12 was taken by Virenque up the slopes to another Pyrenean ski resort at Luz Ardiden.

A Frenchman hasn’t won the race since Bernard Hinault won  his fifth in 1985; a 25-year show of futility on home soil shows no signs of abating anytime soon. So the citizens of the host nation need to find something else to cheer about within their compatriots’ achievements. Today, as Pierrick Fedrigo (Bbox-Bouygues Telecom) held off countryman Sandy Casar (FdJeux) in an eight-man breakaway finish in Pau before the Tour’s second rest day, the two secondary streaks of futility were brushed off in an instant. Fedrigo, the 31-year-old veteran who was the national champion in 2005 and is racing this year in his eighth Tour de France, claimed the third Tour stage win of his career by beating out a field that included seven-time Tour champion Lance Armstrong, his teammate Chris Horner, former Giro champion Damiano Cunego and a third Frenchman in Christophe Moreau.

This stage was a throwback to the first time these mountains reached the race. Much French history has been written in the Pyrenees, and today was no exception. Riding along that classic route heading out of Luchon along many of the same roads that occupied the Stage 10 route in the 1910 Tour on their first passage in competition, the peloton allowed a breakaway to start forming up the road just five kilometers into the stage. Lance Armstrong and Chris Horner (Radio Shack) and Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) would be the only three of the bunch to survive to the finish, the members of the lead group fluctuating as the race headed over the Col d’Aspin, the Peyresourde, the Tourmalet and the Aubisque before the long descent into Pau. They wouldn’t head all the way to Bayonne, but it would still be just under two-hundred kilometers of work for the day.

Armstrong, the inspirational Texan who has changed the prospects of hope for millions of cancer sufferers around the globe, did his damnedest to win one last stage before reentering the life of the retired man. It was destined to be a French day, but at least Lance took one last gutsy go. That pull with Horner and the first section of breakaway riders was a hell of an effort, and to stay away for 97.5% of the stage as someone with as much casual-sports-fan recognition (much less the peloton, who well knows his danger) is downright amazing. With the move Armstrong moved into the top 25, now 33 minutes and change behind the leading time.

That differential at the top changed not one whit today, Astana’s Alberto Contador and Saxo Bank’s Andy Schleck content to watch the breakaway go up the road and wait for their summit finish up the Tourmalet on Thursday’s Stage 17. Neither rider desired to attack today, preferring to leave it to a solitary showdown between the two (and any other rider — Denis Menchov, anyone? — who might be able to make up time on both the climb and the time trial on both of the top two riders) on the second passage of the Tourmalet to celebrate a century in the Pyrenees.

The French may not be anywhere near seeing another maillot jaune on one of their compatriot’s shoulders. They may have to content themselves year after year with polka-dots; after all, we’ve already mentioned the drought since Hinault, the white jersey has not gone to a Frenchman since Benoit Salmon in 1999 and the points have not been claimed since Laurent Jalabert did it in 1995. But they’ve got a new benchmark of success right before the public’s collective eyes, and it comes in the form of six and three — as in six total stage wins this year with three coming consecutively, a new ticker now set heading into next year’s race to see if teams like Quick Step and Cofidis and Bbox-Bouygues Telecom can take things one step further in some of the other competitions…

STAGE 16 RESULTS

1
Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
5:31:43
 

2
Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux
 
 

3
Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
 
 

4
Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
 
 

5
Christopher Horner (USA) Team Radioshack
 
 

6
Lance Armstrong (USA) Team Radioshack
 
 

7
Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Quick Step
 
 

8
Christophe Moreau (Fra) Caisse d’Epargne
 
 

9
Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa) Quick Step
0:00:28
 

10
Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team
0:06:45
 

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

1
Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana
78:29:10
 

2
Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
0:00:08
 

3
Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
0:02:00
 

4
Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank
0:02:13
 

5
Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
0:03:39
 

6
Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank
0:05:01
 

7
Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack
0:05:25
 

8
Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha
0:05:45
 

9
Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana
0:07:12
 

10
Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin – Transitions
0:07:51
 

POINTS CLASSIFICATION

1
Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team
191
pts

2
Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
187
 

3
Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team HTC – Columbia
162
 

4
Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
149
 

5
Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Katusha
138
 

6
Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team
120
 

7
Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
107
 

8
Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram
104
 

9
Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
100
 

10
Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana
98
 

KING OF THE MOUNTAINS

1
Anthony Charteau (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
143
pts

2
Christophe Moreau (Fra) Caisse d’Epargne
128
 

3
Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
99
 

4
Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux
93
 

5
Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quick Step
92
 

6
Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
82
 

7
Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
76
 

8
Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana
76
 

9
Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
72
 

10
Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
72
 

BEST YOUNG RIDER

1
Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
78:29:18
 

2
Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank
0:04:53
 

3
Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas-Doimo
0:07:50
 

4
Julien El Farès (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne
0:40:53
 

5
Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Footon-Servetto
1:12:25
 

6
Cyril Gautier (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
1:15:44
 

7
Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank
1:27:24
 

8
Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
1:31:19
 

9
Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team
1:33:04
 

10
Pierre Rolland (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
1:38:57
 

 

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