Tour de France stage 16: Plaza wins in Gap

Sixteenth second place not sweet for Sagan

Ruben Plaza edged out Peter Sagan for the win in Gap

This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.

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Ruben Plaza (Lampre Merida) soloed to the win on stage 16 of the Tour de France into Gap after jumping clear of the day’s main break on the final climb of the Col de Manse.

The Spanish veteran attacked from a group that included Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) who gave chase with a nail-biting descent but once again had to settle for second on the stage with the consolation of extending his advantage in the Green Jersey competition. Jarlinson Pantano (I AM Cycling) finished the stage in third place.

Plaza, once implicated but later cleared in the Operación Puerto, timed his attack to perfection on the Col de Manse, allowing for his breakaway companions to soften each other up. After Sagan closed down one of number of initial moves, Plaza slipped clear as the gradient began to bite.

Despite a block headwind on the climb Plaza was able to open up a minute’s advantage by the time he crested the summit as nine remaining men from the break cancelled each other out.

On the technical, even dangerous descent Plaza held his nerve, although there brief flashbacks to Joseba Beloki’s fall in here 2003 when the Lampre climber locked his wheels on a righthand corner. However he remained upright and despite a valiant, and hugely impressive descent from Sagan, Plaza was able to hang on for the win.

“It was very difficult to get to the finish of the stage today, for the stage victory,” Plaza said. “I felt pretty good in the breakaway today, and everyone was working pretty well together. This was a stage that had interested me. Thank you very much to my team.”

Thomas has a scare but keeps 6th in GC

In the battle for the yellow jersey Chris Froome (Team Sky) retained his lead over his main rivals despite pressure from Alberto Contador’s Tinkoff Saxo team on the final climb. The Spaniard attempted to isolate Froome but the climb offered little in the way of opportunity when it came to incline or serious length. Only Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) lost time and dropped out of the top ten.

However a more frenetic race took place on the descent with Vincenzo Nibali reminding everyone that class may be permanent rather than temporary. The Italian cut loose and avoided the danger that followed when Warren Barguil picked the wrong line on the same corner that almost did in Plaza.

The Giant-Alpecin rider, riding in the yellow jersey group, managed to correct his trajectory but only at the cost of Geraint Thomas, into whom he abruptly collided. The Welshman was sent flying off the road and into a ditch with a lamppost the first bit of road furniture to break his speed. However it was Thomas’ head that made the first contact with the structure and hearts were in mouths as the race awaited news of his condition.

The GC contenders rightly carried on and Nibali was able to gain a few seconds on Froome’s group. When race radio finally confirmed that Thomas was upright and only forty seconds in arrears the entire race could breathe a sign of relief.

“I’m alright, I’m a bit shaken up but fine. I’ve had a lot worse,” Thomas said to Eurosport later. “It’s frustrating, I tried so hard to get over the climb, I don’t know why some guys just sit where you are on the descent. What’s the difference between fifth and third. Just get down the descent. Everyone knows it’s a tough descent.”

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Full results

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Lampre-Merida 4:30:10  
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:30  
3 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling 0:00:36  
4 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:40  
5 Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing    
6 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
7 Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) MTN – Qhubeka 0:00:53  
8 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:00  
9 Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:01:22  
10 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar    
11 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement 0:01:54  
12 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team    
13 Serge Pauwels (Bel) MTN – Qhubeka    
14 Michal Golas (Pol) Etixx – Quick-Step 0:01:55  
15 Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:19  
16 Marco Haller (Aut) Team Katusha 0:02:40  
17 Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:03:27  
18 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal 0:04:07  
19 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN – Qhubeka 0:04:14  
20 Nelson Oliveira (Por) Lampre-Merida    
21 Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement 0:06:13  
22 Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek Factory Racing 0:07:09  
23 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step 0:08:44  
24 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:17:44  
25 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:18:12  
26 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing    
27 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
28 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky    
29 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team    
30 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team    
31 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo    
32 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team    
33 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin    
34 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:18:50  
35 Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky    
36 Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:19:09  
37 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
38 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar    
39 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team    
40 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo    
41 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling    
42 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team    
43 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team    
44 Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale    
45 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
46 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr    
47 Jan Barta (Cze) Bora-Argon 18 0:21:05  
48 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
49 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar 0:21:40  
50 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team    
51 Romain Sicard (Fra) Team Europcar    
52 Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida    
53 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team    
54 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal 0:21:51  
55 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal    
56 Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar 0:24:40  
57 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:24:58  
58 Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNL-Jumbo    
59 Marcel Wyss (Swi) IAM Cycling    
60 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo    
61 Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling    
62 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
63 Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin    
64 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team    
65 Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team    
66 Grégory Rast (Swi) Trek Factory Racing    
67 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ.fr    
68 Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement    
69 Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin    
70 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge    
71 Bram Tankink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo    
72 Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling    
73 Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement    
74 Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement    
75 Frédéric Brun (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement    
76 Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar    
77 Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo    
78 Brice Feillu (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement    
79 Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team    
80 Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Giant-Alpecin    
81 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek Factory Racing    
82 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo    
83 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky    
84 José Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team    
85 Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo    
86 Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team    
87 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team    
88 Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
89 Stephen Cummings (GBr) MTN – Qhubeka    
90 Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team    
91 Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team    
92 Julian Arredondo (Col) Trek Factory Racing    
93 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky    
94 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky    
95 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:26:21  
96 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar    
97 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:30:36  
98 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling    
99 Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Team Katusha    
100 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal    
101 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal    
102 Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ.fr    
103 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal    
104 Bryan Nauleau (Fra) Team Europcar    
105 Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling    
106 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team    
107 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha    
108 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin    
109 José Mendes (Por) Bora-Argon 18    
110 Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin (Eri) MTN – Qhubeka    
111 Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar    
112 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha    
113 Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement    
114 Damien Gaudin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
115 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team    
116 Jos Van Emden (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo    
117 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx – Quick-Step    
118 Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team    
119 Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
120 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo    
121 Thomas Leezer (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo    
122 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo    
123 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Lampre-Merida    
124 Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
125 Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
126 Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step    
127 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx – Quick-Step    
128 Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN – Qhubeka    
129 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step    
130 Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
131 Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory Racing    
132 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ.fr    
133 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) FDJ.fr    
134 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
135 Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ.fr    
136 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team    
137 Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
138 Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha    
139 Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
140 Jose Rodolfo Serpa (Col) Lampre-Merida    
141 Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Team Katusha    
142 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha    
143 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Trek Factory Racing    
144 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
145 Tyler Farrar (USA) MTN – Qhubeka    
146 Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling    
147 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx – Quick-Step    
148 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdge    
149 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo    
150 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18    
151 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida    
152 Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN – Qhubeka    
153 Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN – Qhubeka    
154 Jerome Coppel (Fra) IAM Cycling    
155 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx – Quick-Step    
156 Paul Voss (Ger) Bora-Argon 18    
157 Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky    
158 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdge    
159 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits    
159 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge    
161 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal    
162 Svein Tuft (Can) Orica GreenEdge    
163 Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Bora-Argon 18    
164 Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky    
165 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge    
166 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18    
167 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo    
168 Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin    
169 Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar Team    
DNS Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team    
DNF Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky