Tour de France stage 16: Plaza wins in Gap

Sixteenth second place not sweet for Sagan

This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.

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."

Stay up to date with the latest Tour tech at our Tour de France 2015 homepage and be sure to visit Cyclingnews for complete race coverage.

Full results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Lampre-Merida4:30:10 
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo0:00:30 
3Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling0:00:36 
4Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin0:00:40 
5Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing  
6Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
7Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka0:00:53 
8Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:01:00 
9Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:01:22 
10Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar  
11Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement0:01:54 
12Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team  
13Serge Pauwels (Bel) MTN - Qhubeka  
14Michal Golas (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step0:01:55 
15Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team0:02:19 
16Marco Haller (Aut) Team Katusha0:02:40 
17Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:03:27 
18Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal0:04:07 
19Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN - Qhubeka0:04:14 
20Nelson Oliveira (Por) Lampre-Merida  
21Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement0:06:13 
22Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek Factory Racing0:07:09 
23Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step0:08:44 
24Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:17:44 
25Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo0:18:12 
26Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing  
27Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
28Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky  
29Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team  
30Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team  
31Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
32Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team  
33Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin  
34Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky0:18:50 
35Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky  
36Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:19:09 
37Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
38Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar  
39Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team  
40Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo  
41Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling  
42Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
43Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team  
44Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
45Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
46Thibaut Pinot (Fra)  
47Jan Barta (Cze) Bora-Argon 180:21:05 
48Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
49Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar0:21:40 
50Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team  
51Romain Sicard (Fra) Team Europcar  
52Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida  
53Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team  
54Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal0:21:51 
55Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal  
56Angelo Tulik (Fra) Team Europcar0:24:40 
57Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:24:58 
58Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
59Marcel Wyss (Swi) IAM Cycling  
60Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
61Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling  
62Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
63Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin  
64Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
65Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
66Grégory Rast (Swi) Trek Factory Racing  
67Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra)  
68Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
69Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin  
70Adam Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge  
71Bram Tankink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
72Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling  
73Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
74Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
75Frédéric Brun (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
76Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar  
77Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo  
78Brice Feillu (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
79Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
80Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Giant-Alpecin  
81Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek Factory Racing  
82Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo  
83Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky  
84José Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team  
85Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo  
86Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
87Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team  
88Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
89Stephen Cummings (GBr) MTN - Qhubeka  
90Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
91Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team  
92Julian Arredondo (Col) Trek Factory Racing  
93Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky  
94Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky  
95Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:26:21 
96Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar  
97Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ.fr0:30:36 
98Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling  
99Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Team Katusha  
100Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal  
101Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
102Jérémy Roy (Fra)  
103André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal  
104Bryan Nauleau (Fra) Team Europcar  
105Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling  
106Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team  
107Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha  
108John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin  
109José Mendes (Por) Bora-Argon 18  
110Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka  
111Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar  
112Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha  
113Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
114Damien Gaudin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
115Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team  
116Jos Van Emden (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
117Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx - Quick-Step  
118Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
119Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
120Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
121Thomas Leezer (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
122Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
123Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Lampre-Merida  
124Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
125Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
126Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step  
127Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step  
128Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
129Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step  
130Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
131Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory Racing  
132Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra)  
133Sébastien Chavanel (Fra)  
134Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
135Alexandre Geniez (Fra)  
136Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
137Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
138Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha  
139Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
140Jose Rodolfo Serpa (Col) Lampre-Merida  
141Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Team Katusha  
142Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha  
143Stijn Devolder (Bel) Trek Factory Racing  
144Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
145Tyler Farrar (USA) MTN - Qhubeka  
146Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling  
147Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx - Quick-Step  
148Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdge  
149Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo  
150Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18  
151Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
152Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
153Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
154Jerome Coppel (Fra) IAM Cycling  
155Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step  
156Paul Voss (Ger) Bora-Argon 18  
157Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky  
158Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdge  
159Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
159Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge  
161Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
162Svein Tuft (Can) Orica GreenEdge  
163Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Bora-Argon 18  
164Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky  
165Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge  
166Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18  
167Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo  
168Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin  
169Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar Team  
DNSGreg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
DNFPeter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky  

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