BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France — A brief look at the 16th stage of the Tour de France on Tuesday:
Stage: The first of three high mountain stages in the Pyrenees, Tuesday’s 237.5 kilometer (147.6 miles) race was the longest of this year’s Tour. The route took the 169 riders still in contention out of the medieval fortress town of Carcassonne and over a series of small foothills before tackling the ‘beyond category’ 11.7 km ascension of the Port de Bales, 20 km from the finish.
Winner: Australian Michael Rogers scored Tinkoff-Saxo team’s second stage win of this year’s Tour, dropping three breakaway comapanions in the final kilometers of the descent off of the Port de Bales into Bagneres-de-Luchon. It was Rogers’ first Tour stage win, and comes on the heels of a stage win in this year’s Giro d’Italia.
Yellow jersey: Vincenzo Nibali of Italy retained his tight grip on the overall lead. Spain’s Alejandro Valverde kept his 4:37 deficit to Nibali to remain in second place overall, while Frenchman Thibaut Pinot leapfrogged from fourth to third place, 5:06 behind.
Quote of the day: “It’s definitely disappointing. I had high hopes for a podium and now it looks like it’s taken a big hit.” U.S. rider Tejay van Garderen.
Stat of the day: 7: The number of 1st category and ‘beyond category’ climbs that the riders will ascend during the three stages in the Pyrenees.
Next stage: Wednesday’s Stage 17 is the shortest road stage in the 2014 Tour at only 124.5 km. Short, but far from easy. After leaving Saint-Gaudens, riders will go up and over three 1st category climbs including the Col de Peyresourde, before finishing with the terrible 10.2 km uphill finale at Saint-Lary Pla d’Adet, where American George Hincapie gained his greatest individual Tour glory with a dazzling mountain stage win in 2005.