Astarloza pips Casar to win 16th stage


Frenchmen Sandy Casar and Pierrick Fedrigo were second and third respectively.
Spain's Alberto Contador retained the overall leader's yellow jersey with a 1:37 lead over Lance Armstrong and a 1:46 edge over Briton Bradley Wiggins.

Astarloza surged in the finale to finish on his own ahead of seven riders who had broken away with him on the two big climbs of the day, the Grand St Bernard and the Petit St Bernard. It was the first Tour stage victory for the Basque rider, 29, who finished 9th overall in 2007. On the last climb, Armstrong was dropped from the favourites' group six kilometres from the summit following a violent attack from Andy Schleck.

Armstrong, however, came back three kilometres later thanks to a surge which recalled the unbeatable rider of old.

Thanks to his effort, most of the Tour contenders - with the exception of Cadel Evans and title-holder Carlos Sastre - rejoined. In the descent to Bourg St Maurice Schleck's German team-mate Jens Voigt crashed heavily after a mechanical incident and was forced out of his 12th Tour.  Wednesday's 169.5-kms 17th stage to Le Grand Bornand, with five mountain passes, is expected to be the most challenging Alpine stage in this year's race.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry