Tour de France stage 16: Australian Rogers wins

Australian rider Michael Rogers won stage 16 of the Tour de France in the Pyrenees on Tuesday ahead of Frenchman Thomas Voeckler. The 237.5km stage was the longest of the the 2014 "Grande Boucle".

Tour de France stage 16: Australian Rogers wins
Australian Michael Rogers won the 16th stage of the Tour de France on Tuesday. Photo: Eric Feferberg/AFP


Australian Michael Rogers won the 16th stage of the Tour de France on Tuesday.

The wily veteran, who won two stages at the Giro d'Italia in May after coming back from a temporary doping suspension, outfoxed four escape companions to take the win following a mammoth 237.5km from Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon.

Frenchman Thomas Voeckler took second on the stage in a sprint finish ahead of Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus.

Further behind Italian Vincenzo Nibali held onto his race leader's yellow jersey, 4min 37sec ahead of Alejandro Valverde, as he came home in a small and elite group of his closest rivals.

One of the big losers on the day, though, was 23-year-old Frenchman Romain Bardet, who was dropped on the hors category Port de Bales climb and lost 1:50 to his rivals for a podium finish.

That promoted 24-year-old compatriot Thibaut Pinot from fourth to third with veteran 37-year-old Jean Christophe Peraud, another Frenchman, moving up from sixth to fourth.

Bardet dropped from third to fifth and is now 6:40 off Nibali but, more importantly having started the day 16sec ahead of Pinot, he now trails his compatriot by 1:36.

The other big loser amongst the leading pack was American Tejay Van Garderen who was dropped much earlier than Bardet and gave up around 3:30 to drop to more than four minutes off a podium spot.


Tour de France leader Vincenzo Nibala and his fellow riders head into the Pyrenees on Tuesday and despite a healthy lead of 4m37 seconds over second placed Alejandro Valverde, the Italian rider said he and his Astana teammates will need to take care over the coming days.

"The week that's coming is very important, the best thing will be to keep our concentration because there will be difficulties," said the 29-year-old Italian.

"We must be wary of breakaways because there will be people who are now a long way back in the standings who could get into a dangerous breakaway, so it could become difficult to manage the race and the support of the team will be very important."

Tuesday's 237.5km trek from Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon is the longest stage of the race and tackles the hors category Porte de Bales climb before heading into a speedy 20km descent to the finish.

Wednesday's stage from Saint-Gaudens is more than 100km shorter at 124.5km but that will merely push the pace up and it includes three first category climbs before the hors category summit finish at Saint-Lary.

It's the biggest danger for sprinters who will need to get home inside the time limit in order to continue.

If that isn't enough, Thursday's 145.5km stage from Pau tackles the two behemoths of the race, the Col du Tourmalet and the Hautacam summit finish.

With Nibali almost over the hill and out of sight, there is at least an intriguing battle for second with five riders separated by just 1:31.

VIDEO preview of stage below:

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Inaugural Women’s Tour de France to start at Eiffel Tower

The route for the inaugural women's Tour de France was unveiled on Thursday with eight stages, embarking from the Eiffel Tower on July 24th next year.

French cyclist Marion Rousse delivers a speech next to Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme during the presentation of the first edition of the Women's Tour de France cycling race.
French cyclist Marion Rousse delivers a speech next to Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme during the presentation of the first edition of the Women's Tour de France cycling race. Photo: Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP.

The first complete edition of the women’s version of cycling’s iconic race starts on the day the 109th edition of the men’s Tour ends.

After a route that winds through northern France, the race culminates in the Planche des Belles Filles climb in the Vosges mountains.

Danish cyclist Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig said she was over the moon to be taking part.

“I want it to be July now so we can get stared,” she said actually jumping up and down.

“The Tour de France is a reference and when you say you are a cyclist people ask about that. Now I can say I race the Tour de France,” she said after the presentation.

MAP: Details of 2022 Tour de France (and Denmark) revealed

Race director Marion Rousse, a former French cycling champion and now a TV commentator, told AFP it would be a varied course that would maintain suspense over the eight days.

“It is coherent in a sporting sense, and we wanted to start from Paris,” she said of the 1,029km run.

“With only eight stages we couldn’t go down to the Alps or the Pyrenees, the transfers would be too long.

“The stages obviously are shorter for the women than for the men’s races. The men can go 225 kilometres. For the women the longest race on our roster is 175km and we even needed special dispensation for that,” she said. “But it’s a course I love.”

Christian Prudhomme, the president of the Tour de France organisers, was equally enthusiastic.

“The fact it sets off from Paris the day the men’s race ends gives the new race a boost because it sets the media up to follow it more easily.

“It also means that with the Tour de France starting on July 1st and the women’s race ending on the 31st, there will be cycling on television every day of July.”

The men’s race is broadcast in around 190 countries.