Pierrick Fedrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) held his nerve to outsprint his eight fellow breakaway companions in Pau after a big day of climbing in the Pyrenees.

The former French champion had the zip and timing to take the Tour de France’s sixteenth stage, ahead of the likes of more experienced and decorated fellow escapees such as Lance Armstrong, Damiano Cunego and Christophe Moreau.

Pyrenean punishment

The 199.5km route encompassed four legendary Pyrenean climbs, the Peyresourde, Aspin, Tourmalet and Aubisque, before a 60-kilometre descent into the finish at Pau.

Team Sky man Bradley Wiggins joined the likes of Lance Armstrong and polka-dot jersey Anthony Charteau in the day’s original sizeable escape group over the Peyresourde.

However, with the likes of top-ten riders Alexandre Vinokourov and Ryder Hesjedal also among them, the break was brought to heel.

Only over the third climb, the Col du Tourmalet, did a big-name ten man group solidify and slip away. It consisted of Lance Armstrong, Chris Horner (Team RadioShack), Damiano Cunego (Lampre), Sandy Casar (Francaise des Jeux), Ignatas Konovalovas (Cervelo Test Team), Jurgen van de Walle, Carlos Barredo (Quick Step), Pierrick Fedrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) and Caisse d’Epargne pair Ruben Plaza and Christophe Moreau.

Under pressure from Armstrong and Barredo, the group split halfway up the Aubsique before reforming nearer the top. Only Konovalovas was permanently distanced.

Back in the bunch, Astana were content to tap out a steady pace over the day’s last two climb, allowing the advantage to slip up to nine minutes.

After yesterday’s drama, the favourites chose to hold fire, as the long run-in to the finish after the four Pyrenean ascents dissuaded any meaningful attack.

Barredo’s brave bid

Carlos Barredo attacked the breakaway on the descent of the Aubisque, and his brave solo bid looked like it had the legs; at one point, he held a lead of 50 seconds.

However, the Spaniard was visibily slowing inside the last five kilometres, and his eight former companions timed the chase right, reprising him under the flamme rouge.

In the tense final sprint, Fedrigo judged it just right. Coming from five back, he capitalised on the leadout work from the Caisse d’Epargne pair, flying down the inside to beat compatriot and recent stage winner Sandy Casar and Ruben Plaza.

In search of a valedictory win, Lance Armstrong could only manage sixth place, finishing alongside teammate Chris Horner.

It is France’s sixth win of the race. The Pyrenees are also proving a very happy hunting ground for former French champion Fedrigo, who won in St-Gaudens last year after riding over the Aspin and Tourmalet at the head of the race.

Meanwhile, the peloton, led in by Thor Hushovd (Cervelo), finished just under seven minutes down.

The heavy-set Norwegian’s reward for sticking with the bunch over the Pyrenean climbs is a return to the green jersey. He now leads Alessandro Petacchi by four points.

A pause in Pau

Tomorrow sees a rest day in Pau before a hotly-anticipated final day in the mountains.

Starting in Pau, stage seventeen takes in the Marie-Blanque and Soulor before finishing on the Col du Tourmalet.


Tour de France, stage 16: Bagneres-de-Luchon – Pau

1. Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom 5-31-43

2. Sandy Casar (Fra) Francaise des Jeux

3. Ruben Plaza (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne

4. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Farnese

5. Chris Horner (Usa) Team RadioShack

6. Lance Armstrong (Usa) Team RadioShack

7. Jurgen Van de Walle (Bel) Quick Step

8. Christophe Moreau (Fra) Caisse d’Epargne all at same time

9. Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick Step at 28secs

10. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo at 6-45


13. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r-La Mondiale

21. Andy Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank

22. Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana

43. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky

56. Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky all same time

114. Daniel Lloyd (GB) Cervelo at 34-48

115. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Columbia

125. Steve Cummings (GB) Team Sky

170. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Transitions

172. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Cervelo all same time

General classification after stage 16

1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana 78-29-10

2. Andy Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank at 8secs

3. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 2-00

4. Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank at 2-13

5. Jurgen van den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 3-39

6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 5-01

7. Levi Leipheimer (Usa) Team RadioShack at 5-25

8. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 5-45

9. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana at 7-12

10. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Transitions at 7-51


18. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 12-34

21. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky at 17-44

25. Lance Armstrong (USA) Team RadioShack at 33-46

60. Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky at 1-33-12

152. Steve Cummings (GB) Team Sky at 3-15-21

154. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Columbia at 3-17-46

159. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Transitions at 3-25-22

163. Daniel Lloyd (GB) Cervelo at 3-27-48

165. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Cervelo at 3-30-01

Points classification: Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team

Mountains classification: Anthony Charteau (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom

Young rider: Andy Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank

Team: RadioShack

Tourmalet, Tour de France 2010, stage 16

Col du Tourmalet

Lance Armstrong heads break, Tour de France 2010, stage 16

Lance Armstrong heads escape group

Carlos Barredo goes solo, Tour de France 2010, stage 16

Carlos Barredo goes solo

Pierrick Fedrigo wins, Tour de France 2010, stage 16

Pierrick Fedrigo takes the sprint win from the escape group

Tour de France 2010: Latest news

Schleck-Contador friendship turns sour after chain problem

Wiggins at 2010 Tour: “I haven’t got it”

Basso wins Tour’s acceptance; podium spot next goal

Contador versus Schleck: A game of seconds

Can Cav win without Renshaw?

Hesjedal pushing his way to the Tour’s top

Renshaw disqualification overshadows Cavendish’s win

Charly Wegelius pulls out of Tour

Did Armstrong own a stake in Tailwind Sports, or not?

Cavendish in a ‘must win’ situation for Tour’s green jersey

Millar rides through pain barrier to make time cut

Roche alongside Tour’s top men ahead of Pyrenees

Wiggins to aim for Tour de France stage win?

Dan Lloyd battles on in Tour despite groin strain

Tour de France 2010: Stage reports

Stage 15: Victorious Voeckler continues fine Franch Tour as Contador takes yellow jersey

Stage 14: Riblon hangs on in Pyrenees to give France fourth stage win

Stage 13: Vino returns to top of Tour after doping ban

Stage 12: Rodriguez wins as Contador attacks

Stage 11: Cavendish bags third stage win but lead out man kicked out of Tour

Stage 10: Cavendish bags third stage win but his lead-out man is kicked out of race

Stage 10: Paulinho claims narrow stage victory on Bastille day

Stage nine: Casar wins stage as Schleck and Contador go head-to-head

Stage seven: Chavanel wins stage and takes overall as Thomas drops out of Tour’s white

Stage six: Cavendish makes it two as Tour hots up

Stage five: Cavendish wins his first stage of Tour

Stage four: Petacchi wins into Reims

Stage three: Hushovd takes dramatic win; Thomas second on stage and GC

Stage three live coverage: As it happened

Stage two: Comeback man Chavanel takes victory in Spa

Stage one: Petacchi wins in Brussels as bunch left in tatters

Prologue: Cancellara pips Martin to win

Tour de France 2010: Photos

Stage 15 photo gallery

Stage 14 photo gallery

Stage 13 photo gallery

Stage 12 photo gallery

Stage 11 photo gallery

Stage 10 photo gallery

Stage nine photo gallery

Stage eight photo gallery

Tour 2010 wallpaper

Stage seven photo gallery

Stage six photo gallery

Stage five photo gallery

Stage four photo gallery

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one gallery

Prologue photo gallery

Tour de France 2010: Videos

Stage 15 video highlights

Stage 14 video highlights

Stage 13 video highlights

Stage 12 video highlights

Stage 11 video highlights

Stage 10 video highlights

Stage nine video highlights

Stage eight video highlights

Stage seven video highlights

Stage six video highlights

Stage five video highlights

Stage four video highlights

Stage three video highlights

Stage two video highlights

Stage one video highlights

Prologue video highlights

Tour de France 2010: Race guide

Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

Official start list, with race numbers

Brits at the Tour 2010

Tout team guide

Tour jerseys: What they are and what they mean

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins

Tour de France 2010: Pictures

Tour team presentation, Rotterdam

Tour teams take to the cobbles: Photo special