Tour de France 2012 stage 16 photo gallery by Graham Watson>>


Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) soloed to take his second stage of this year’s Tour de France in
Bagnères-de-Luchon this afternoon, and with it the lead in the King of the Mountains classification.

Voeckler broke clear on the stage’s final climb, the Col de Peyresourde, having been in a day-long breakaway. As well as the stage win, he took maximum points on the day’s four-categorised climbs to move into the polka dot jersey tomorrow.

However, the story of the day came in the collapse of defending Tour champion Cadel Evans, who finished 4-48 behind race leader Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Liquigas-Cannondale’s Vincenzo Nibali.

Evans cracked under Team Sky’s pace on the Col d’Aspin and, despite rejoining the peloton before the Peyresourde, the Australian was distanced permanently after the combined efforts of Liquigas and Lotto-Belisol. He slips to seventh overall, over eight minutes behind Wiggins, with even a podium finish looking unlikely.

Large breakaway

A group of 38 riders broke clear 20km in to the day’s 197km stage, although the efforts of Irishman Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) split the breakaway up on the Col du Tourmalet. King of the Mountains leader Frederik Kessiakoff (Astana) was in the group, as was Voeckler, who was clearly after snatching the polka dot jersey away from the Dane.

Towards the top of the climb, Martin, Voeckler and Brice Feillu (Saur-Sojasun) distanced their remaining rivals. Martin then paid for his efforts as the two French riders dropped him at the top of the Tourmalet.

Voeckler and Feillu worked well together, but the former showed his strength when he attacked his breakaway companion on the Peyresourde with 21km remaining. Feillu was then caught and passed by Chris Anker Sorensen (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank), Gorka Iziguirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Alexandre Vinokourov, who themselves had been in the original breakaway.

Sorensen hovered around a minute behind Voeckler, but the Frenchman pushed hard on the 16km-long descent in Bagnères-de-Luchon to seal another impressive victory.

Nibali attacks

Even though Evans was distanced, Nibali was not content to merely settle for third place overall. He attacked on the higher slopes of the Peyresourde, which was enough to shell everyone but Wiggins and Froome out. Once the Sky duo had caught him, Nibali chanced his arm once again, but the Brits weren’t in a forgiving mood. They rode into the finish together, crossing the line 7-08 behind Voeckler.

BMC decided not to pull white jersey leader Tejay Van Garderen back to work for Evans, and not only did the American finish within a minute of the Wiggins group, he moved ahead of his team-mate on GC. He retains his lead in that classification, as does Peter Sagan in the points competition.

Speaking afterwards, Wiggins said: “It was hot out there today. As a team, we passed the test again. It was the ideal scenario, putting more time into Cadel. [Nibali] is a class bike rider; you never underestimate him. But it’s nice to finish with him. Tomorrow’s another day, another challenge.”

Results

Tour de France 2012, stage 16: Pau to Bagnères-de-Luchon, 197km

1. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Europcar in 5-35-02


2. Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank at 1-40

3. Gorka Iziguirre (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 3-22

4. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana at st

5. Brice Feillu (Fra) Saur-Sojasun at 4-06

6. Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan at 4-18

7. Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp at 6-08

8. Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre-ISD

9. Gianpaulo Caruso (Ita) Katusha all at st.

10. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank at 6-11

Others

11. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 7-09

12. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky

13. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky all at st.

35. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 11-56

General classification after stage 16

1. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky in 74-15-32

2. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky at 2-05

3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 2-23

4. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol at 5-46

5. Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan at 7-13

6. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing at 7-55

7. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 8-06

8. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana at 9-09

9. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar at 10-10

10. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  at 11-43

Other

11. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r La Mondiale at 11-47





Tourmalet





George Hincapie and crash injury





Thomas Voeckler and Brice Feillu





Vincenzo Nibali attacks





Bradley Wiggins, Vincenzo Nibali and Chris Froome





Thomas Voeckler wins his second 2012 Tour stage





Bradley Wiggins (right) and Chris Froome nullified Vincenzo Nibali’s attacks





Bradley Wiggins safely keeps lead for another day

Related links


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Rest day review (July 17)



Defending Tour champ Evans has work to do in Pyrenees



Sprinters’ teams unwilling to work on stage 15



Evans suffers multiple punctures after Tour tack attack



Froome not winning this year’s Tour is ‘very great sacrifice’



Frank Schleck criticises ‘boring’ Tour de France



Wiggins: Cycling’s new boss?



Wiggins still Sky’s main man as Tour heads towards Pyrenees



Millar’s Tour win comes after ‘second chance’



Froome explains his attack on La Toussuire



Nibali fails to crack Sky but pleased with Tour mountains performance



Roche ready to achieve career-long Tour top ten ambition



Wiggins: ‘I’m not some s**t rider that’s come from nowhere



Nibali hits out at Wiggins after Tour frustration



Cavendish enjoying new Tour role



Wiggins taking nothing for granted in ‘dream scenario’



Sky keeping Tour focus on Wiggins



Di Gregorio arrested by police at Tour de France


Tour de France 2012: Teams, riders, start list



Tour 2012: Who will win?



Tour de France 2012 provisional start list



Tour de France 2012 team list

Tour de France 2012: Stage reports



Stage 15: Fedrigo wins, day off for peloton



Stage 14: Sanchez solos to Foix victory to save Rabobank’s Tour



Stage 13: Greipel survives climb and crosswinds to win third Tour stage



Stage 12: Millar wins Tour stage nine years from his last



Stage 11: Wiggins strengthens Tour lead as Evans slips back



Stage 10: Voeckler wins and saves his Tour



Stage nine: Wiggins destroys opposition in Besancon TT



Stage eight: Pinot solos to Tour win as Wiggins fights off attacks



Stage seven: Wiggins takes yellow as Froome wins stage



Stage six: Sagan wins third Tour stage



Stage five: Greipel wins again as Cavendish fades



Stage four: Greipel wins stage after Cavendish crashes



Stage three: Sagan runs away with it in Boulogne



Stage two: Cavendish takes 21st Tour stage victory



Stage one: Sagan wins at first attempt



Prologue: Cancellara wins, Wiggins second

Tour de France 2012: Comment, analysis, blogs



Analysis: What we learned at La Planche des Belles Filles



Analysis: How much time could Wiggins gain in Tour’s time trials



CW’s Tour de France podcasts



Blog: Tour presentation – chasing dreams and autographs



Comment: Cavendish the climber

Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries



Stage 16 by Graham Watson



Stage 15 by Graham Watson



Stage 14 by Graham Watson



Stage 13 by Graham Watson



Stage 12 by Graham Watson



Stage 11 by Graham Watson



Stage 10 by Graham Watson



Stage nine by Graham Watson



Stage eight by Graham Watson



Stage seven by Graham Watson



Stage six by Graham Watson



Stage five by Graham Watson



Stage four by Graham Watson



Stage three by Graham Watson



Stage two by Andy Jones



Stage two by Graham Watson



Stage one by Graham Watson



Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones



Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler



Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson



Tour de France 2012: Team presentation



Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce

Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage



Stage 10 live coverage



Stage nine live coverage



Stage six live coverage



Stage five live coverage



Stage four live coverage



Stage three live coverage



Cycling Weekly’s live text coverage schedule

Tour de France 2012: TV schedule

ITV4 live schedule

British Eurosport live schedule

Tour de France 2012: Related links



Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish



Brief history of the Tour de France



Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index



1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever