Tour de France Stage 16

Tour de France Stage 16

Spanish cyclist Mikel Astarloza, riding for the Basque team Euskaltel-Euskadi, won the Tour’s 16th stage today, from Martigny in Switzerland up and down Alpine peaks through Italy to Bourg-Saint-Maurice in France’s Savoie region. Two French riders, Sandy Casar, of the Française des Jeux team, and Pierrick Fedrigo, of Bbox Bouygues, followed him across the finish line to place second and third.

In a determined salute to his own country, Italian Franco Pellizotti, riding for Liquigas and wearing the dotted jersey of the best climber, took the lead during the race’s brief run through Italy to the Grand Saint Bernard pass.

Astarloza’s first Tour victory did not change the overall standings so far, with Spain’s Alberto Contador still wearing the first-place yellow jersey, definitively eclipsing his Astana teammate Lance Armstrong, who is trailing 1’ 37” behind in second place. Britain’s Bradley Wiggins is third, at 1’47’ behind Contador.

Tomorrow’s 17th stage, takes the race from Bourg-Saint Maurice to Le Grand-Bornand in Haute-Savoie, with climbs through five Alpine passes. And still to come, the rigorous climb of Mount Ventoux, the toughest of the Tour, scheduled for the first time ever on the race’s second-to-last day on Saturday July 25, before the final arrival in Paris on Sunday July 26.

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