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Plaza Owns First Victory, Sagan Denied Again

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July 20, 2015 – Spaniard Ruben Plaza took his first victory at the Tour de France on Monday’s 201km 16th stage from Bourg-de-Peage to Gap. Slovak Peter Sagan took second for the fifth time at this year’s race as his two-year wait for a stage victory drags on.

AFP/Yuzuru Sunada

Colombian Jarlinson Pantano was third as race leader Chris Froome finishes amongst his main rivals to maintain his 3min 10sec lead over Nairo Quintana. But Froome’s teammate Geraint Thomas suffered a terrifying crash on the hair-raising descent to the finish.

Thomas was baulked by young Frenchman Warren Barguil, who lost control on a dangerous corner, and the Sky rider was knocked off the road, hitting his head on a post as he and his bike went over a sheer drop into vegetation.

3 DOLLAR_SMALL2

The Welshman carried on, apparently “groggy” according to a French commentator following on a motorbike. Reigning champion Vincenzo Nibali, down in eighth overall at the start of the day, attacked at the top of the final climb — the second category Col de Manse — 12km from the finish line, before the scary descent, and gained a few morale-boosting seconds.

Thomas lost around a minute but held onto sixth place overall. The big loser, though, was Frenchman Tony Gallopin, who seemed to lose his bottle on the descent and lost several minutes to drop out of the top 10.

Final kilometer of Stage 16

Results Stage 16:
1. Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Lampre-Merida 4:30:10
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:30
3. Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling 0:00:36
4. Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:40
5. Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing
6. Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
7. Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) MTN – Qhubeka 0:00:53
8. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:00
9. Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:01:22
10. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar

General Classification:
1. Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 64:47:16
2. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:10
3. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:03:32
4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:02
5. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:04:23
6. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:05:32
7. Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:06:23
8. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:07:49
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:08:53
10. Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:11:03