Fedrigo wins another for France as Armstrong joins breakaway; GC unchanged

Lance Armstrong and teammate Chris Horner jump into a long breakaway, but in the end Pierrick Fedrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) nabs the stage win. GC picture unchanged.

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2010 Tour de France stage 16, Fedrigo wins
Fedrigo comes through for the home team

Pierrick Fedrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) gave France its sixth stage victory of the 2010 Tour de France on Tuesday.

Fedrigo was in a nine-man chase that reeled in breakaway Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) with 1km to go in the 199.5km stage from Bagnères de Luchon to Pau. That group contained RadioShack teammates Lance Armstrong and Chris Horner — and though the seven-time Tour champ took his best shot in the sprint to the line, he couldn’t match the speed of Fedrigo, who took the victory ahead of Sandy Casar (Française des Jeux) with Ruben Plaza (Caisse d’Epargne) third.

“I knew it was going to be my day,” said Fedrigo, who handed his team its second win of the Tour after Thomas Voeckler’s impressive victory on Monday’s stage 15.

“I felt something this morning, that it was going to be my day. It’s just little details, like seeing fans of the team and some family, but I knew I just had to go for it.”

After Friday’s fracas on the Port de Balès, the rivals for the overall seemed content to reserve their aggression for Thursday, when the peloton will tackle the stage from Pau to the hors categorie Col du Tourmalet. Yellow jersey Alberto Contador (Astana), white jersey Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) and the rest of the favorites crossed with the peloton at just under seven minutes behind.

A day after they had a falling out because Contador attacked when Schleck dropped his chain, Contador and Schleck had shaken hands and made up.

“It’s the last week of the Tour and I’m sure that we’ll be battling a lot on the (Col du) Tourmalet,” Schleck said. “The Tour is not over.”

Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) led the bunch in, in the process reclaiming the green points jersey from Lampre’s Alessandro Petacchi. Meanwhile, a resurgent Christophe Moreau (Caisse d’Epargne) moved into second place in the mountains competition, just 15 points behind polka-dot jersey Anthony Charteau (Bbox Bouygues Telecom).

A tough stage and a big break

Stage 16 was one of the toughest in this year’s Tour. It crossed all four of the most famous passes in the Pyrénées — the Cat. 1 Peyresourde and Aspin, and the hors categorie Col du Tourmalet and Col d’Aubisque — and included 15,000 feet of climbing.

2010 Tour de France stage 16 profile
2010 Tour de France stage 16 profile

It was all too much for Iban Mayoz (Footon-Servetto), who was involved in a painful crash on Monday; he abandoned the race, leaving 172 riders in the Tour.

But for others, it seemed an opportunity. And when a big group went away at 6km, it contained a very familiar face — that of Lance Armstrong, no threat on the overall but very interested in collecting a stage win in his final Tour:

Break, v.1

  • Lance Armstrong (RadioShack)
  • Chris Horner (RadioShack)
  • Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas)
  • Sylvester Szmyd (Liquigas)
  • Nicolas Roche (Ag2r)
  • Matthew Lloyd (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
  • Steve Morabito (BMC)
  • Carlos Barredo (Quick Step)
  • Rui Costa (Caisse d’Epargne)
  • Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
  • Eros Capecchi (Footon-Servetto)
  • Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions)

Mountains leader Charteau, Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam), Casar and Alexander Vinokourov (Astana) were chasing. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) followed.

Sylvester Szmyd (Liquigas) led Charteau and Szmyd’s teammate Roman Kreuziger led over the top of the Col de Peyresourde.

Charteau, Sastre and Vinokourov finally reached the break, making Vino’ the best-placed man among the escapees (ninth at 7:12), but Van den Broeck was stuck in no-man’s land, 36 seconds back at 23km. The peloton trailed at 1:05.

Bound for the Col d’Aspin the break had 20 seconds’ advantage with Rabobank and Omega Pharma-Lotto chasing. Sastre was driving, and his pace popped Szmyd and Horner popped off the back.

2010 Tour de France, stage 16
Armstrong leads the break

Charteau led the break over the Col d’Aspin, trailed by Casar and Kreuziger.

Casar attacks, Armstrong counters

Then Casar jumped off the front of the break and quickly took 25 seconds, with the chase closing to within seconds of the escapees. Armstrong went after the FdJ rider as the chase swallowed the remnants of the break. He caught and dropped Casar and led the yellow jersey group by 1:42 at the 61km mark.

Damiano Cunego (Lampre) and Fedrigo were chasing at 18 seconds. They caught Armstrong, and Cunego went straight to work, but Fedrigo did not.

Moreau and Jurgen Van de Walle (Quick Step) were next to join the leaders, followed by Barredo, Plaza and Horner. That made it a nine-man group off the front, 3:20 ahead of the peloton, with Plaza the top GC man in the escape, sitting 20th at 14:47.

Break, v.2

  • Chris Horner (RadioShack)
  • Lance Armstrong (RadioShack)
  • Sandy Casar (Française des Jeux)
  • Jurgen Van de Walle (Quick Step)
  • Pierrick Fedrigo (Bbox)
  • Christophe Moreau (Caisse d’Epargne)
  • Damiano Cunego (Lampre)
  • Carlos Barredo (Quick Step)
  • Ruben Plaza (Caisse d’Epargne)

The Armstrong group was 3:44 ahead of the peloton at the 68km mark. Ignatas Konovalovas (Cervélo) was next to make contact. Charteau was trailing by two minutes with the peloton another 1:38 back.

Moreau, hunting mountain points, led over the Tourmalet ahead of Fedrigo and Cunego. With 102km remaining, the gap was 4:23, and it would grow, to six and a half minutes with 88.5km to race.

As the leaders tackled the Col du Soulor, which led to the Col d’Aubisque, Armstrong punched it. Barredo and Cunego followed, the group reformed, and then the American attacked once more. It was Armstrong, Plaza, Fedrigo, Cunego and Barredo off the front.

The reduced group traded attacks on the Soulor — Fedrigo, Barredo and Plaza all tried their luck — but the quintet kept reforming. Moreau, Van de Walle and Horner were at 30 seconds, with the peloton content to amble along at 8:40.

Horner and his companions managed to latch back on to the Armstrong group with 67km to go. And then Moreau — the oldest man in the Tour at 39 — attacked over the top of the Aubisque, taking more KOM points, pulling himself within 15 points of polka-dot jersey Charteau. Fedrigo tried to keep him from snatching the maximum points, but left it too late.

The peloton would not summit for nine and a half minutes, the contenders for the overall clearly having declared a truce for now.

Barredo bolts on the long road to Pau

Casar rejoined the leaders on the descent with 45km to race, just in time to see Barredo leap away. The others hesitated, and in short order the Quick Step man had a 25-second lead.

With 35km to go Barredo had 45 seconds on his erstwhile companions, who seemed in no hurry to organize a chase. Ten kilometers further along Barredo clung to 30 seconds of that advantage.

It would not be enough. The Quick Step man had just 16 seconds with 16km yet to race, and the chasers had him in their sights.

Behind, Dave Zabriskie was leading the chase in defense of teammate Ryder Hesjedal’s 10th place on GC, which was briefly threatened by the presence of Plaza and Horner in the break.

Ten kilometers from the line Barredo’s advantage was 20 seconds. And that’s where it hovered for the next 5km — until the chase seemed briefly to throw in the towel, letting the gap open to a half-minute with 4km to race.

Barredo continued to hold 20 seconds going onto a small climb with 3km to go. Moreau was driving the chase with Plaza parked on the back.

But he couldn’t keep it. Two kilometers from the line his margin was just a dozen seconds with Moreau and Horner driving the chase.

Moreau finally dragged the rest up to Barredo with 1km to race — and that was all she wrote for the Quick Step man, who shot straight out the back, his dreams of a first Tour-stage win extinguished.

Moreau fought to set up Plaza, while Horner tried to give Armstrong the edge, but it was Fedrigo who proved fastest in the finale, bringing France its sixth stage win of the 97th Tour. Casar took second with Plaza third.

Up next

After Wednesday’s rest day, the Tour returns with one final epic stage. Two Cat. 1 climbs will soften legs before the final monster: the hors categorie Tourmalet, this time attacked from the rugged western slope. With the finish at the top of 18.6km of climbing, averaging 7.5 percent, it should be a spectacular finale.

Both Ivan Basso (Liquigas) and Armstrong have won stages to La Mongie, partway down the east side of the Tourmalet, in the past. The Tour has never finished up the western side.

More on stage 17.

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Complete results

Quick results:


  • 1. Pierrick Fedrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom)
  • 2. Sandy Casar (FdJ)
  • 3. Ruben Plaza (Caisse d’Epargne)

Overall standings

  • 1. Alberto Contador (Astana)
  • 2. Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) at :08
  • 3. Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) at 2:00

Best Young Rider (GC)

  • 1. Andy Schleck

Points leader

  • 1. Thor Hushovd (Cervelo)

Team GC leader

  • 1. Team RadioShack

KOM leader

  • 1. Anthony Charteau

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