A classic transitional stage brought the Tour to the Alps, and gave Movistar a stage win in the shape of Rui Costa. He was part of a stage-long break of 26, which included representatives of every team in the race apart from Sky and Belkin, none of whom posed the remotest threat to the general classification.

Costa’s win came after a decisive attack on his rapidly disintegrating group 20km from the finish on the final climb of the Col de Manse, followed by a controlled, confident descent and a time trial to the finish in Gap. He arrived with sufficient time in hand to allow him to start celebrating 700m from the finish and work his way through a full selection of victory salutes before reaching the line.

Meanwhile the composition of the break meant that the peloton had been able to extend its rest-day far into the stage. Team Sky tapped out a rhythm on the front, but were content to let the break take over 10 minutes.

On the deceptively difficult Col de Manse, however, the race for the GC fizzed back to life. As the peloton reached the climb, Katusha launched a train of three riders off the front of the bunch in an attempt to pull out a few seconds for Joaquim Rodríguez.

The attack quickly distanced most of the peloton, leaving an elite group including Naori Quintana (Movistar), Alberto Contador and Roman Kreuziger (Saxo-Tinkoff) and Bauke Mollema (Belkin). It also put Team Sky under immediate pressure, and Yellow Jersey Chris Froome was quickly left with only one teammate, Richie Porte, in the group.

The next attack, and the next, and the next all came from Alberto Contador. Porte chased down the first two, and Froome himself chased down the third personally, leaving the group with Contador on the front, mouth agape, and Froome comfortable-looking on his wheel.

Contador attacked again on the descent, chased again by Froome. They both had a significant scare when the Spaniard ran wide on and crashed on a corner, forcing Froome out onto the verge. ‘He was taking big, big risks,’ said Froome later, ‘and he fell off right in front of me. He was attacking uphill, down hill, it was always difficult.’

In the end, though, Porte re-appeared to chase both of them back to the remains of their group, and they finished together 11 minutes after Costa.

Results
Tour de France 2013, stage 16:  Vaison-la-Romaine to Gap, 168km
1. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar

2. Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2r at 42 secs
3. Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ
4. Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis
5. Andreas Kloden (Ger) RadioShack-Leopard at same time
6. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Argos-Shimano at 1-00
7. Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1-04
8. Philippe Gibert (Bel) BMC Racing
9. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
10. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp at same time
Other
29. Chris Froome (GBr) Sky at 11-08
30. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin
32. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff at same time
39. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin at 12-08
40. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing
43. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp at same time

Overall classification after stage 16
1. Chris Froome (GBr) Sky in 65-15-36

2. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin at 4-14
3. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff at 4-25
4. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff at 4-28
5. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 5-47
6. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin at 5-54
7. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 7-11
8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 7-22
9. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r at 8-47
10. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp at 9-28

Philippe Gilbert leads the escape group

Alberto Contador and Chris Froome lead the contenders group on the final descent

Rui Costa takes a solo win

Tour de France 2013: Stage reports

Stage 16: Costa takes solo win as Froome put under pressure

Stage 15: Froome wins on Mont Ventoux to extend lead

Stage 14: Trentin wins from break

Stage 13: Cavendish wins, Valverde loses on stage 13

Stage 12: Kittel out-sprints Cavendish

Stage 11: Martin wins time trial as Froome extends lead

Stage 10: Kittel takes second stage win

Stage nine: Martin wins stage as Froome fights to keep lead

Stage eight: Froome wins Tour mountains stage to take overall lead

Stage seven: Sagan scores first win of 2013 Tour

Stage six: Greipel wins as Impey moves into lead

Stage five: Cavendish wins; Gerrans keeps lead

Stage four: Orica win Tour’s team time trial to put Gerrans in yellow

Stage three: Gerrans outpaces Sagan to take win

Stage two: Millar denied yellow as Bakelants takes spoils

Stage one: Kittel wins chaotic opening stage

Tour de France 2013: Podcasts

Podcast 12 (stage 15)

Podcast 11 (Stage 14)

Podcast 10 (stage 13)

Podcast nine (stage 12)

Pedcast eight (stage 11)

Podcast seven (stage 10)

Podcast six (stage nine)

Podcast five (stage eight)

Podcast four (stage six)

Podcast three (stage five)

Podcast two (stage four)

Podcast one (stage one)

Tour de France 2013: Comment, analysis, blogs

Moto blog part two (July 15)

Moto blog part one (July 9)

Lessons learnt by Team Sky after Tour visits Pyrenees

Was Sunday (stage nine) a missed opportunity for Froome’s rivals?

Rest day review (July 8)

Tour de France: 100 Tours, 1,000 stories

Tour de France 2013: 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 Andy Jones
Stage nine by Graham Watson
Stage eight by Andy Jones
Stage eight by Graham Watson
Stage seven by Andy Jones
Stage seven by Graham Watson
Stage six by Andy Jones
Stage six by Graham Watson
Stage five by Andy Jones
Stage five by Graham Watson
Stage four by Andy Jones
Stage four by Graham Watson
Stage three by Graham Watson
Stage two by Graham Watson
Stage one by Graham Watson
Team presentation by Graham Watson

Related links

Tour de France 2013: Coverage index



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