Alejandro Valverde took another major step towards clinch the first major Tour of his career when he successfully defended his lead in the toughest mountain stage of the final week. The day?s win went to young Euskaltel-Euskadi climber Igor Anton, but the big news was that Valverde - second two dozen seconds behind - was able to fend off his most dangerous gc rival, Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana).

On a rainsoaked day when eight riders failed to start - amongst them Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) and Paris-Roubaix winner Fabian Cancellara (CSC) - and a further six quit or missed the time cut, the three major mountain climbs on stage 16 culminating in a second ascent of the 20 kilometre colossus Calar Alto, shattered the field.

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Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.