Australian Michael Rogers finally earned his first stage victory in his 10th Tour de France on Tuesday. The three-time world time-trial champion, riding for Tinkoff Saxo, came home on his own at the end of the mammoth 237.5km 16th stage from Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon. The wily veteran, who won two stages at the Giro d’Italia in May after coming back from a temporary doping suspension, outfoxed four escape companions to finish 9sec ahead of Frenchman Thomas Voeckler, who took second in a sprint finish ahead of Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus. Further behind Italian Vincenzo Nibali held onto his race leader’s yellow jersey, 4min 37sec ahead of Alejandro Valverde, as he came home in a small and elite group of his closest rivals. One of the big losers on the day, though, was 23-year-old Frenchman Romain Bardet, who was dropped on the hors category Port de Bales climb and lost 1:50 to his rivals for a podium finish. That promoted 24-year-old compatriot Thibaut Pinot from fourth to third with veteran 37-year-old Jean Christophe Peraud, another Frenchman, moving up from sixth to fourth. Bardet dropped from third to fifth and is now 6:40 off Nibali but, more importantly having started the day 16sec ahead of Pinot, he now trails his compatriot by 1:36. The other big loser amongst the leading pack was American Tejay Van Garderen who was dropped much earlier than Bardet and gave up around 3:30 to drop to more than four minutes off a podium spot.
1. Michael Rogers (AUS/TIN) 6hr 07min 10sec
2. Thomas Voeckler (FRA/EUC) at 0:09s
3. Vasil Kiryienka (BLR/SKY) 0:09.
4. Jos Serpa Perez (COL/LAM) 0:09.
5. Cyril Gautier (FRA/EUC) 0:09.
6. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) 0:13.
7. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/OPQ) 0:36.
8. Matteo Montaguti (ITA/ALM) 0:50.
9. Tom Slagter (NED/GRM) 2:11.
10. Tony Gallopin (FRA/LTB) 2:11.
1. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) 73:05:19
2. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) at 4:37
3. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) at 5:06
4. Jean-Christophe Peraud (FRA/ALM) at 6:08
5. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) at 6:40
6. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) at 9:25
7. Leopold Konig (GER/NET) at 9:32
8. Laurens Ten Dam (NED/BEL) at 11:12
9. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/OPQ) at 11:28
10. Bauke Mollema (NED/BEL) at 11:33