AG2r’s Cyril Dessel won the 16th stage of the Tour de France on Tuesday, conquering two of the most difficult climbs in Tour history, the Col de la Lombarde and the Cime de la Bonette-Restefond. The Tour had not seen these climbs since 1962 and the list of casualties was long.
Dessel added a healthy dose of national pride into the French hordes lining the course that ran 157 kilometers from Cuneo to Jausiers. The AG2r rider, who wore the yellow jersey after Stage 10 of the 2006 Tour de France, can now add a stage win in the 2008 Tour de France to his palmares (which include a victory in 2006 in the Tour Mediterraneen). Dessel began his racing career with for US based Jelly Belly Team and has been with AG2r-La Mondiale since 2005.