Home Sports Tour de France 2021, stage 16 – live updates

Tour de France 2021, stage 16 – live updates

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Tour de France 2021, stage 16 – live updates – REUTERS

02:47 PM

36km to go

Patrick Konrad has attacked; the Austrian is going for a long one. Quite a long one, in fact.

02:42 PM

38km to go

Jan Bakelants, Fabien Doubey, and Patrick Konrad are onto the day’s penultimate climb, the category two Col de Portet d’Aspet, which is just 5.4km long with an average gradient of 6.9%.

02:32 PM

45km to go

The UAE Team Emirates are bunched up on the front of the peloton with Jumbo-Visma teammates Sepp Kuss, Wout van Aert and Jonas Vingegaard buried there. At the same time, Ineos Grenadiers are tucked in behind. It all looks pretty relaxed, and they trail by 7min 45sec.

Jonas Vingegaard – GETTY IMAGES

02:23 PM

Wright, said Fred

He’s back on. The youngest rider in the Tour de France, Fred Wright from south London – a product of VC Londres where he used to race with Ethan Hayter – has managed to regain contact with the chasing group. Good news for Sonny Colbrelli, who may be thinking of targeting this stage. I know that that sounds very odd, but the Italian is climbing ridiculously well and finishes second in Tignes.

Fred Wright

02:18 PM

52km to go

Jan Bakelants, Fabien Doubey, and Patrick Konrad are working well together, but their lead over the chasing nine-man group has not grown out that much – it is a shade over half a minute right now.

02:07 PM

64km to go

Over the top of the category, one col de la Core goes the stage leaders, with Patrick Konrad taking a maximum of 10 points in the mountains classification. Back in the peloton, which contains the maillot jaune and the entire top 10 of the general category, EF Education-Nippo has taken over on the front. The UAE Team Emirates appears to have regrouped. Ineos Grenadiers are up there too, but that group trails by almost seven minutes, so this is starting to look like another day that the British team will not be winning a stage.

01:58 PM

70km to go | Wright is dropped

David Gaudu presses on, the injection in pace from the French climber causes a split in the chasing group, and it appears south London boy Fred Wright, one of three British debutants at this year’s Tour, could not quite hold the wheels. Christopher Juul-Jensen, meanwhile, has also been struggling at the front.

01:53 PM

71km to go

Massive effort from Patrick Konrad, the Austrian national champion, has managed to bridge over to the leading trio, catching them just under 3.5km from the summit of the category one-col de la Core.

01:43 PM

75km to go

Jan Bakelants, Fabien Doubey, Christopher Juul-Jensen are being pursued by Patrick Konrad. A 10-man group comprises Alex Aranburu, Franck Bonnamour, Sonny Colbrelli, Benoît Cosnefroy, David Gaudu, Michael Matthews, Pierre-Luc Périchon, Lorenzo Rota, Toms Skujins, and Fred Wright trail by 45sec.

Christopher Juul-Jensen, Jan Bakelants, and Fabien Doubey – GETTY IMAGES

01:39 PM

Geoghegan Hart: Tour debut has been far from ideal

Tao Geoghegan Hart, who is making his Tour de France debut this year eight months after winning the Giro d’Italia title, has been speaking with Reuters, then Londoner saying it has been a steep learning curve.

“In my first grand tour, I acknowledged that [the stakes were higher than in other races] a little bit at the Vuelta [an España] and then obviously the Giro was, and is, another step up from that and then on the Tour [de France] every rider has a little bit more incentive and motivation and pressure to be into that corner in the right position or start that stage,” he said.

“Also, the level is so high that stuff like positioning [to avoid being at the back of a crash] becomes more important. For example, two days ago, the effort required to get to the front on that flat start was considerable. “It’s definitely not miserable. I enjoy racing; I enjoy doing my job and being here with the team,” he said.

Tour de France

“It’s still a massive race every young cyclist dreams of being part of and, at the end of the day, when you get to stage 20 in a grand tour, there’s always the chance that you can turn it around and even if that does not produce 20 or 21 it could be in the future. It is also experience.

“It’s been far from ideal, but it’s the nature of the beast. And I think at the same time, we still got Richard in a good position, and if I was in his shoes, I would be looking around the bus looking for my teammates’ support, and it’s a big motivation for me to give him as much support as I can.”

01:26 PM

83km to go

Jan Bakelants leads the three-man breakaway over the intermediate sprint, while shortly after, Michael Matthews wins the sprint from the second group. As a result, the Australian closes the gap on Mark Cavendish in the points classification, but one suspects the Deceuninck-Quick Step rider will not be too stressed about that. For him, of course, today, tomorrow, and Thursday are all about surviving – finishing the stage safely and within the time cut.

01:20 PM

85km to go

A trio of riders – Jan Bakelants (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Fabien Doubey (TotalÉnergie) and Christopher Juul-Jensen (BikeExchange) – lead the stage by over half a minute now, while there has been quite a split in the peloton with several UAE Team Emirates riders, including Rafal Majka, being in the third group on the road, while Mark Cavendish et al. are 3min 30sec down.

01:12 PM

95km to go

A group of around 28 riders leads the stage; that posse is predominantly made up of the sprinter/climber and puncheur types.

01:00 PM

103.8km to go

All back as one after Christopher Juul-Jensen (BikeExchange) led the peloton down off that descent. Presumably, that considerable effort from the Dane with an Irish accent was on behalf of teammate Michael Matthews who may be hoping to add to his total in the points classification at the intermediate sprint, which follows in around 15km. Mark Cavendish, the leader in that competition, trails by 3min 5sec but has his bodyguards Davide Ballerini, Tim Declercq, Dries Devenyns, and Michael Morkov alongside him, doing their best to make sure he survives another stage in the medium mountains.

12:58 PM

105km to go

Mattia Cattaneo and Michal Kwiatkowski and Kasper Asgreen – REUTERS

Kasper As green, Mattia Cattaneo, and Michal Kwiatkowski are descending on these wet and twisty roads. Cattaneo overcooked a left-hand turn but somehow stayed upright. Hopefully, that will be a cautionary reminder to those following they must approach these descents with care. Fall and a riders’ Tour could be over.

12:50 PM

114km to go

Mattia Cattaneo takes five points at the summit of the Col de Port, cresting the category two climbs ahead of Michal Kwiatkowski and Kasper As green. At the same time, Aurélien Paret-Peintre added a single point to his account in the mountains classification.

12:45 PM

115km to go

Michal Kwiatkowski and Mattia Cattaneo have bridged over to Kasper Asgreen. Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels p/b KTM), Sergio Higuita (EF Education-Nippo), Aurélien Paret-Peintre (Ag2r-Citroën), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) and a few others are attempting to escape from the clutches of the peloton.

12:37 PM

119km to go

Michal Kwiatkowski and Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck-Quick Step) have rolled off the front of the peloton in pursuit of Kasper As green. Presumably, the Italian will not be doing too much heavy lifting with his teammate being up the road. Miguel Ángel López (Movistar) also attacks, but the Colombian is closed down by none other than Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), which is exciting and baffling. Aurélien Paret-Peintre (Ag2r-Citroën), who started the day 12th overall, is having a go as is Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels p/b KTM).

12:28 PM

122km to go

Cofidis, who has not won a stage at the Tour de France since 2008 when Sylvain Chavanel beat Jérémy Roy in a two-up sprint in Montluçon, have had a couple of riders – Simon Geschke and Jesús Herrada – sniffing around near the front of the field.

Simon Geschke – AP

12:26 PM

123km to go

Geraint Thomas has got himself up towards the front of the peloton, the Welshman peers over his left shoulder to survey the pack as, yet again, a DSM rider – possibly Casper Pedersen – puts in a wee dig off the front. The roads are looking damp, relatively narrow in places, and the road is now going up, which has caused the peloton to splinter.

12:21 PM

125km to go

Kasper As green is not slowing as he nears the start of the first climb of the day, the Col de Port is 11.4km long with an average gradient of 5.1%. Casper Pedersen and Jasper Stuyven have been caught by the peloton after a quartet had appeared to attempt to bridge over. Some strong riders are loitering near the head of the bunch, including Michal Kwiatkowski, who may be given a chance today. Ineos Grenadiers have endured the worst Tour de France since their debut (as Team Sky) in 2010 and maybe thinking today is a day where they can right that wrong and win a stage.

Kasper As green – Tour de France 2021, stage 16 – live updates – GETTY IMAGES

12:00 PM

As it stands

It was a slightly later start than planned after the race organizers stopped the peloton at KMO to allow them to remove some of their cold-weather gear. It is pretty damp out in the Pyrenees this afternoon, and so the vast bulk of the riders set off through the downhill section of neutralized roads wrapped up as if out on a mid-winter training ride.

Once through KMO, the official point at which racing can start, Dorian Godon (Ag2r-Citroën) clipped off the front with a half-hearted attack before he was replaced as the lone leader of the stage Kasper As green (Deceuninck-Quick Step). Casper Pedersen (DSM) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) pursue As green, but the pair already trail by over a minute of the three-time Danish time trial champion. The maillot jaune is 1min 25sec down. More attacks will follow, of that, I’m sure.

Casper Pedersen leads the chase with Milan-Sanremo winner Jasper Stuyven on his wheel – GETTY IMAGES

10:40 AM

Bonjour!

Hello and welcome to our live rolling blog from stage 16 at the Tour de France, the 169km run from El Pas de la Casa to Saint-Gaudens. With the second rest day behind them, teams and riders go into the final six-day block of racing with plenty to fight for. True, the top spot in the general classification may, barring disaster, be all but sealed, but there is more to the Tour than just the yellow jersey.

Julian Alaphilippe and Mark Cavendish – Tour de France 2021, stage 16 – live updates – GETTY IMAGES

The big winners, thus far, have been Deceuninck-Quick Step, who, through Julian Alaphilippe and Mark Cavendish, have won five stages at this year’s race. Just eight teams – Ag2r-Citroën, Alpecin-Fenix, Bahrain Victorious, Bora-Hansgrohe, Deceuninck-Quick Step, Jumbo-Visma, Trek-Segafredo, and the UAE Team Emirates – have won a stage at the race, meaning a staggering 15 have yet to register a victory. Despite their efforts Arkéa-Samsic, Astana-Premier Tech, B&B Hotels p/b KTM, BikeExchange, Cofidis, DSM, EF Education-Nippo, Groupama-FDJ, Ineos Grenadiers, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, Israel Start-up Nation, Lotto-Soudal, Movistar, Qhubeka-NextHash and TotalÉnergies are all winless.

Tadej Pogacar and Ineos Grenadiers – Tour de France 2021, stage 16 – live updates – AFP

Today’s stage appears, on paper at least, the last ample opportunity for a big breakaway. So I imagine there will be an almighty battle out on the roads in Andorra to make the decisive move before the race crosses back into France. But before we have a quick look at today’s profile, here’s a quick reminder of who will be wearing what as a respective leader in each of the four main classifications – in other words, those that have jerseys. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) has the Maillot Jaune, the leader’s yellow jersey, for the eighth consecutive day with a not inconsiderable margin of 5min 18sec.

Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) will wear the maillot à pois, or polka dot jersey, as a leader in the mountains classification following an exciting battle in Sunday’s stage through Andorra. As a leader in the points competition, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick Step) will be dressed in the maillot vert, the green jersey. As the overall leader of the race, Pogacar also tops the best young rider classification. However, as second best, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) will wear the Slovenian’s maillot blanc, the white jersey. And for anybody that missed Sepp Kuss’s first Tour de France stage win of his career on Sunday, you can relive the highlights here.

So, what’s on today’s menu?

Featuring four categorized climbs – Col de Port, Col de la Core, col de Portet-d’Aspet and côte d’Aspret-Sarrat – and 3,260 meters in vertical elevation, today’s stage is, as mentioned, a perfect day for the breakaway and one that will work for those teams who have yet to take a win, something of a last-chance saloon. It may also be a day in which we see the battle for polka-dots provide some exciting racing.

Tour de France 2021, stage 16 profile – – ASO

The usual suspects – Alaphilippe, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) – will be tipped by many to win this stage. At the same time, the likes of Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo), Omar Fraile (Astana-Premier Tech), David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), and Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) may also fancy their chances on this profile.

Here’s a look at the all-important numbers from those climbs . . .

. . . and a breakdown of what points can be won in the mountains.

But what about those who only have eyes for the green jersey?