GAP, France (AP) A brief look at the 16th stage of the Tour de France on Monday:
Stage: The 201-kilometer (125-mile) ride from Bourg-de-Peage to Gap, in the foothills of the Alps, took the pack over two mid-sized climbs and a downhill run to the finish.
Winner: Ruben Plaza Molina. The 35-year-old Spaniard outwitted rivals and sped out of a breakaway bunch on the day’s final climb to win by 30 seconds ahead of Slovakia’s Peter Sagan, who was second for the fifth time in this year’s Tour.
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Yellow jersey: Chris Froome. The 2013 Tour champion finished more than 18 minutes behind Plaza, but kept pace with most of his rivals for the Tour title. The Briton maintained a comfortable lead of 3 minutes, 10 seconds ahead of his closest challenger, Nairo Quintana.
How did the ”Fab Four” perform? Defending Tour champion Vincenzo Nibali showed some fight by breaking away from the race leader’s bunch and erasing 26 seconds of his deficit to Froome. The Italian is now 7:49 back in eighth place. Among the other top pre-race favorites, Quintana and two-time Tour winner Alberto Contador both crossed the finish along with Froome.
Quote of the day: ”I lost my glasses as well. They don’t even make them anymore!” – Froome’s Sky teammate Geraint Thomas, a Welsh rider who rode straight into a pole after being bumped off the road by a fellow rider in the final downhill.
Stat of the day: 3. The number of riders, including Plaza, who were each fined 50 Swiss francs (about $52) for ”improper behavior in public (urinating),” according to a statement from race officials.
Next stage: Tuesday is the second and final rest day. On Wednesday, the pack enters this Tour’s piece de resistance – three day in the Alps – with a 161-kilometer romp over five climbs, including an uphill finish, from Digne-les-Bains to Pra Loup.