Costa wins; Froome, Contador avert disaster
Yellow jersey holder Chris Froome and rival Alberto Contador narrowly avoided disaster from a late crash during a dramatic finale to the 16th stage of the Tour de France, won by Portuguese Rui Costa on Tuesday.other Updated: Jul 17, 2013 01:57 IST
Yellow jersey holder Chris Froome and rival Alberto Contador narrowly avoided disaster from a late crash during a dramatic finale to the 16th stage of the Tour de France, won by Portuguese Rui Costa on Tuesday.
Movistar rider Costa achieved solo victory in the undulating 168km ride from Vaison-La-Romaine to Gap after a late attack on the final climb of the day, the 9.5 km-long Col de Manse.Costa, taking his second career stage win on the race, had been part of an earlier 26-man breakaway that built a significant lead on the main peloton over the hilly terrain leading to Gap.
Froome and Spanish rival Contador, who had tested the Briton with several attacks on the way to the Manse summit, both escaped disaster after crashing on one of the tight corners on the descent.
Froome went off the road and had to put one foot on the ground to steady himself, while Contador came off his bike altogether.
With overall second-placed Bauke Mollema showing his class by slowing down to allow Froome and Contador to catch up, they resumed racing and finished the stage together in a small group at just over 10 minutes behind Costa.
Team Sky leader Froome retained his 4min 14sec lead on Dutchman Mollema of Belkin with Saxo team leader Contador still in third place at 4:25.