photo credits @ Le Tour
Lotto Soudal’s Caleb Ewan secured his second win of this year’s Tour de France by sprinting to victory on stage 16 in Nimes.
Poorly position heading into the final straight, Ewan launched his sprint early and held on to beat Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) into second place and Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumb-Visma) into third.
The main general classification contenders all finished safely in the peloton, meaning Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) retains the overall lead, 1’35” ahead of second-placed Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS) and 1’47” in front of third-placed Steven Kruijswijk (Team Jumbo-Visma).
Astana Pro Team’s Jakob Fuglsang, who had been ninth overall, was forced to abandon the race following a crash.
The day’s five-man breakaway group containing Lukas Wisnowski (CCC Team), Lars Bak (Dimension Data), Paul Orselin (Total Direct Energie), Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondiale) and Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis) was finally caught with 2.5 kilometers remaining, setting up the sprinters for the last finale ahead of Sunday’s finale on the Champs-Elysees.
Ewan powered his way from deep within the lead group to past Viviani and stave-off Groenewegen to seize his second victory in this year’s French Grand Tour.
In the meantime, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) took fourth place to consolidate his lead in the green jersey competition, while Niccolo Bonifazio completed the top five in posting his Total-Direct Energie team’s best result of the Tour so far.
Race leader Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) successfully managed the heat to retain the yellow jersey for a 12th day, preserving his 1:35 lead over Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos), who recovered from his early crash to finish safely in the peloton.
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