Rogers wins first Tour stage at his 10th attempt
Australian Michael Rogers finally earned his first stage victory in his 10th Tour de France on Tuesday.
The three-time world time-trial champion, riding for Tinkoff-Saxo, came home on his own at the end of a mammoth 237.5-km 16th stage from Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon.
The wily veteran, who won two stages at the Giro d’Italia in May after coming back from a temporary doping suspension, outfoxed four escape companions to finish 9 seconds ahead of Frenchman Thomas Voeckler, who took second in a sprint finish ahead of Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus.
Further behind, Italian Vincenzo Nibali held onto his race leader’s yellow jersey, 4 minutes 37 seconds ahead of Alejandro Valverde, as he came home in a small and elite group of his closest rivals.
One of the big losers on the day, though, was 23-year-old Frenchman Romain Bardet, who was dropped on the hors category Port de Bales climb and lost 1:50 to his rivals for a podium finish.
That promoted 24-year-old compatriot Thibaut Pinot from fourth to third with veteran 37-year-old Jean Christophe Peraud, another Frenchman, moving up from sixth to fourth.
Bardet dropped from third to fifth and is now 6:40 off Nibali but, more importantly having started the day 16 seconds ahead of Pinot, he now trails his compatriot by 1:36.
The other big loser among the leading pack was American Tejay Van Garderen who was dropped much earlier than Bardet and gave up around 3:30 to drop to more than four minutes off a podium spot.