Haring downhill at breakneck speeds, Ruben Plaza rode triumphantly into Gap as the solo winner of a treacherous stage 16 of the Tour de France on Monday that saw a teammate of race leader Chris Froome careen into a telephone pole and Peter Sagan finish second for a fifth time. Froome’s Sky teammate Geraint Thomas, who had been sixth overall, suffered the terrifying crash on a hairpin bend, after another rider collided into him. That sent the Sky rider thumping into the telephone pole. He bounced off and disappeared into a dark thicket of woods, with his bike, scattering roadside spectators who leapt out of the way. I was very frightened. I didn't do it on purpose Warren Barguil, who sent Geraint Thomas flying Although Thomas remounted, rode on and finished, the hair-raising accident showed how tricky the end of stage 16 was, with a long, winding downhill that riders tore down at speeds of 70 kph or more. The rider who slammed into Thomas on the bend, Warren Barguil, said he wanted to brake but his finger slipped, sending him into the Welsh rider. “I was very frightened,” the French rider said. “I didn’t do it on purpose. Froome kept his overall lead. Tuesday is a rest day at the Tour before four days of climbing in the Alps that will decide the overall standings ahead of the finish on Sunday in Paris. Plaza, 35, was riding far ahead of Froome in a breakaway. The Spanish rider left that group of escapees on the final climb, the mid-grade Manse pass, and held them off on the 12-kilometre descent to the finish at Gap in the foothills of the Alps. Sagan chased after the Lampre-Merida team rider on the descent but couldn't catch him. Sagan thumped his heart five times as he crossed the line for the fifth time in second place at this Tour.