Tour de France 2017 stage 16: Team Sky's Chris Froome eyes Alpine passes after crosswind buffeting

 
Oliver Gill
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Winds battered riders on stage 16 of the Tour de France (Source: Getty)

Tour de France leader Chris Froome admitted the next two days will be crucial after battling fierce crosswinds to remain in the leader’s yellow jersey.

Australian Michael Matthews outsprinted Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen in a photo finish on the 165km stage from Le Puy-en-Velay to Romans-sur-Isere.

It was Matthews’ second victory of the 2017 Tour.

“I’m just happy to get through today’s stage,” said Froome, adding he was looking forward to the race reaching the Alps.

Over the next two days the riders will face climbs above 2,000m altitude on four separate occasions.

Froome said:

The way I see it, this is now a two-day block. Both days are going to be absolutely crucial.

Read more: Froome's back in yellow after outfoxing Aru

Today, the peloton were battered by strong crosswinds on exposed stretches of road for much of stage 16.

Irishman Dan Martin was one of the highest profile losers of the stage. He was caught further back as the pack split and lost 51 seconds by the time he crossed the finish line.

Froome added: “It was definitely going to happen today with the crosswinds. It was just a matter of when.”

It was unfortunate for Dan Martin to get caught out. But I think he was a little light on team-mates

Behind Froome – who maintains a slender 18-second advantage of Italian national champion Fabio Aru – there were changes in top 10 at Martin’s expense. Briton Simon Yates and Froome’s team-mate Mikel Landa moved up one place to sixth and fifth respectively.

Yates retained the white jersey for the Tour’s best young rider, nearly four minutes ahead of nearest rival, South African Louis Meintjes.

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Stage result

RANK RIDER TEAM TIMES GAP
1 MATTHEWS MICHAEL TEAM SUNWEB 03H 38' 15''
2 BOASSON HAGEN EDVALD TEAM DIMENSION DATA 03H 38' 15'' + 00' 00''
3 DEGENKOLB JOHN TREK - SEGAFREDO 03H 38' 15'' + 00' 00''
4 VAN AVERMAET GREG BMC RACING TEAM 03H 38' 15'' + 00' 00''
5 LAPORTE CHRISTOPHE COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS 03H 38' 15'' + 00' 00''
6 KEUKELEIRE JENS ORICA - SCOTT 03H 38' 15'' + 00' 00''
7 GALLOPIN TONY LOTTO SOUDAL 03H 38' 15'' + 00' 00''
8 BENOOT TIESJ LOTTO SOUDAL 03H 38' 15'' + 00' 00''
9 BODNAR MACIEJ BORA - HANSGROHE 03H 38' 15'' + 00' 00''
10 HARDY ROMAIN TEAM FORTUNEO - OSCARO 03H 38' 15'' + 00' 00''

General classification

RANK RIDER TEAM TIMES GAP
1 FROOME CHRISTOPHER TEAM SKY 68H 18' 36''
2 ARU FABIO ASTANA PRO TEAM 68H 18' 54'' + 00' 18''
3 BARDET ROMAIN AG2R LA MONDIALE 68H 18' 59'' + 00' 23''
4 URAN RIGOBERTO CANNONDALE DRAPAC 68H 19' 05'' + 00' 29''
5 LANDA MIKEL TEAM SKY 68H 19' 53'' + 01' 17''
6 YATES SIMON ORICA - SCOTT 68H 20' 38'' + 02' 02''
7 MARTIN DANIEL QUICK - STEP FLOORS 68H 20' 39'' + 02' 03''
8 MEINTJES LOUIS UAE TEAM EMIRATES 68H 24' 36'' + 06' 00''
9 CARUSO DAMIANO BMC RACING TEAM 68H 24' 41'' + 06' 05''
10 QUINTANA NAIRO MOVISTAR TEAM 68H 24' 52'' + 06' 16''

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