clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2015 Tour de France results and standings, Stage 16: Ruben Plaza wins, Peter Sagan finishes 2nd again

A stage win-hungry Peter Sagan couldn't make up the late gap to Ruben Plaza, who won his first Tour stage at 35 years old. Back in the peleton, Geraint Thomas got up from nasty crash into a telephone pole to finish Stage 16.

Peter Sagan attacked the final descent down the Col de Manse with reckless abandon, but it wasn't enough to chase down Spanish rider Ruben Plaza. Sagan finished in second place yet again -- he's now a five-time runner-up this year -- and still has yet to get a Tour de France stage win since 2013. Plaza, 35, got the first Tour stage win of his career, and first Grand Tour stage win since 2005.

The general classification riders did everything they could to save their energy, sitting in the peloton and letting leaders build a lead of more than 20 minutes as they ascended the Col de Manse. Sagan was one of those leaders. He broke away from the peloton in a group of 23 riders shortly after the start of the stage. On the Col de Manse, he largely drove the pace after catching Adam Hansen and Marco Haller.

Several riders attacked the green jersey bearer, knowing they'd need a cushion to counteract Sagan's ability to handle a treacherous descent down to Gap. Only Plaza was able to get clear, taking more than a minute off Sagan's chase group over the final summit.

As the chase began the descent, it quickly became clear that Sagan wouldn't be getting any help. Sagan weathered every move against him, including one at the start of the descent by Christophe Riblon that made the French rider throw his hands up in frustration.

Sagan was aggressive to an almost dangerous extent. On one wide turn, he nearly overshot the turn when his wheels locked up. With two kilometers to go, it became clear he gave up too much space to Plaza, still down 30 seconds. Though Sagan certainly wrapped up the points competition for a fourth straight year, winning the intermediate sprint earlier in the day, he will be no doubt be disappointed about the finish.

As Plaza and Sagan finished, the peleton was still climbing the Col de Manse. Vincenzo Nibali, finally hitting form after a rough first two weeks, got clear of the peleton just before the start of the descent, putting him in good position to hold off any counter moves from his rivals thanks to his superior descending abilities. Alejandro Valverde soon followed, no doubt hoping to gain enough time to hop Tejay Van Garderen on the standings, but was pulled back.

Geraint Thomas was nearly a casualty on the descent when Warren Barguil took a bad line and forced the Sky rider head first into a telephone pole and down into a ravine. Miraculously, Thomas got up and finished the stage on his bike. Barguil, meanwhile, rode on rather than stop and help a rider in a crash he caused (even if by accident).

There will be some discussion whether Barguil should have showed more sportsmanship at that moment. Barguil was also involved in the Stage 3 crash that took out Fabian Cancellara and the Stage 6 crash that took out Tony Martin, both of whom were wearing the Maillot Jaune at the time.

Nibali was the biggest winner who was near the top of the GC standings, taking 28 seconds on Chris Froome, Alberto Contador, Nairo Quintana, Van Garderen and Valverde. Thomas lost only 38 seconds to that group, and was able to retain his spot at sixth overall on the standings.

Stage 16 results

Name Team Time Gap
Ruben Plaza Lampre-Merida 4:30:10
Peter Sagan Tinkoff-Saxo 4:30:40 :30
Jarlinson Pantano IAM Cycling 4:30:46 :36
Simon Geschke Giant-Alpecin 4:30:50 :40
Bob Jungels Trek Factory Racing " "
Christophe Riblon AG2R La Mondiale 4:31:03 :53
Daniel Teklehaimanot MTN-Qhubeka 4:31:10 1:00
Thomas De Gendt Lotto-Soudal :4:31:32 1:22
Luis Angel Mate Cofidis " "
Thomas Voeckler Europcar 4:32:04 1:54

General classification (yellow jersey) standings

Name Team Time Gap
Christopher Froome Sky 64:47:16
Nairo Quintana Movistar 64:50:26 3:10
Tejay Van Garderen BMC 64:50:48 3:32
Alejandro Valverde Movistar 64:51:18 4:02
Alberto Contador Tinkoff-Saxoy 64:51:39 4:23
Geraint Thomas Sky 64:52:48 5:32
Robert Gesink Lotto NL-Jumbo 64:53:39 6:23
Vincenzo Nibali Astana 64:55:05 7:49
Bauke Mollema Trek Factory Racing 64:56:09 8:53
Warren Barguil Giant-Alpecin 64:58:19 11:03

Points (green jersey) standings

Name Team Points
Peter Sagan Tinkoff-Saxo 405
Andre Greipel Lotto-Soudal 316
John Degenkolb Giant-Alpecin 264
Mark Cavendish Etixx-Quick Step 192
Bryan Coquard Europcar 122

King of the Mountains (polka dot jersey) standings

Name Team Points
Chris Froome Sky 61
Joaquim Rodriguez Katusha 52
Jakob Fuglsang Astana 41
Richie Porte Sky 40
Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale 38