Tour de France: Michael Rasmussen wins stage 16
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
After a rest day, the riders faced the third-longest, 218.5 km, and arguably the Tour’s hardest, stage. The first challenge was the brutal Port de Larrau (14.7 km climb at 8.1%), which is just 79km into the stage. The race dips into Spain for some 50 kilometres at the summit, the fourth country visited in this year’s Tour. From there, there was little reprieve for the riders, hitting the Alto Laza and the Col de la Pierre St Martin (14.2 km climb at 5.2%) before descending to the start of the difficult, and very steep, first-category Col de Marie-Blanque (9.3 km climb at 7.4%). The riders then climb the infamous Col d'Aubisque (16.7 km climb at 7%), which will reward out-and-out climbing ability and punish the legs of all the major contenders.
Another doping scandal hit the Tour today. Cristian Moreni of Italy tested positive for testosterone in a test conducted after Thursday's stage 11. Moreni was questioned by police. Cofidis team manager Eric Boyer told Reuters: "He accepted his wrongdoing and did not ask for a B-sample."
Like Astana did, Cofidis has withdrawn its entire team from the Tour. François Migraine, the team president and CEO of the sponsoring insurance company, Cofidis, said: "It's the only thing to do in such circumstances."
|“||It’s true that I was booed at the start and again during the stage also. I believe that, for the moment, there’s a lot of frustration amongst the people who follow cycling and in the peloton about what’s going on – about what happened to ‘Vino’ yesterday – and I think that since he is not here and the Astana team has gone home, people are taking their frustration out on me. I understand now what Lance Armstrong went through for seven years and my respect for him is growing day by day.
The only good thing there is to say about the Vinokourov case is that it proves that the system is working and to that I can only add that I’ve had 14 negative tests so far during this Tour. Now the overall victory is more important than stage wins but with the position that I was able to put myself in – winning the queen stage of the Tour while in the yellow jersey – it was pretty hard to deny taking the opportunity to do so.
— Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank
Stage 16 results
|1||Michael Rasmussen||Rabobank||6h 23'21"|
|2||Levi Leipheimer||Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team||+26"|
|3||Alberto Contador||Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team||+35"|
|7||Juan José Cobo||Saunier Duval-Prodir||+1'54"|
|8||Carlos Sastre||Team CSC||+2'12"|
|9||Oscar Pereiro||Caisse d'Epargne||+2'27"|
|10||Alejandro Valverde||Caisse d'Epargne||s.t."|
General classification after stage 16
|1||Michael Rasmussen||Rabobank||76h 15' 15"|
|2||Alberto Contador||Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team||+3' 10"|
|3||Cadel Evans||Predictor-Lotto||+5' 03"|
|4||Levi Leipheimer||Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team||+5' 59"|
|5||Carlos Sastre||Team CSC||+9' 12"|
|6||Haimar Zubeldia||Euskaltel-Euskadi||+9' 39"|
|7||Alejandro Valverde||Caisse d'Epargne||+13' 28"|
|8||Kim Kirchen||T-Mobile Team||+14' 46"|
|9||Yaroslav Popovych||Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team||+16' 00"|
|10||Mauricio Soler||Barloworld||+16' 41"|
- "Wiggins' Cofidis team out of Tour" — , July 25, 2007
- "Rasmussen powers to mountain win" — , July 25, 2007
- "Key moments" — , July 25, 2007
- Andy Nicolson and Mark Orlovac. "Stage sixteen - as it happened" — , July 25, 2007
- "stage 16 - Orthez Gourette - Col d’Aubisque 218.5 km" — , July 25, 2007