Tour de France 2016: Peter Sagan grabs third stage win in Bern

Slovakian outsprints Alexander Kristoff to win stage 16 as Chris Froome retains lead again

Green jersey Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) beat Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) in a photo finish on the uphill sprint finish in Bern, to win stage 16 of the 2016 Tour de France.

Mark Cavendish’s stage 14 win had closed the gap in the points classification a little, but Sagan’s third stage victory of this year’s race looks to have all-but sealed the green jersey for a fifth consecutive year.

Kristoff had actually celebrated as the two crossed the line, but a photo finish confirmed Sagan had won by a tyre’s width; yellow jersey Chris Froome was safely in the bunch to retain his overall advantage.

Peter Sagan has won three stages of the 2016 Tour de France (pic: Sirotti)

Earlier Etixx-QuickStep duo Tony Martin and Julian Alaphilippe decided to book themselves a day in the breakaway, with the German time trial champion putting in a huge dig for his French team-mate.

Lawson Craddock (Cannondale), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Vegard Breen (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) and Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo) chased behind, but Martin’s efforts kept them out of reach, and the BMC Racing-led peloton at five minutes behind.

Martin and Alaphilippe continued to lead, even after the chasers were swept up and the lead cut to less than three minutes; the Frenchman took some pulls on the climbs, but it was Der Panzerwagen doing much of the work.

An average speed in excess of 47km/h highlighted the effort Martin was putting in, but BMC Racing continued to eat into the lead, which was less than a minute-and-a-half at the intermediate sprint.

With plenty of points available for the peloton at the intermediate sprint, Sagan’s Tinkoff team-mates led him out but there was little competition with Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) happy to roll across on his wheel.

The Etixx-QuickStep duo’s efforts were to count for nothing too, as Alaphilippe found the going too tough on the day’s sole categorised climb, the 1.2km, category-four Cote de Muehleberg.

Martin took the mountain point, but his lead was wiped out shortly afterwards before he got spat back out the back, the same direction Alaphilippe had gone – the two both paying for their efforts too much to help team-mate Marcel Kittel chase back on.

With Martin swallowed up, the attacking continued – Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) next to have a go.

The Portuguese former world champion held a lead between ten and 20 seconds for much of the next 14km, with Dimension Data, Lotto-Soudal and LottoNL-Jumbo all powering the chase.

Costa was caught as IAM Cycling led the way onto the technical final run-up, with 4.5km remaining, before the uncategorised cobbled climb strung the bunch out and provided a Launchpad for Sep Vanmarcke to attack.

That attack was short-lived as Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) set the pace on the front of the much-reduced peloton.

Just as Mark Cavendish had closed the gap in the points classification, Sagan has pulled clear again in the green jersey (pic: Sirotti)

All the GC contenders were in the mix, alongside the rouleurs and classics specialists and the big-name sprinters too, though Sagan, Kristoff and John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) were always the better placed.

Sagan and Kristoff led the sprint through the middle, and Kristoff thought he had won as they crossed the line side-by-side, but a photo finish confirmed a third stage win for Sagan.

Tour de France 2016: stage 16 – result

1) Peter Sagan (SVK) – Tinkoff – 4.26.02hrs
2) Alexander Kristoff (NOR) – Katusha – ST
3) Sondre Holst Enger (NOR) – IAM Cycling
4) John Degenkolb (GER) – Giant-Alpecin
5) Michael Matthews (AUS) – Orica-BikeExchange
6) Fabian Cancellara (SUI) – Trek-Segafredo
7) Sep Vanmarcke (BEL) – LottoNL-Jumbo
8) Max Richeze (ARG) – Etixx-QuickStep
9) Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) – Dimension Data
10) Greg van Avermaet (BEL) – BMC Racing

General classification

1) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – 72.40.38hrs
2) Bauke Mollema (NED) – Trek-Segafredo +1.47
3) Adam Yates (GBR) – Orica-BikeExchange +2.45
4) Nairo Quintana (COL) – Movistar +2.59
5) Alejandro Valverde (ESP) – Movistar +3.17
6) Romain Bardet (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +4.04
7) Richie Porte (AUS) – BMC Racing +4.27
8) Tejay van Garderen (USA) – BMC Racing +4.47
9) Daniel Martin (IRL) – Etixx-QuickStep +5.03
10) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana +5.16

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