Tour de France 2016: what's up for grabs in the final week?

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Tour de France 2016: rest-day round-up – what’s up for grabs in the final week?

How are the races for the yellow, green, white and polka dot jerseys shaping up?

There’s still plenty to ride for as the 2016 Tour de France goes into its second and final rest day, in Switzerland, despite big gaps opening up in some of the jersey classifications.

Team Sky’s defending Tour de France champion Chris Froome wears the yellow jersey – stage 17 will mark the 39th time the Kenyan-born Brit has pulled on the maillot jaune – with a 1’47” lead over second-placed Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo).

Chris Froome and Peter Sagan hold commanding leads in the yellow and green jerseys respectively. Sagan’s advantage should not be overhauled now, but Froome still has much to fight for (pic: Alex Broadway/ASO)

Fellow Brit Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange), who will join Froome at the Rio 2016 Olympics after the Tour, leads the youth classification and wears the white jersey of best young rider – which he has held since the day the flamme rouge collapsed on top of him in stage seven.

Following his stage 16 victory in Bern, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) is fast closing in on the fifth points classification win of his career, while team-mate Rafal Majka is the current wearer of the polka dot jersey.

Let’s recap on the race so far and take a look at what’s to left play for in the final week. Here’s how everything stands with five stages of the 2016 Tour de France remaining.

General classification – yellow jersey

Chris Froome (Team Sky) pulled on the yellow jersey for the first time in this year’s race when he attacked over the top of the Col de Peyresourde and descended to stage eight victory.

And the 31-year-old, chasing his third Tour de France win in four years, has held it ever since – though that has not been without its dramas.

After a crash, caused when a TV moto braked suddenly due to roadside fans on Mont Ventoux on stage 12, Froome was left running part way up the climb as he waited for a spare bike and only the race jury’s ruling saw him remain race leader.

Two second-placed finishes either side of that dramatic day, first as he and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) escaped late in the crosswinds of stage 11 and then in the stage 13 individual time trial, have allowed Froome to open up a sizable lead.

Chris Froome leads by 1’47” overall as he chases a third Tour de France win in four years (pic: Sirotti)

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), whose time Froome was given after the two and Richie Porte crashed on Ventoux, is second, one minute and 47 seconds in arrears.

Last year’s runner-up, Nairo Quintana, is fourth, meanwhile – one second less than three minutes is the difference between him and Froome this time out.

In all, there are eight riders within five minutes of Froome ahead of the final week, with stage finishes on Finhaut-Emosson and Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc, either side of a mountain time trial, among the crucial stages to come.

Froome is well and truly in control, but the last two Grand Tours – Vincenzo Nibali at the 2016 Giro d’Italia, and Fabio Aru at the 2015 Vuelta a Espana – have been won on the final weekend. Never say never.

Tour de France 2016: general classification after stage 16

1) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – 72.40.38
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

Points classification – green jersey

Peter Sagan’s stage 16 victory in Bern, his third of this year’s race, has all-but guaranteed the Slovakian world champion the green jersey for a fifth consecutive year.

Four-time stage winner Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) had closed the gap to the Tinkoff rider once again, after his latest win on stage 14, but with only one sprint stage remaining this year – on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on stage 21 – Sagan effectively only needs to finish the race to seal the classification.

Sagan has won three stages of this year’s race (pic: Sirotti)

With Cavendish abandoning the Tour on the second rest day, only Marcel Kittel can technically catch Sagan in the final five stages – but he trails by 177 points with only a maximum 210 still up for grabs.

However, given four of the next five stages are in the mountains, including the stage 18 time trial, it’s realistically only in Paris on the final day when the sprinters will rack up the serious points – by which point Sagan’s green jersey should already be confirmed.

Sagan’s ability to pick up points in the hillier finishes has served him well, as has his extraordinary knack of racking up the bonifications at the intermediate sprints.

Sagan also needs just 28 more points to beat his 2015 tally – well within the Slovakian’s sights.

Tour de France 2016: points classification after stage 16

1) Peter Sagan (SVK) – Tinkoff – 405pts
2) Mark Cavendish (GBR) – Dimension Data – 291
3) Marcel Kittel (GER) – Etixx-QuickStep – 228
4) Bryan Coquard (FRA) – Direct Energie – 156
5) Alexander Kristoff (NOR) – Katusha – 152
6) Michael Matthews (AUS) – Orica-BikeExchange – 143
7) Andre Greipel (GER) – Lotto-Soudal – 128
8) Greg van Avermaet (BEL) – BMC Racing – 119
9) Thomas de Gendt (BEL) – Lotto-Soudal – 106
10) Daniel Navarro (ESP) – Cofidis – 105

*Mark Cavendish has abandoned the Tour de France during the second rest day

King of the Mountains – polka dot jersey

Probably the most open of all the classifications as the riders head into the final block of five stages at this year’s race is the battle for the polka dot jersey.

Five men have pulled on the jersey so far in this year’s race – Paul Voss (Bora-Argon 18), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) – but it is the latter two, who have each had two stints in the maillot a pois, who are locked in a battle after stage 16.

Rafal Majka won the polka dot jersey in 2014 and leads the way again with five stages remaining of the 2016 Tour de France (pic: Sirotti)

Majka – as he did in 2014 – has benefited from Alberto Contador abandoning the race to enjoy some freedom in the Tinkoff team, and leads by 37 points from De Gendt as it stands.

With 13 categorised climbs remaining, three of which are hors categorie, and two – the HC Finhaut-Emosson and category one Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc – summit finishes, there is still a maximum 175 points on offer.

It means, technically, anybody can still top the classification but Majka and De Gendt have already been in their fair share of breakaways to rack up the points, as has third-placed Daniel Navarro (Cofidis).

Last year’s winner was Chris Froome, but Froome’s biggest performances this year have not come on the mountain-top finishes, and so he is currently 13th with just 22 points to his name.

Finhaut-Emosson is worth 50 points to the stage winner, and could well be the game changer if the breakaway succeeds, so look out for Majka, De Gendt and even Navarro as they attempt to get up the road.

Tour de France 2016: mountains classification after stage 16

1) Rafal Majka (POL) – Tinkoff – 127pts
2) Thomas de Gendt (BEL) – Lotto-Soudal – 90
3) Daniel Navarro (ESP) – Cofidis – 69
4) Serge Pauwels (BEL) – Dimension Data – 62
5) Tom Dumoulin (NED) – Giant-Alpecin – 58
6) Rui Costa (POR) – Lampre-Merida – 50
7) Stef Clement (NED) – IAM Cycling – 37
8) Ilnur Zakarin (RUS) – Katusha – 28
9) Diego Rosa (ITA) – Astana – 27
10) Winner Anacona (COL) – Movistar – 26

Youth classification – white jersey

With the likes of two-time winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar) now too old to challenge for the white jersey, having won it in 2013 and 2015, this year’s Tour de France has seen the next generation of under-25s battling it out for the maillot blanc.

But of the 28 eligible riders left in the race, there are only really two still left in contention – Britain’s Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange), who leads the way, and South African Louis Meintjes (Lampre-Merida).

Adam Yates is third overall and leader of the youth classification (pic: Sirotti)

Third-placed Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) has paid the price for losing contact with the bunch on a number of occasions during the second week, while Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-QuickStep) – who wore the jersey in the first week – is now well out of contention.

Alaphilippe is tipped as one of France’s next big things, but his Tour de France debut was always going to be more about experience – and a shot at a stage win – than a serious tilt at the white jersey over three weeks.

Yates, who almost swapped the white jersey for the maillot jaune when Chris Froome initially lost time on Mont Ventoux, only for the Team Sky man to be reinstated by the race jury, is 3’03” ahead of Meintjes.

However, this is uncharted territory for both men, who had targeted stage wins and experience at their debut Tours last year, so this one could either go down to the wire or be blown apart by one strong performance in the Alps.

Tour de France 2016: youth classification after stage 16

1) Adam Yates (GBR) – Orica-BikeExchange – 72.43.23hrs
2) Louis Meintjes (RSA) – Lampre-Merida +3.03
3) Warren Barguil (FRA) – Giant-Alpecin +16.30
4) Emanuel Buchmann (GER) – Bora-Argon 18 +25.53
5) Wilco Kelderman (NED) – LottoNL-Jumbo +45.38

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