• Tour de France, Stage 16

Wiggins in charge as Voeckler bags stage

ESPN staff
July 18, 2012
Thomas Voeckler claimed his second stage win of the 2012 Tour de France © PA Photos

Bradley Wiggins ticked off another day towards Tour de France glory with a cast-iron display in the first serious day in the Pyrenees, as Thomas Voeckler took another stage for Europcar.

The race went over the Col d'Aubisque, Col du Tourmalet, Col d'Aspin and Col de Peyresourde and the Sky leader withstood a challenge from Vincenzo Nibali to retain his leader's yellow jersey.

Voeckler produced another vintage ride, getting in a break early in the day and pulling away from Brice Feillu on the final climb up the Peyresourde and powering to the finish at Bagneres-de-Luchon for his second stage win of the race.

The Frenchman and his group were ignored by the race leaders, as Sky controlled the race over the early climbs. There was no challenge from Nibali on the Aubisque and Tourmalet, but his Liquigas team put in an effort on the Aspin and it was a move that put defending champion Cadel Evans in trouble.

Evans was paced back by his BMC team on the descent but was immediately dropped by Wiggins, Nibali and Chris Froome on the start of the climb to the summit of the Peyresourde.

Nibali twice attempted to attack Wiggins, but he was paced up by Froome and then in a show of strength he reeled in Nibali under his own steam.

Wiggins, Froome and Nibali came home together and it was a massive statement from Wiggins who retains a lead of over two minutes on Froome with just one more stage in the mountains to go, while Evans' hopes of a podium finish seem over following a torrid day.

There is a mountaintop finish on Thursday, but Wiggins has a cushion to take with him and now looks just four days away from becoming the first Brit to win the Tour de France.

Stage 16 result
1 Thomas Voeckler (FRA) Europcar - 05:35:01
2 Chris Anker Sorensen (DEN) Team Saxo Bank - 00:01:40
3 Gorka Izaguirre (ESP) Euskaltel - 00:03:22
4 Alexandre Vinokouorv (KAZ) Astana - 00:03:22
5 Brice Feillu (FRA)Saur-Sojasun - 00:04:06
6 Jens Voigt (GER) Radioshack-Nissan - 00:04:18
7 Daniel Martin (IRL) Garmin-Sharp - 00:06:08
8 Simone Stortoni (ITA) Lampre-ISD - 00:06:08
9 Gianpaolo Caruso (ITA) Katusha - 00:06:08
10 Laurens Ten Dam (NED) Rabobank - 00:06:11

General Classification
1 Bradley Wiggins (GBR) Sky Procycling - 74:15:32
2 Christopher Froome (GBR) Sky Procycling - 0:02:05
3 Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) Liquigas-Cannondale - 0:02:23
4 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (BEL) Lotto Belisol Team - 00:05:46
5 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (ESP) RadioShack-Nissan - 00:07:13
6 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing - 00:07:55
7 Cadel Evans (AUS) BMC Racing Team - 00:08:06
8 Janez Brajkovic (SLO) Astana - 00:09:09
9 Pierre Rolland (FRA) Europcar - 00:10:10
10 Thibaut Pinot (FRA) FDJ-Big Mat - 00:11:43

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