• Tour de France

Rogers rides to maiden Tour victory

ESPN staff
July 22, 2014
Michael Rogers roars in celebration as he crosses the finish line © Getty Images

Michael Rogers burst into tears after cruising to victory on stage 16 of the Tour de France.

The Tinkoff-Saxo rider secured the first Tour stage win of his career in 6 hours 07 minutes 10 seconds, adding it to the two stages he won on the Giro d'Italia earlier this year.

There was no change in the yellow jersey, with leader Vicenzo Nibali crossing the line at the same time as nearest challenger Alejandro Valverde, about nine minutes behind Rogers.

Rogers left the chasing pack behind with 4.5km to go as the breakaway descended from the Porte de Bales on the way from Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon.

Team Europcar's Thomas Voeckler finished second, with Team Sky's Vasili Kiryienka crossing the line third, both timed nine seconds behind Rogers.

Before this year, Rogers had not won a stage on a Grand Tour. But today's victory makes it a hat-trick of wins and the Australian was overcome with emotion as he climbed off the bike.

"I knew once I got to the bottom of the last climb, the race had began for me," Rogers said. "I tried a few times to drop them on the climb but I couldn't so I knew I had to pick them off on the descent. I said to myself - 'I have been in this position to many times and not won. I'm not going to do it again.'"

"I tried so hard to win a stage of the Tour before but this year, I've changed mentally. When it rains it pours doesn't it?

"I know I've changed upstairs, I'm more hungry and opportunities seem clearer to me now. I'm not scared of the outcome now. Previously I was scared to try something new because I was scared of failure."

Nibali leads the General Classification on 73 hours 5 minutes 19 seconds, with Valverde 4mins 37sec behind and France's Thibaut Pinot 5mins 6sec down.

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