Duo hold station after stage 16 sprint

23 Jul 2019

Duo hold station after stage 16 sprint

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Tour de France stage 16: Nîmes - Nîmes, 177km.

Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal retained their overall positions at the Tour de France as Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) won a bunch sprint on stage 16.

Thomas survived a brief scare earlier on in the stage when he suffered a small crash while coming around a tight corner with 129 kilometres remaining. 

Fortunately, he was unharmed in the incident and was brought back to the peloton by teammates Dylan van Baarle and Jonathan Castroviejo shortly afterwards. 

Meanwhile, the early break was able to get a narrow advantage of two minutes, but with the possibility of crosswinds with 50km remaining, the teams contesting the yellow jersey came to the fore and battled for position which brought the pace up and narrowed the escapees' advantage.

Inside the final five kilometres, the group were caught as the sprinters' teams pushed the pace, with Thomas and Bernal able to roll in safely in the bunch as Ewan prevailed.

Geraint Thomas

“I just took off an old scar, so there was obviously some new skin bleeding.I had one hand on the bars and the gears jumped and jammed and I got thrown off my bike around the corner.

“I knew the race wasn’t on, so it was just a case of getting back into the group - but of course it was frustrating. It was such a freak incident to be honest."

Egan Bernal

“It’s been a very hot day and I noted it, although I must admit that I enjoy this kind of conditions. As far as Geraint Thomas is concerned, he’s fine. 

"He crashed but with no consequence and I don’t think he’ll suffer from it in the coming days. We’re approaching the Alps. The climbs there are longer and steeper. They’re more of the Colombian style of climbing. I’m ready and I feel good. 

"However, we’re in the third week and anything can happen. Team INEOS is solid but other teams will have to handle some responsibilities too.”
Nico Portal

Nico Portal

He saw the Doctor quickly and I think he just had a minor issue so we’re all good - we’re lucky."
DS Nico Portal

“He’s ok, he was a bit surprised, but he saw the Doctor quickly and I think he just had a minor issue so we’re all good - we’re lucky. 

"We didn’t see the incident, but the only thing we could see was that he fell on the left side, but it was fine. We asked him if he wanted to change his bike, but he said ’no, it’s fine’
Stage 16 result:

1. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) 3:57:08
2. Elia Viviani Deceuninck-Quick-Step) s.t.
3. Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) s.t.
4. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) s.t.
5. Niccolo Bonifazio (Team Total Direct Energie) s.t.
25. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS) s.t.
28. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) s.t.

Overall standings:

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 65:57:32
2. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS) +1:35"
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) +1:47"
4. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +1:50"
5. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) +2:02"

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