Bardet, Van Garderen suffer as Rogers wins Stage 16

Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:33pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

BAGNERES DE LUCHON France (Reuters) - Frenchman Romain Bardet and American Tejay van Garderen's Tour de France podium hopes suffered a major blow on Tuesday when they lost considerable ground in the 16th stage won by Australian Michael Rogers.

Rogers gave his Tinkoff-Saxo team their second stage win this year by powering away from a breakaway group in the 237.5-km mountain trek from Carcassonne.

Vincenzo Nibali of Italy retained the overall leader's yellow jersey ahead of Spain's Alejandro Valverde while France's Thibaut Pinot, who was the strongest in the intimidating ascent to the Port de Bales, moved up to third at the expense of compatriot Bardet.

AG2R-La Mondiale rider Bardet, who had promised to blow the race open in the Pyrenees, was unable to sustain the pace in the climb and lost more than 1:40.

Van Garderen also could not follow and lost more than three minutes, but Bardet's team mate Jean-Christophe Peraud could not be shaken off.

"I had good legs, I had to attack," Pinot, whose acceleration in the Port de Bales put all his rivals in the red, told reporters.

"I hope I can stay on the podium (all the way to Paris).

The rider holds the white jersey for the best Under-25 rider.   Continued...

Tinkoff-Saxo team rider Michael Rogers of Australia celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the 237.5km 16th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Carcassonne and Bagneres-de-Luchon, July 22, 2014.    REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier