BARCELONA (Reuters) - Jean-Pierre Drucker of Luxembourg sprinted his way to victory in stage 16 of the Tour of Spain with a perfectly timed finish, overtaking Daniele Bennati and Gianni Meersman in the final stretch of the 156.4 km flat stage from Alcaniz to Peniscola.
There was no change at the top in the general classification, with Nairo Quintana maintaining his 3:37 lead over Tour de France champion Chris Froome by finishing with the Briton.
Froome endured a dismal stage the day before, finishing two minutes 40 seconds behind winner Gianluca Brambilla and two minutes 37 seconds down on Quintana, allowing the Colombian to tighten his grip on the red jersey.
German pair Rudiger Selig and Nikias Arndt finished second and third respectively, recording the same time as Drucker, who claimed his first ever win in a Grand Tour.
“I suffered a lot the last days but I always kept believing in the sprint stages,” Drucker told reporters.
“I did a good Tour of Burgos and I was confident in my sprint. It’s nice. It’s cool to have a victory in a Grand Tour.”
Johan Esteban Chaves stays third and 20 seconds off Froome, with five stages remaining of the Tour, which finishes on Sunday Sept. 11. Tuesday is the second and final rest day.
Froome’s few remaining opportunities to gain some ground on Quintana lie in the two remaining mountain stages on Wednesday and Saturday, while his best chance of eating into the Colombian’s lead is in Thursday’s individual time trial.
Reporting by Richard Martin; editing by Clare Lovell