Sagan wins stage 16, Froome stays clear in yellow | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 18.07.2016
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Sagan wins stage 16, Froome stays clear in yellow

As the Tour enters Switzerland, there seems to be little stopping Froome from sealing a third triumph. Peter Sagan prevailed after a photo-finish on stage 16, a 209-kilometer trek to Bern.

Germany's Tony Martin and France's Julian Alaphilippe led a breakaway for long spells of the stage from Moirans-en-Montagne but were gradually reeled in towards the end.

Two late climbs and a cobbled section near the finish meant it was not strictly a stage for the sprinters despite being listed as such.

Sagan and Alexander Kristoff got ahead in a furious finish and Norwegian Kristoff thought he had snatched the stage win, but replays showed Slovakian Sagan had just crossed the line first by millimeters.

Frankreich Tour de France Etappe 16

Sagan and Kristoff fight for the line

It was the Tinkoff rider's seventh stage win on the Tour and third in this year's race.

"It was a very hot stage, I'm thankful to the team and a lot of times I lose the race but now I won and I think destiny is turning back now," Sagan said.

All-rounder Fabian Cancellara, born near the Swiss capital Bern, had been tipped as a possible stage winner given the mixed aspects of the terrain and because he was so keen to impress in his final Tour by succeeding on home soil.

The 35-year-old was in the reckoning for the bunch finish but could not make an impact and ended up sixth, suggesting his decision to retire at the end of the season is a good one.

Tuesday is the final rest day with the three-week race resuming on Wednesday with a 184.5 km slog into the Swiss Alps concluding at Finhaut-Emosson.

It is territory where Froome will feel perfectly comfortable and may even expect to increase his advantage with the finale in Paris on Sunday now in his sights.

He finished 14th in Monday's stage to keep his 1 minute 47 seconds overall lead from Bauke Mollema.

Supposed rival Nairo Quintana, fourth overall and almost three minutes behind Froome, has not stepped up to the challenge and the Briton has in truth looked peerless.

But crazy things can happen in mountain stages and Froome knows he can take nothing for granted.

His experience on stage 12 is testament to that after he was involved in a collision which ruined his bike and he was forced to jog for a while before receiving a replacement. The race jury sided with him on that occasion and he kept the lead.

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