Tour de France 2022: stage 16 heads to Foix as race hits the Pyrenees – live!

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The Guardian

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Stage 16 guide: Carcassonne to Foix (178.5km)

The first stage in the Pyrenees with two first category mountains; hard enough for the early break to target the stage, but not hard enough to induce the overall contenders to do more than keep a watching brief, writes William Fotheringham. With 27km downhill to the line, the finish is for a good climber who can descend well: perhaps Romain Bardet, or the Dane Jakob Fuglsang, or that old lag Bauke Mollema.

stage 16 graphic

To the Pyrenees! The peloton gears up after the second and last rest day for a light, leisurely jaunt up two category 1 climbs – Port de Lers and Mur de Péguère. Breakaway chances abound in the first half of the stage before the gradients ramp up … and then the Tour gods give plenty of altitude back for a downhill charge to the line.

Last time the race took in the slender Péguère pathway, in 2017, Warren Barguil delighted home fans with victory on Bastille Day. There’ll be no repeat this year – the ProTeam Arkéa–Samsic rider left the race on Friday after testing positive for Covid-19. Can Romain Bardet, fourth in the GC standings, get the Tricolores waving at the finish this time around?

It’s a potentially good day to be a confident climber who can also barrel down at a decent lick for a thundering finish. Plenty fit the bill. Jonas Vingegaard remains in yellow, but is smarting from a tumble last time out and has lost Jumbo-Visma comrades Primoz Roglic and Steven Kruijswijk – they would have been extremely useful today.

UAE Team Emirates’ Tadej Pogacar is 2min 22sec off the lead. Potential intrigue comes in the form of third-placed Geraint Thomas, 2:43 behind Vingegaard but backed by an Ineos team who will roll out of Carcassonne with comfortably the most strength in depth of the top three contenders.

Six stages left. Who wants it, eh?

July 19, 2022 at 04:10PM Stuart Goodwin

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