Hard wind broke up many teams at Tour de France
Sonny Colbrelli took 3rd place at the intermediate sprint. BAHRAIN MERIDA Team struggled with today’s tough conditions.
Tour de France 2017.
LE PUY-EN-VELAY – ROMANS-SUR-ISÉRE – 165 km / Stage 16
Romans Sur Isére, France, July 18th
It was a sunny and clear day with 14 S wind in Le Puy En Velay, where the 15th stage of Tour de France finished and 16th stage started. After the second rest day, BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team entered the final, third week of the biggest cycling race of this season. Everyone is expecting huge challenges, especially on stages 17 and 18 in the French Alps.
The main characteristic of today’s stage was a climbing and hilly first half with Côte de Boussoulet (Cat. 3) after 20,5 km and Col du Rouvey (Cat. 4) at 65th km. The second half of the stage had a long descent and intermediate sprint at 121 km, which energized the sprinters and put them on full speed for reaching the finish in Romans Sur Isére. Up to that point TBM worked quite good and Yukiya Arashiro gave a good lead to Sonny, who took the 3rd place at the intermediate sprint. After that the race became even harder, with a strong tail and side wind. All of the riders were struggling in such conditions. Teams like Sun Web, Team Sky and Astana had to give even more to save the green and yellow jersey holders.
In the end, in the last 15 kilometers, the 3 groups broke into many more and Michael Mathews (SUN) took the victory in today’s stage in front of Edvald Boasson Hagen (DDD) and John Degenkolb (TSF). The group for the sprint was reduced because many teams couldn’t risk so much and fight against such heavy wind. Marcel Kittel kept the yellow jersey and Christopher Froome (SKY) kept the Maillot Jaune.
Credits @Bettiniphoto and @MiwaIijima