Tour de France Stage 16: Thrilling Finale in Bern18. July 2016, Bern (SUI) — Road Team
Stage 16 of the Tour de France saw Greg Van Avermaet battle it out in a hectic sprint into Bern, Switzerland, in a tricky finale that split the peloton.
Van Avermaet crossed the line in tenth place, with Richie Porte and Tejay van Garderen finishing safely in the front group to retain their top ten placings on the General Classification.
Julien Alaphilippe and Tony Martin (both Etixx-Quick Step) formed a breakaway duo, gaining a lead of six minutes before being reeled in, in the final 20 kilometers.
BMC Racing Team fought hard at the front of the peloton to bring the duo back and position Van Avermaet, Porte and van Garderen well going into a tricky cobbled section in the final three kilometers.
Van Avermaet was right up there in the final kilometer but was edged out in the frantic sprint to the line.
The peloton will enjoy their final rest day tomorrow before the final battle for the podium starts on Wednesday with stage 17.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Greg Van Avermaet:
“It was hard to get in position but I was there where I wanted to be. On the bottom the peloton hesitated a little as it was a bit too early to go I think, still 2.5km to the finish. So I waited and then on the top when I wanted to go the tempo was high so there was no point to attack there. We were just waiting for the sprint and I think I just tried to get into a good place but I never could get to the first row to sprint for first place. It was really good teamwork. Rohan Dennis did a really good job today and for us it was an important stage with Bern and Andy Rihs, our sponsor, here from BMC Switzerland. So we tried to do it as good as possible. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I don’t think I could have gone better on this stage.”
“It was a mess of a finish. It was quite dangerous in that last 10km but the whole day was just so fast. I think with Tony Martin in the breakaway they weren’t going to give him much. We just rode absolutely flat out all day. I think we averaged something like 46km an hour today so it wasn’t easy. It was just absolutely flat out all day. I’m in good condition and it is a hard four-day block coming up after the rest day. I think I’ve got everything to play for now, I’m not too far off podium. It’s a big goal so bring it on.”
Tejay van Garderen:
“I won’t say the Tour has gone perfect but I still have good sensations and we still have me and Richie up there. So, so far it’s been a successful Tour. Hopefully I can just recover and be ready for these last four days. We want to achieve the best result we can. As of now I’m not really going to put a number on it but we’ve got to be happy with our best. We have to see how things play out, there’s a number of different tactics.”
Tour de France
Stage 16 Morains-en-Montagne > Bern (209km)
Top 3: Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha), Sondre Holst Enger (IAM Cycling)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 10. Greg Van Avermaet, 18. Richie Porte, 22. Tejay van Garderen
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 7. Richie Porte, 8. Tejay van Garderenm 23. Damiano Caruso
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.