France — A strong team performance by Garmin-Slipstream’s climbing squad helped team leader Bradley Wiggins hold onto his third-place standing in the Tour de France on a tough day in the Alps Tuesday. Wiggins finished the 159km Stage 16 from Martigny to Bourg-Saint-Maurice in the same group as Astana’s Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong, first and second respectively in the overall. Spaniard Mikel Astarloza won the stage.
On a day that saw some overall contenders lose time while racing over two massive mountains—the hors categorie Col du Grand-Saint-Bernard and the Cat. 1 Col du Petit-Saint-Bernard—Wiggins took one step closer to a possible podium finish in Paris this Sunday. He had plenty of help from his Garmin-Slipstream teammates. Dave Zabriskie put in a huge effort chasing a breakaway, and Christian Vande Velde finished with the elite group of overall contenders, moving up in the placings to tenth overall.
Wednesday’s Stage 17 will be another day in the mountains, with five categorized climbs including four Cat 1 ascents.
TOUR DE FRANCE STAGE 16 RESULTS
Martigny to Bourg-Saint-Maurice
1. Mikel Astarloza (Spa), Euskatel, 4:14:20
2. Sandy Casar (Fra), Francaise des Jeux, at 0:06
3. Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra), BBox Bouygues Telecom, at 0:06
4. Nicolas Roche (Irl), AG2R La Mondiale, at 0:06
5. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel), Silence-Lotto, at 0:06
OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER STAGE 16
1. Alberto Contador (Spa), Astana, 67:33:15
2. Lance Armstrong (USA), Astana, at 1:37
3. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Garmin-Slipstream, at 1:46
4. Andreas Kloden (Ger), Astana, at 2:17
5. Andy Schleck (Lu), Saxo Ban, at 2:26
10. Christian Vande Velde (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, at 3:59