Tour de France: Fedrigo wins 16th stage

Lance Armstrong's bid for a fairytale finale ended in an anticlimax today as Pierrick Fedrigo won the 16th stage of the Tour de France.

Once so dominant he won seven successive Tours between 1999 and 2005, Armstrong attempted to bow out with a final flourish on the 199.5-kilometre 16th stage from Bagneres-de-Luchon to Pau.



However, having been in the lead group for much of the day, the Team RadioShack leader, who was more than 40 minutes behind yellow jersey Alberto Contador at the start of the day, finished sixth as Fedrigo (Bbox Bougyues Telecom) won in a sprint finish from Sandy Casar (FDJ) and Ruben Plaza Molina (Caisse D'Epargne).



It was the sixth French stage win of the 97th Tour.



Carlos Barredo (QuickStep) - fined for fighting earlier in the Tour - attacked after 45km and ploughed ahead, but was caught with less than 2km to go as the day's racing ended in a sprint.



The day began with Contador (Astana) in possession of the maillot jaune with an eight-second lead over Andy Schleck (Team Saxo Bank) after the Spaniard controversially took advantage of his rival's mechanical problem yesterday.

With a long descent to the finish in Pau, the duo chose not to attack today.



But while the race for the maillot jaune appears to be a duel between Contador and Schleck, Armstrong, who finished third in his comeback Tour in 2009 behind the same duo, had the personal ambition of taking a 26th stage win.



The 38-year-old American, who is riding in his 13th and final Tour and has worn the yellow jersey for 83 days, could not shake off his rivals and was beaten to the line in the sprint.



And with four days of racing remaining, he is unlikely to get another opportunity to stand atop the podium.



Tomorrow is the final rest day at the Tour, with Thursday's 174km 17th stage from Pau to Col du Tourmalet set to be the last opportunity for Schleck to gain time on Contador ahead of Saturday's 52km time-trial - the Spaniard is the more adept rider against the clock.

Armstrong entered the Tour dreaming of an eighth title but was cast adrift on the first Alpine stage.

Out of contention for the overall title, Armstrong, who turns 39 in September, was able to get in the day's early breakaway, along with Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), who finished fourth in 2009 but was 23rd at the start of the day.



The duo were joined by 12 others, but as Wiggins faded, Armstrong was still in contention over the hors categorie (beyond category) Col du Tourmalet.



The American was alongside nine riders at the summit of the fabled 17.1km Pyrenean climb and had Team RadioShack colleague Chris Horner for company.



The group had a lead of more than three minutes over Contador's group at the summit.



The advantage for a slimmed-down group of eight became nine minutes 42 seconds by the top of the 29.2km Col d'Aubisque - which featured an ascent of the Col du Soulor - with 61.5km of the stage remaining, most of it downhill.



Casar, who won the ninth stage to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, joined the leading eight on the descent.



Barredo, who worked hard up the Col d'Aubisque, attacked with 45km to go.



Barredo was involved in a fist fight with Rui Costa (Caisse D'Epargne) following stage six into Gueugnon, for which the duo were fined 400 Swiss Francs, but today he let his pedalling do the talking.



With 30km remaining he led by 48 seconds, with the peloton more than nine minutes adrift. However, it was not enough.



The eight in pursuit cut the deficit as they entered the suburbs of Pau and caught a slowing Barredo before bursting for the line.



Fedrigo ended Armstrong's dream, though.



Armstrong last won a Tour stage in Saint-Etienne on July 23, 2005 en route to his seventh title.



Five years on, having spent three years in retirement before coming back for two more Tours, it remains his last stage victory.



Thor Hushovd (Cervelo Test Team) climbed well all day and won the final sprint to the line from the peloton to finish 10th.



In winning six points, Hushovd reclaimed the points classification leader's green jersey from Alessandro Petacchi.



Hushovd now has 191 points, Petacchi lies second with 187 and Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) has 162 to lie 29 points behind.



The next sprint stage is expected to be Friday's 198km 18th stage from Sailes-de-Bearn to Bordeaux.





News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'