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.





Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'