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Tour de France 2018: Julian Alaphilippe wins stage 16 after Adam Yates crashes

Tour de France 2018: Julian Alaphilippe wins stage 16 after Adam Yates crashes

Julian Alaphilippe also won stage 10 of this year's Tour de FranceFrenchman Julian Alaphilippe won an eventful stage 16 of the Tour de France after Britain's Adam Yates crashed late on while leading.Yates crested the final climb alone but fell on the descent 7km before the finish in Bagneres-de-Luchon.Alaphilippe was applying the pressure behind and swung past to claim his second victory of this year's Tour.
Geraint Thomas kept the yellow jersey and leads fellow Briton and team-mate Chris Froome by one minute 39 seconds.The race was delayed 29km into the 218km stage from Carcassonne after a protest by French farmers.Hay bales were thrown across the road before police appeared to use a spray on protesters, which then blew into the peloton.Some riders, including Team Sky's Thomas and Froome, stopped and doused their eyes with water.The race was delayed for 15 minutes while riders received medical attention, before a large group broke clear after the resumption, from which Alaphilippe attacked throughout, also extending his lead in the polka dot jersey mountains classification.
Riders sprayed amid protest
Stage 16 - as it happened
Even before Yates' crash, Quick-Step Floors rider Alaphilippe looked on course to catch the 25-year-old, whose front wheel slipped from under him as he hit a wet patch in the road. Yates finished third, with Gorka Izagirre second."I've taken more risks on more technical descents before and never had any problems, but you never know what is coming round these corners," Mitchelton-Scott rider Yates told ITV 4."I've no bad injuries, just bad morale - it's pretty devastating to come that close to winning a stage of the Tour and not win."
Alaphilippe wins thrilling chase
Yates, 25, rode a faultless race until his crash, powerfully bridging across to leading duo Robert Gesink and Domenico Pozzovivo on the final climb, the Col du Portillon, before kicking clear as soon as Alaphilippe also made the catch.Keeping his pedal stroke smooth and only getting out of the saddle on the steepest sections, Yates built up a 22-second lead by the summit, with only Alaphilippe able to respond.That set up a dramatic downhill chase in the final 10km, during which Alaphilippe used his tremendous descending skills to cut the gap by eight seconds in 3km by the time Yates fell.Although Yates was back riding quickly, he knew his chance was gone, shaking his head as he was caught by Bahrain-Merida's Izagirre, who sprinted to second, with Yates holding off the other pursuers."We didn't think it was in the bag," said Mitchelton-Scott sporting director Matt White. "Alaphilippe is one of the world's fastest descenders and it put Adam under a lot of pressure to take some risks."We were right behind Alaphilippe in the team car and some of the positions he got in down that descent, I've never seen before in my life."As with his stage 10 win, victory here was reward for Alaphilippe's attacking instincts, the 26-year-old ensuring he contested every climb to pick up 30 points and extend his lead over Warren Barguil in the king of the mountains competition to 49 points.
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