Michael Rogers, winner of two Giro d'Italia stages in May, has today taken his first ever Tour de France stage victory in Bagneres de Luchon as the race entered the Pyrenees. The Australian attacked from the break late on to take a solo win. It's the second stage win in four days for Tinkoff-Saxo, who have rescued a race that saw Alberto Contador depart last week with a broken leg. Europcar's Thomas Voeckler finished second, with Team Sky's Vasil Kiryienka third.
The breakaway group that Rogers got into, comprising 21 riders, took a while to form on the 237.5 kilometre stage from Carcassonne, the longest of this year’s race.
The biggest obstacle of the stage was the Hors-Catagorie Porte de Balès, crested 21.5 kilometres from the finish.
On that ascent, AG2R’s Romain Bardet, third overall this morning, was dropped from the group containing the overall contenders and cedes his potential podium spot to FDJ.fr’s Thibaut Pinot.
Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali retains the race lead, 4 minutes 37 seconds ahead of Alejandro Valverde of Movistar.
Tomorrow’s Stage 17 sees the peloton tackle three Catgeory 1 climbs ahead of an Hors-Categorie summit finish at Saint-Lary Pla d’Adet.
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Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.