Kämna suckles for victory in tough 16th stage Tour de France

Lennard Kämna has written the sixteenth stage of the Tour de France to his name. The 24-year-old German rode away from his fellow fugitives Richard Carapaz and Sébastian Reichenbach on the penultimate climb and then isolated to the win in Villard-de-Lans.

In the thirteenth stage Kämna was also close to a stage win, but then had to acknowledge his superior in fellow breakaway Daniel Martínez. It‘s the first stage victory in a big round for the German, who is in his second Tour de France. Last year Kämna finished fourth in a stage once and in 40th place in the general classification.

Bernal drops further away

In the group of favourites Egan Bernal had to unload again. He had to let the peloton go on the Montée de St-Nizier-du-Moucherotte. The reigning Tour winner also lost more than seven minutes in the stage to the Grand Colombier and dropped out of the top ten of the general classification.

In the battle for the yellow jersey, Tadej Pogacar tried to grab a few seconds on the final climb, but leader of the general classification Primoz Roglic had little trouble following his young compatriot. Number four of the general classification, Miguel Ángel López, managed to make a small gap in the final meters and crossed the line as the first of the group of favourites.

The peloton, with 156 riders left, was flagged back on the road by Christian Prudhomme. The Tour boss tested positive on corona on the first rest day of this Tour de France, but after a week of quarantine and two negative tests he was allowed to return to the Tour caravan.

The corona tests on the second rest day were all negative. A total of 785 people were tested and none of them turned out to have the virus. It was the fourth time that the complete bubble was tested.

Large leading group

The road went straight up from the start and Dylan van Baarle was looking forward to a day in the leading group. The Dutchman from Ineos attacked and got Danish champion Kasper Asgreen and Tiesj Benoot among others. There was a leading group of 35 riders, but they got no space from the peloton and quickly caught up again.

The fifteen riders who then tried to escape were blessed by the peloton. Giro-winner of 2019 Carapaz, Kämna, Reichenbach, Warren Barguil, Matteo Trentin and Nicolas Roche, among others, were in the breakaway of the day. Casper Pedersen, Tiesj Benoot and Pierre Rolland were successful in the counter-attack and joined the leading group.

Rolland had set his sights on the ball jersey, which until today was on the shoulders of his compatriot Benoît Cosnefroy, and took the full booty on the Col de Porte and the Côte de Revel. As a result, the 33-year-old Frenchman has taken over the lead in the mountain classification and may wear the polka dot jersey in the seventeenth stage.

Winner of the second stage Julian Alaphilippe went hunting for the leaders together with Romain Sicard, Mikel Nieve, Simon Geschke, Pavel Sivakov and Neilson Powless. It took a while, but that attempt succeeded at 73 kilometres before the finish, so the leading group grew to 23 riders.

Alaphilippe explodes

Reichenbach, Alaphilippe, Kämna and Sivakov proved to be the strongest riders in the leading group and were left with five of them. One of the favourites for today’s stage win, Alaphilippe, had to pay for parrying an attack by Carapaz and lost the connection with the other three.

Kämna took off just before the top of the first category mountain. Carapaz and Reichenbach could no longer follow the young German.