Tour De France 2014: Stage 16 Route, Live Stream, Predictions, Updated Standings

Matt Jones@@MattJFootballFeatured ColumnistJuly 22, 2014

RISOUL, FRANCE - JULY 19:  Vincenzo Nibali of Italy and the Astana ProTeam retained his race leader's yellow jersey after the fourteenth stage of the 2014 Tour de France, a 177km stage between Grenoble and Risoul, on July 19, 2014 in Risoul, France.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

After the riders were able to indulge in what will be the final rest day of this year’s Tour de France, thoughts will begin to turn to Paris and the final stage in front of the Arc De Triomphe in five days' time.

Alexander Kristoff triumphed in Stage 15.
Alexander Kristoff triumphed in Stage 15.Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Stage 16 will mark the beginning of the final stint of the Tour and the riders will face a huge challenge as they make the 237km trek between Carcassonne and Bagneres-de-Luchon. This particular route is the longest of the entire race, and those taking part will face an uneven route that is rife with steep climbs in the latter stages.

But after a rest day, the riders should be refreshed and ready for the tricky test that awaits them at this late stage of the event.

Here’s all the information you need on where to catch the action, as the chasing pack look to make inroads into tour leader Vincenzo Nibali’s substantial lead. We’ll also take a look at the updated standings ahead of Stage 16 and which rider is best placed to triumph on the lengthy route into Bagneres-de-Luchon.

 

Stage 16 Route - Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon

BOUTX, FRANCE - JULY 19:  The breakaway makes the climb of the Col de Mente during stage seventeen of the 2012 Tour de France from Bagneres-de-Luchon to Peyragudes on July 19, 2012 in Boutx, France.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The longest stage of the entire tour awaits the riders following their rest day and looking at the route you can see why the organisers saw fit to give the competitors some recuperation time ahead of this particular section.

Already they’ve had to negotiate 48 climbs, as noted here by the Tour’s official Twitter account:

The first parts of this stage are relatively flat, although a few inclines will test the riders early on. But the final 100km of this 237km stage will be devilishly testing, with some rapid climbs and swift, technical descents set to give the riders taking part a thorough test of their capabilities.

Just to cap off what already looks like a perilously difficult stage, there's a summit to tackle of 1,755m at Port de Bales just 21km from the finish. Whoever can position themselves most astutely following that particular rise will be in a marvellous position to take the stage win, provided they can cope with the winding downward gradients.

 

Live Stream Details

Stage 16 TV and Stream Details
TVTimeStream
ITV4 / NBCSN2 p.m. BST / 9 p.m. ETITV Player / NBC Sports' Live Extra
ITV.com, NBC.com

 

Updated Standings

RISOUL, FRANCE - JULY 19:  Vincenzo Nibali of Italy and the Astana ProTeam retains his race leader's yellow jersey after the fourteenth stage of the 2014 Tour de France, a 177km stage between Grenoble and Risoul, on July 19, 2014 in Risoul, France.  (Phot
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Here's how the leaderboards look as the riders battle it out for the green and yellow jerseys, as well as the polka dot jersey. The full classifications can be found at LeTour.com:

Tour de France: Standings After Stage 15 (Yellow Jersey)
PositionRiderNationalityTeamTime
1Vincenzo NibaliItalyAstana66:49:37
2Alejandro ValverdeSpainMovistar+4:37
3Romain BardetFranceAG2R+4:50
4Thibaut PinotFranceFDJ.fr+5:06
5Tejay van GarderenUnited StatesBMC Racing+5:49
6Jean-Christophe PeraudFranceAG2R+6:08
7Bauke MollemaNetherlandsBelkin+8:33
8Leopold KonigCzech RepublicNetApp+9:32
9Laurens ten DamNetherlandsBelkin+10:01
10Pierre RollandFranceEuropcar+10:48
LeTour.com

Nibali holds a significant lead over Alejandro Valverde and another strong performance on Stage 16 could put the Italian well clear of his Spanish rival. Valverde has looked in fine fettle throughout the tour, but there were signs in the previous two stages that he was beginning to feel the effects of 15 stages.

Belmonte looks to be feeling the effects of the tour.
Belmonte looks to be feeling the effects of the tour.Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The rest day will have allowed him some time to recover from the draining sections up in the Alps, but the 237km distance could see him struggle to make any real inroads into Nibali’s lead. Instead, he could be doing his utmost to stave off the challenge from Romain Bardet, who trails Valverde by a meagre 13 seconds in third place overall.

Tour de France: Standings After Stage 15 (Green Jersey)
PositionRiderNationalityTeamPoints
1Peter SaganSlovakiaCannondale402
2Bryan CoquardFranceTeam Europcar226
3Alexander KristoffNorwayTeam Katusha217
4Marcel KittelGermanyTeam Giant-Shimano177
5Mark RenshawAustraliaOmega Pharma-Quick Step153
LeTour.com

The race for the green jersey is also being dominated by one man, with Cannondale’s Peter Sagan leading the way in that particular category.

Sagan leads the way in the points category.
Sagan leads the way in the points category.Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Sagan has been extremely consistent throughout the Tour, and it’ll take a superhuman effort from a competitor or a substantial collapse from the Slovakian rider if the maillot vert is to end up with anyone else come the conclusion of the competition. 

 

Prediction

CHAMROUSSE, FRANCE - JULY 18:  Vincenzo Nibali of Italy and the Astana Pro Team celebrates as he defends the overall race leader's yellow jersey and wins the thirteenth stage of the 2014 Tour de France, a 197km stage between Saint-Etienne and Chamrousse,
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Of all the enthralling stages we’ve had so far in this year’s showpiece, this one is arguably the most difficult one to call. It’s hugely difficult to anticipate how certain riders will react after a rest day, and as such, the field is especially open.

But the fact that this particular stage offers a host of varied challenges for the riders, makes it even more unpredictable.

In keeping with that, the best bet would be to back the most rounded rider in the Tour, which has been Nibali. The Italian has already showcased throughout the event that he can win stages using a host of different skills and he's shown there are not many riders who’ll be able to stick with him over the sharp late inclines.

The combination of a relatively easy ride during Stage 15 and the subsequent rest day should make for a refocused and well energised Nibali. Expect him to take the stage win and in doing so, extend his lead to an almost insurmountable margin with just five stages remaining.