Tour de France 2019: Caleb Ewan Wins Stage 16, Julian Alaphilippe Retains Lead

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIJuly 23, 2019

Australia's Caleb Ewan (2ndL) celebrates, past Slovakia's Peter Sagan (2ndR), wearing the best sprinter's green jersey as he wins on the finish line of the sixteenth stage of the 106th edition of the Tour de France cycling race between Nimes and Nimes, in Nimes, on July 23, 2019. (Photo by Marco Bertorello / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)

Australia's Caleb Ewan picked up his second stage win of the 2019 Tour de France on Tuesday, pipping Elia Viviani and Dylan Groenewegen to the line in a bunched sprint finish:

A dramatic and hot Stage 16 saw defending champion Geraint Thomas and Jakob Fuglsang both suffer crashes on the 177-kilometre course that started and finished in the city of Nimes.

The stage was one for the sprinters and did not affect the general classification standings. The top six all finished safely in the group, meaning Julian Alaphilippe retains the yellow jersey.

Stephane Rossetto and Alexis Gougeard hit the front at the start of the race and were joined by Lars Bak, Paul Ourselin and Lukasz Wisniowski.

Yet there was drama further back in the peloton as Thomas came off his bike. The British rider avoided serious injury but was forced to wait for a replacement before continuing:

Thomas' team offered an update after the crash:

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Bak took 20 points from the intermediate sprint ahead of Rossetto and Ourselin. Peter Sagan in the green jersey had to settle for eighth and eight points:

Meanwhile, at the front, the group of five continued to lead the way, although the peloton ensured it kept a close eye on the breakaway.

The second crash of the day involved Jakob Fuglsang, who started the day ninth in the general classification.

The Dane was forced out of the stage with 27 kilometres remaining, and there are fears his Tour de France may be over:

The peloton reeled in the leading pack of five as they approached the end of the stage back in Nimes.

An exciting finish ensued, with Ewan showing great acceleration to burst up the left and past his rivals to beat Viviani to the line.