|As the 99th Tour de France entered Pyrenees Mountains for the first time this year, the stage not only became a fight for stage win, but also a fight for the general classification, mountains classification and the best young riders' classification. After an original thirty-eight man breakaway split up across the climbs of stage 16, Europcar's Thomas Voeckler, who placed 4th overall at the 2011 Tour, won his second stage of the 2012 Tour de France after soloing to the stage win. Chris Anker Sorensen (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) placed second while Izaguirre Insausti Gorka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) crossed the finish line in 3rd.
The Tour's largest breakaway of this year featured a thirty-eight man group, including riders such as: Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Alexander Vinokourov (Astana), Brice Feillu (Saur-Sojasun), Izaguirre Insausti Gorka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and others.
After the breakaway had splintered into pieces on the climbs during stage 16, Brice Feillu and Thomas Voeckler found themselves at the front of the race. The two Frenchman pushed on hard on the stage, but as Feillu weakened on the one of the final climbs, Voeckler attacked and went on himself for the stage win.
As the fight ahead for the stage win continued, the fight between the general classification began in the peloton. While Vincenzo Nibali's Liquigas-Cannondale team and Jurgen Van Den Broeck's Lotto Beliso team began to set tempo at the front of the peloton, defending Tour champion, Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) cracked on the climbs up to Bagnères-de-Luchon.
Whilst Evans cracked on the climbs, Nibali soon after attacked the peloton and Bradley WIggins' Team Sky squad. Chris Froome immediately raised the pace of the peloton in pursuit of Nibali. Froome and Wiggins rode off the front of the peloton and quickly reached the back wheel of Nibali. The three men, who currently sit in the top three positions overall, continued to ride away from the peloton, which contained Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing), Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) and other general classification contenders.
At the end of the day, the peloton, Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Cadel Evans, Pierre Rolland (Europcar) and others all lost time to Wiggins, Froome and Nibali. Van Den Broeck, Van Garderen, Nicholas Roche (AG2R) all lost nearly a minute t the Wiggins, Froome and Nibali while Cadel Evans suffered even worse, losing over four minutes to Wiggins and the two others.
Stage 16 Results
1. FRA VOECKLER Thomas TEAM EUROPCAR 05h 35' 02'' '
2. DEN SORENSEN Chris Anker TEAM SAXO BANK-TINKOFF BANK + 01' 40'' '
3. ESP IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI Gorka EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI + 03' 22'' '
4. KAZ VINOKOUROV Alexandre ASTANA PRO TEAM + 03' 22'' '
5. FRA FEILLU Brice SAUR-SOJASUN + 03' 58'' '
6. GER VOIGT Jens RADIOSHACK-NISSAN + 04' 18'' '
7. IRL MARTIN Daniel GARMIN-SHARP + 06' 08'''
8. ITA STORTONI Simone LAMPRE - ISD + 06' 08'' '
9. ITA CARUSO Gianpaolo KATUSHA TEAM + 06' 08'' '
10. NE DTEN DAM Laurens RABOBANK CYCLING TEAM + 06' 11'' '
11. ITA NIBALI Vincenzo LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE + 07' 09'' '
12. GB RWIGGINS Bradley SKY PROCYCLING + 07' 09'' '
13. GB RFROOME Christopher SKY PROCYCLING + 07' 09'' '
14. IRL ROCHE Nicolas AG2R LA MONDIALE + 08' 07'' '
15. USA VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC RACING TEAM + 08' 07''
16. BEL VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen LOTTO-BELISOL TEAM + 08' 07'' '
17. ESP ZUBELDIA Haimar RADIOSHACK-NISSAN + 08' 07'' '
18. ESP VALVERDE Alejandro TEAM MOVISTAR + 08' 07'' '
19. ESP COBO ACEBO Juan Jose TEAM MOVISTAR + 08' 07'' '
20. USA HORNER Christopher RADIOSHACK-NISSAN + 08' 07''
General Classification After Stage 16
1. GBR WIGGINS Bradley SKY PROCYCLING 74h 15' 32'' '
2. GBR FROOME Christopher SKY PROCYCLING + 02' 05'' '
3. ITA NIBALI Vincenzo LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE + 02' 23'' '
4. BEL VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen LOTTO-BELISOL TEAM + 05' 46'' '
5. ESP ZUBELDIA Haimar RADIOSHACK-NISSAN + 07' 13'' '
6. USA VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC RACING TEAM + 07' 55'' '
7. AUS EVANS Cadel BMC RACING TEAM + 08' 06'' '
8. SLO BRAJKOVIC Janez ASTANA PRO TEAM + 09' 09'' '
9. FRA ROLLAND Pierre TEAM EUROPCAR + 10' 10'' '
10. FRA PINOT Thibaut FDJ-BIGMAT + 11' 43''
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