Australian Michael Rogers won stage 16 of the Tour de France on Tuesday for his first triumph in cycling’s most prestigious race.
Following a second rest day on Monday the riders were back in the saddle for a 237.5 kilometre trek from Carcassonne to Luchon in southwestern France.
Rogers was part of a 21-man escape group that formed early on
The group dominated the day’s stage and managed to create a gap on the main bunch as high as 12 minutes.
meanwhile behind in the yellow jersey group Frenchman Thibaut Pinot attacked his rivals sensing a podium position in the overall standings.
A move that turned out to pay dividends.
Out in front the leading group had been whittled down to just a handful of riders as they approached the end at which point Rogers of the Tinkoff-Saxo team made a move of his own.
He left Europcar duo Thomas Voeckler and Cyril Gautier in his wake with a few kilometres remaining to enjoy a solo win.
After two wins in May’s Giro d’Italia, Tuesday’s triumph was his third Grand Tour victory since he returned from an overturned doping suspension in April.
Voeckler had to settle for second just ahead of team Sky’s Belarusian rider Vasili Kiryienka. Colombia’s José Serpa and Frenchman Gaultier rounded out the top five.
Italian Vincenzo Nibali kept himself at the top of the general standings just over four and a haf minutes clear of Spain’s Alejandro Valverde – Pinot jumped into third a further 30 seconds adrift.