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Tour de France: Ruben Plaza wins Stage 16

Gap, France: Spaniard Ruben Plaza took his first victory at the Tour de France at yesterday's 201km 16th stage from Bourg-de-Peage to Gap. Slovak Peter Sagan took second for the fifth time at this year's race as his two-year wait for a stage victory drags on.

Spain's Ruben Plaza celebrates as he crosses the finish line yesterday. Pic/AFP
Spain's Ruben Plaza celebrates as he crosses the finish line yesterday. Pic/AFP 

Colombian Jarlinson Pantano was third as race leader Chris Froome finishes amongst his main rivals to maintain his 3min 10sec lead over Nairo Quintana.

Thomas crashes
But Froome's teammate Geraint Thomas suffered a terrifying crash on the hair-raising descent to the finish.

Thomas was baulked by young Frenchman Warren Barguil, who lost control on a dangerous corner, and the Sky rider was knocked off the road, hitting his head on a post as he and his bike went over a sheer drop into vegetation.

The Welshman carried on, apparently "groggy" according to a French commentator following on a motorbike.

Reigning champion Vincenzo Nibali, down in eighth overall at the start of the day, attacked at the top of the final climb — the second category Col de Manse — 12km from the finish line, before the scary descent, and gained a few morale-boosting seconds. Thomas lost around a minute but held onto sixth place overall.

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