Wednesday July 18th, 2012

Stage 16Pau / Bagnères-de-Luchon

Start 11h20 GMT 2+

One last opportunity...

Sporting stakes19.07.2012Stage 16- Pau / Bagnères-de-Luchon

There are two crucial stages yet to come in the 2012 Tour de France: the third high mountaintop finish of this year's edition and the time trial on the final Saturday. After stage 16, Bradley Wiggins was asked if he believed the psychological blows he had already delivered to his main overall rivals was enough to make them consider racing for a place on the podium rather than the victory. “Not yet,” said the race leader. “They gave us a good go over on the climbs today and tomorrow is another day, another challenge.”
That said, places on the podium are on offer and not just for first, second and third in the general classification – but the winner of the polka-dot jersey is yet to be determined. There are only four points between Thomas Voeckler and Frederik Kessiakoff and a day with five climbs awaits, including the final one which has double points for first at the finish.
Of course, stage honours will also lure riders into escape groups but by now we know who the strongest riders in the race are. The fact that it finishes uphill – on a climb that's never been part of the Tour itinerary before – means that we are sure to see the big stars at the front of the peloton... but will the escapees get to Peyragudes before Wiggins et al? After a short, difficult stage, more questions than this will be answered.

Stage 16 Pau / Pau

All about the stage key moments

Jersey wearers after the stage 20

Classifications after the stage 20

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