17 Jul 2013

Costa takes solo win in Tour

5:55 am on 17 July 2013

Portugal cyclist Rui Costa has won the 16th stage of the Tour de France, tackling the Col de Manse climb alone after breaking away near the end of the 168-kilometre stage from Vaison-la-Romaine.

The Movistar rider stayed ahead down the second-category climb's tricky descent into Gap to win by 42 seconds, ahead of Frenchman Christophe Riblon and compatriot Arnold Jeannesson.

Briton Chris Froome retains the race leader's yellow jersey despite nearly coming off his bike as he battled with former champion Alberto Contador on the winding descent to the finish line.

Contador came off on the same bend while Froome went off the road himself before both riders rejoined a group of favourites who crossed the line 11 minutes behind Costa.

Both men appeared unhurt but Froome accused the Spaniard of careless riding.

Froome says Contador overcooked one of the corners and came off in front of him and he nearly came off himself and had to unclip.

Froome added that Contador is obviously getting desperate if he is attacking on the descents.

The British rider leads the Dutchman Bauke Mollema by four minutes and 14 seconds and Contador by another 11 seconds.

Contador, who won the race in 2007 and 2009, moves up to third in the overall standings, behind Dutch rider Bauke Mollema, ahead of Thursday's time trial.