Tour de France Stage 16: Golas, Trentin Again Try Their Chance
Etixx - Quick-Step riders Michal Golas and Matteo Trentin went up the road on another long, hot day of Le Tour de France on Monday, on a day when the breakaway succeeded on the day before the rest day, 201km Stage 16 from Bourg-de-Péage to Gap. Ruben Plaza (Lampre-Merida) won solo, attacking after two leaders were caught on Cat 2 Col de Manse (8.9km, 5.6%). Plaza quickly gained a 28" advantage on nine chasers remaining out of a group as big as 23 riders earlier in the race.
Only Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) could clase Plaza on the technical descent before the finish, but he was unable to catch Plaza and placed 2nd. Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling) finished 3rd as he was the only rider who followed the full gas descending of Sagan.
Golas finished 14th, and Trentin earned a 23rd place finish.
The 23-riders came together with about 85.9km to go in the stage as a group of chasers, including Golas and Trentin, caught up to a lead group, including Sagan. The cooperation between the group was limited, but the peloton had already sat up with 100.5km remaining in the race, giving the breakaway the green light to decide the stage.
Adam Hansen (Lotto Soudal) decided to go solo with 41.2km remaining following a flurry of attacks within the lead group. He was soon joined by Marco Haller (Katusha). Despite having a healthy advantage at the foot of Col de Manse, that steep climb devastated the advantage, and also split up the breakaway. Trentin and Golas were unable to stay with the actions.
The peloton, meanwhile, gave the breakaway nearly 20 minutes at one point in the race. The action within the group came on the same climb as the breakaway, and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) gained 28" seconds on the reduced GC group he was in by going alone, and keeping his advantage on the descent.
Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to the final rest day of Le Tour de France on Tuesday. Etixx - Quick-Step went on the attack throughout the second week, entering multiple breakaways. Trentin and Golas were particularly active as protagonists.
"It was a big breakaway," Golas said. "I don't think anyone really wanted to go at first, At one point Sagan attacked and brought half the group away. We were in the middle, but we saw that Gallopin was with us. At first I thought 'OK, they're going to bring us back,' but it was not so easy. We chased for a really long time. It cost a lot of energy. But also guys in the front, they never slowed down either. So, more or less it was the same for everybody when we came back together. At that point when we caught them we all started to ride together, and knew there would be attacks before the last climb. On the last climb, as predicted, everything was decided. I was in the breakaway two days ago, yesterday I was in the group with Mark Cavendish, bringing him to the finish. Also, don't forget the days where I was pulling at the front of the peloton all day. I have a lot of work in my legs over these last two weeks. In the end, I didn't have a lot of chances to recovery, and I am sure I paid for it a bit on the climb. But, we are at Le Tour, and every day there is something new to do for the team. When I can go on the offensive, I like it. I just try to fight until the end, no matter what is my job day-by-day."
"Even today it was a super fast start," Trentin said. "Then the breakaway split in two and we used about 100 kilometers trying to come back. We were always 45 seconds or 60 seconds, but we never gave up. When we finally came back it was a bit relaxed. Then we knew the last climb would decide the whole race. We knew the race would be in the breakaway today. Everybody was just playing their own cards. So we just tried to hang on until that moment. But for me, it didn't work. Honestly the legs were not there they way they needed to be, I probably paid for the efforts this week. I'm definitely looking forward to the rest day after hard racing in super hot temperatures every day."