Julian Alaphilippe

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Live Reporting

By Jack Skelton

All times stated are UK

  1. Bak wins intermediate sprint

    Lars Bak leads the five-man break through the intermediate sprint point.

    The sprinters will soon be chasing the remaining green jersey points on offer at the line.

  2. Post update

    Thibaut Pinot’s team Groupama-FDJ are determined to not get caught out again by any crosswinds, though…

    Groupama-FDJ rider Stefan Kung, speaking to ITV4 before the start of stage 16:“We had a good chat together after the stage in Albi – we made a few mistakes and want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

    “We know where the danger points are and each rider has a role. Thibaut Pinot’s legs are on fire and we need to make sure nothing happens to him today so he can show his real self again in the Alps.

    “We had a look at everything on the route and I looked on Google street view for the last 70km so I’m ready.”

  3. Post update

    When Geraint Thomas told ITV4 he “didn’t know” what section the crosswinds might occur on, he was lying.

    The broad grin on his face gave it away.

    Team Ineos will be fully prepared to “twist the knife” – as Dave Brailsford put it – on their rivals if there is another chance of taking time in the crosswinds today.

    Of course, the wind might change direction and this is all a lot of excited anticipation over nothing.

  4. Post update

    Geraint Thomas, speaking to ITV4 before the start of stage 16:“Obviously we are aware of the possibility of crosswinds but we just need to play it by ear.

    “It just depends if it’s blowing in the same direction and how strong it is in the finale but we’ll just keep riding as we have been – attentive at the front.

    “I don’t know what section it is but it’s just about being there, ready for anything. It should normally be a sprint day but so much has happened you just never know.

    “We’ll have ice socks for the back of the neck and extra feeds on the road but the main thing is to drink plenty – some boys might be going back and forth to the car for bottles more than normal today.”

  5. Crosswinds?

    Right, before Geraint Thomas took a tumble I was talking about the threat of crosswinds on today’s stage.

    The section to look out for is from about 54km to go when the race will take a left turn and, as it stands, then have to deal with a crosswind blowing from the south.

    It’s harder to follow the wheel in front when racing in a crosswind and the bunch are more liable to split apart.

    The crosswinds did exactly that on stage 10 and resulted in several of the favourites, including Thibaut Pinot, losing significant time.

  6. Post update

    Thomas now drops slightly off the back of the peloton to the Ineos team car.

    He’s getting some water sprayed on his left leg to try and clear some of that road grit out of his grazes.

  7. 125km to go

    Geraint Thomas is back with the main peloton.

    The bunch are 1:20 behind a five-man breakaway after 52km of racing.

    The breakaway consists of Lars Bak (Den/Dimension Data), Alexis Gougeard (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale), Paul Ourselin (Fra/Total Direct Energie), Stephane Rossetto (Fra/Cofidis), Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol/CCC).

  8. Post update

    A few grazes for Thomas down his left-hand side, particularly on his elbow.

    He doesn’t seem to be injured at all. Still not ideal.

  9. Thomas crash

    We’ll get back to the crosswinds – they are not the only hazard on the route.

    Defending champion Geraint Thomas has just taken a tumble going round an innocuous right-hand bend.

    Hard to tell why – his front wheel just buckled in the wrong direction but he didn’t look to clip another rider. Perhaps he flicked the kerb.

    The Welshman dusts himself off and gets a new bike. He’s being paced back to the peloton by several Ineos team-mates now.

  10. Stage 16 profile

    Here is what the riders are tackling today – a 177km mostly flat loop, starting and ending in Nimes.

    It should finish in a bunch sprint, with this stage the only remaining opportunity for the sprinters before Sunday’s final stage in Paris.

    However, there is the threat of crosswinds in the final third of the route…

    Stage 16 profile

    Copyright: Tour de France

  11. Post update

    Even after yesterday’s rest day, the peloton look to be in the mood for as little stress as possible today, especially after that brutal run of stages in the Pyrenees.

    A five-man break was allowed to get up the road early on and the sprinters’ teams are just controlling the gap, making sure it doesn’t get too big.

  12. Bonjour

    It is a scorcher in the south of France today.

    Temperatures are set to reach 39 [THIRTY-NINE] degrees around Nimes.

    Fortunately for the peloton, the course is flat.

    Though nothing has been that straightforward in this enthralling Tour de France.