2016 Tour de France: Follow Britain's cyclists with stage-by-stage coverage

2016 Tour de France: Follow Britain's cyclists with stage-by-stage coverage

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The greatest race on two wheels, the Tour de France is a three-week stage race, contested over 3,519km of tortuous mountain passes, electrifying time trials and breath taking bunch sprints.

Watched by 3.5 billion people worldwide, Le Tour sees the best road riders in the world compete for the ultimate prize; le maillot jaune, the yellow jersey.

Last year’s champion, Great Britain’s Chris Froome, is back to try and win a third title but faces tough competition from Nairo Quintana and former champion Alberto Contador, racing in his last Tour.

Stage one
Cavendish takes 27th Tour de France stage win for yellow jersey
2 July

Mark Cavendish delivered a devastating sprint to take his 27th Tour de France stage win and with it the yellow jersey for the first time in his career.

Stage summary

Mark Cavendish delivered a devastating sprint to take his 27th Tour de France stage win and with it the yellow jersey for the first time in his career.

Cavendish saw off the challenges of Marcel Kittel and Peter Sagan at Utah Beach as the 188km stage ended in the expected bunch sprint.

What they said - Mark Cavendish

“Phenomenal, it really is phenomenal. It’s the third opportunity, the third one without bad luck. I don’t really know what to say. It is a big goal.

"We came here with the aim of doing it with Dimension Data. The team had the polka dot jersey for a few days last year, and we wanted this. There’s no bigger icon in cycling than the yellow jersey. I do it for my team, for the continent of Africa and I do it to try and get 5,000 kids on bicycles. I’m so happy with that.

“To pull on this jersey is an honour. It is going to be a special day tomorrow.”

Results

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

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Stage two
Cavendish enjoys day in yellow as Froome's rivals falter
3 July

Mark Cavendish

Stage summary

Mark Cavendish had the honour of wearing the yellow jersey but as expected, with the uphill finish at Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, the race found a new leader in stage winner Peter Sagan who won from a select group.

Chris Froome’s general classification rivals Alberto Contador and Richie Porte both lost time on the 183km stage from Saint-Lô to Cherbourg-en-Contentin - the former suffering from injuries sustained over two crashes, the latter obtaining a puncture inside the 10km.

Froome was 10th on the day, enough to move him to fifth overall.

What they said - Mark Cavendish

"So that’s that. It’s not often I’m on the turbo after a stage so it shows I went a little bit deeper than I wanted to today. But we’re happy to have worn the yellow."

Result

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day

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Stage 3: Cavendish wins his second stage and takes the green jersey
4 July
223.5km

Cav wins stage three

Stage summary

Mark Cavendish won his 28th stage of the Tour de France, equalling Bernard Hinault’s incredible record. Only the great Eddie Merckx has won more stages now than the Manx Missile.

After nearly 6 hours of riding, the race came to a head with less than 10km to go. The sprint teams jostled for position on the wide roads leading into Angers but it was Team Dimension Data who kept the strongest road position, with two riders leading Cavendish all the way into the finish.

Andre Greipel thought he’d taken the victory but a photo finish confirmed the British rider had edged the stage and made an even firmer imprint in the history books.

What they said - Mark Cavendish

“I know when I win and lose normally and I thought I had it but I had to be sure. It was phenomenal, a really hairy finish. We had really planned this stage – I knew Andre would hit out because he didn’t win the other day.”

Result

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

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Stage 4: Kittel takes the fourth stage after another photo finish from the scintillating sprinters
5 July
237.5km

The sprinter wins stage 4

Stage summary

Marcel Kittel finally got a long-promised stage victory in Limoges after the Etixx-Quick Step rider out-paced a powerful finish from Bryan Coquard. Mark Cavendish was in place with two lead out riders when entering the final stages but got boxed in on the uphill drag to the finish and could not contest.

The sprint teams were in pieces after a bottleneck junction entering the town strung the peloton out along the course.

Dan McLay had his highest finish of the tour so far, crossing the line in seventh place, ahead of countryman, Cavendish.

Peter Sagan, never far from the thick of the action, crossed the line in third and retained the yellow jersey for a third day.

What they said - Mark Cavendish

"It was a bit sketchy at the end - I nearly crashed with about five kilometres to go. I thought I'd be on Kittel's wheel but in the end all it was was survival; it's my own fault. Sprinting is about getting it right; today I didn't get it right."

Result

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

Tip of the day

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Stage 5: First mountain stage leaves peloton in tatters and Greg Van Avermaet takes a surprise yellow jersey
6 July
216km

Tour de France stage 5

Stage summary

Belgian Greg Van Avermaet took the yellow jersey from Peter Sagan on stage five, as the Tour entered the mountains for the first time.

The BMC rider blew apart the field with a group of breakaway riders with over 80km still left to ride.

Most of the GC favourites finished over five minutes behind Van Avermaet in the chasing peloton, but Chris Froome, Fabio Aru and Nairo Quintana retained their positions in the overall top 10. Vincenzo Nibali and Alberto Contador however both lost valuable time on the leaders.

Young British rider Adam Yates crossed the line in eighth place and stays just six seconds behind white jersey-wearer Julian Alaphilippe.

What they said

Greg Van Avermaet

"Everything went perfectly - it feels great to get the yellow jersey, it's a dream come true. It is a once in a lifetime chance for me and I'm going to enjoy it as much as possible tomorrow."

Chris Froome

"Van Avermaet did a pretty impressive ride today. We were happy to stay out of trouble - the big general classification days are still to come.

On Contador losing time after his early crashes: "No one wants to see that - I'd rather get time from him in the mountains, not see him crash out like that."

Result

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

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Stage 6: British sprinters on top of the world as Cavendish wins third stage and McLay is third behind Kittel
7 July
190.5km

A third stage for the record breaking Brit

Stage summary

After a thrilling sprint Mark Cavendish won his third stage, the 29th of his illustrious career on the Grand Tour, moving him into second on the all-time stage wins list, behind the great Eddie Merckx.

The Dimension Data rider was hidden behind the hulking Marcel Kittel as the sprinters were led out but emerged with less than 200 metres to go and out-paced the German.

Dan McLay put his superb finishing skills to good use, as he crossed the line just inches behind Cavendish and Kittel; third place and a fourth top-10 finish for the promising British rider.

The day's breakaway did not enjoy the success of Van Avermaet's effort on the previous stage, so the peloton entered the final 20km together leaving the Belgian in possession of the yellow jersey for a second day.

What they said - Mark Cavendish

"Oh my God! That was terrifying! It was carnage, twisting and turning.

"I wanted Kittel's wheel, I knew it would be the right thing to do. I went early but I kept going to the line - I really wanted it. I just did to Kittel what he's been doing to me for the last three years."

Result

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

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Stage 7: Steve Cummings rides solo to win in the Pyrenees
8 July
162.5km

Steve Cummings takes a wonderful win as the Tour reaches the Pyrenees

Stage summary

A stunning solo effort from Steve Cummings saw the Dimension Data rider take a wonderful win as the Tour reached the Pyrenees.

The 35-year-old attacked from the break with 27km to go of the 162.5km stage from L’Isle-Jourdain to Lac du Payolle.

Vincenzo Nibali, Daryl Impey and Daniel Navarro gave chase but Cummings extended his gap to over a minute on the final category one Col d’Aspin, before descending to victory, his second in as many years at the Grand Tour.

Greg Van Avermaet retained the yellow jersey with Chris Froome six minutes and 42 seconds behind the BMC rider in the general classification.

What they said - Steve Cummings

“Feel pretty exhausted, it was a hard one, I’m ecstatic with the team. It’s been fantastic, it’s great to be with Mark Cavendish, he’s such a legend. Today was a brilliant day. I just gave it everything to the top of the Aspin.

“Success breeds success and Cav’s a winner - there’s a really good atmosphere in the team. They are all winners.”

Result

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

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Stage 8: Froome takes stunning stage win and yellow jersey
9 July
184km

Chris Froome moved in to the yellow jersey with a stunning descent to win stage eight.

Stage summary

Chris Froome moved in to the yellow jersey with a stunning descent to win stage eight.

The Team Sky rider attacked the lead group after ascending the Col de Peyresourde with a surprising but remarkable descent that caught his general classification rivals Nairo Quintana and Richie Porte off guard.

Froome crossed the line 13 seconds clear and with a 10-second time bonus for victory took yellow.

Adam Yates, who rode superbly to remain in the front group up the final climb, retained the white young rider’s classification jersey with Mark Cavendish holding on to the green points jersey.

What they said - Chris Froome

“It wasn't really planned. I thought I'd give it a try in the downhill as the few tries on the climb didn't work out. They were sticking to us. So I decided to give it a go in the descent. It was cool. Bike racing is just fun, but maybe I spent a little bit too much. Tomorrow is a hard stage but I take every second I can. It's just a really good feeling to win. The guys rode all day so I did it for them.”

Result

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

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Stage 9: Yates thrives in great company to keep white jersey
10 July
184.5km

Adam Yates made a superb statement on intent as he held his own in a select group to retain the white jersey on Andorre Arcalis.

Stage summary

Adam Yates made a superb statement of intent as he held his own in a select group to retain the white jersey on Andorre Arcalis.

With Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana, Dan Martin and Richie Porte for company, the youngster kept with the pace before leading the group over the line on the summit finish.

Froome kept the yellow jersey as Tom Dumoulin won the stage with a solo attack on the final climb from the breakaway group on the 184.5km stage, with Yates remaining second overall.

What they said - Geraint Thomas

"It was actually quite nice, it was like being back in Wales. It was hard with the heat so the rain was quite nice."

Result

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

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REST DAY
11 July

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Stage 10: Safe passage for GC contenders
12 July
198k

Tour de France stage 10 winner Michael Matthews

Stage summary

On a quiet day for the British riders, Australian Michael Matthews took his first ever Tour de France stage win, holding off the challenge from road world champion Peter Sagan after several riders broke away from the main pack.

Team Sky kept Chris Froome safe in the peloton, more than nine minutes behind Matthews and the leaders. Froome retains the yellow jersey heading into stage 11, with Adam Yates still in second place, 16 seconds behind his British rival and still in the white jersey.

Sagan's second place finish in the sprint sees the Slovakian regain the green jersey from Mark Cavendish, who finished in the main pack.

What they said - Michael Matthews

"It's unbelievable, the emotion is just sinking in, to have won a stage after two really bad years in the Tour de France. I was close to giving up on this race, thinking it was maybe not for me, but today was incredible. 

What they said - Chris Froome

"This is the dream, this is what it's all about - to be in yellow. It's a pretty special feeling, I'm going to soak it up and enjoy it while I'm here."

Result

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

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Stage 11: Green and yellow jerseys cross the line together in very unusual breakaway
13 July
162.5km

 Green jersey and yellow cross together

Stage synopsis

Peter Sagan won his second stage and all but put the green jersey out of reach on a windswept day on the southern coastal roads.

With 11km to go a Tinkoff-led breakaway off the front of the peloton, consisting of Peter Sagan and Maciej Bodnar and Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas of Team Sky, and put a 20 second gap between themselves and the chasing pack.

Confusion reigned as both GC teams and sprinters' lead outs battle to get back in touch as the green and jerseys dissappeared up the road together.

Froome finished in second behind the dominant Tinkoff sprinter and stole another 15 seconds from his closest rivals.

Team Sky, BMC and Movistar controlled the race from the front of the peloton, ensuring that their GC contenders were kept safe, while Tinkoff Saxo had only to prepare Peter Sagan for the final sprint, after Contador's exit from the Tour.

Mechanical issues put paid to Mark Cavendish's day, as the Dimension Data's bike gave in with less than 10km to go.

What they said - Geraint Thomas

"I was surprised by that! Sagan was just motoring, Froomey responded and I was full on the gas at the end there.  We were waiting all day for something to happen but that was impressive and boy was that hard."

Result

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

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Stage 12: Chris Froome forced to run up final slopes of Mont Ventoux after GC contenders crash with motorbike
14 July
178km

The yellow jersey is left with a useless bike on the slopes of Mont Ventoux

Stage synopsis

Chris Froome's Tour was hanging in the balance as a crash involving fellow GC favourites Richie Porte, Bauke Mollema and a motorbike saw the yellow jersey lose his bike and forced to run up the slopes of Mont Ventoux.

Unable to find a bike until a few hundred metres from the finish line, the race leader lost vital seconds to his rivals, including Adam Yates and Nairo Quintana, who he had previously outpaced on the lower slopes.

Thomas De Ghent of Lotto Soudal had already won the stage and taken the King of the Mountains jersey, after a breakaway group managed to keep the favourites at bay up the famous slopes.

The yellow jersey stays on Froome's shoulders however, after an appeal saw the British rider reinstated at the top of the standings.

Fellow Brit, Adam Yates had been provisionally awarded the top honours after another strong ride which saw him avoid the drama further up the road.

What they said

Richie Porte - "The crowd were all over the road, it was a mess. The motorbike had to just stop and Froome went into the back of me. They've got to do something about it - we were 26 seconds in front - this cannot stand."

Geraint Thomas - On Chris Froome running up the mountain: "'Well, he's from Kenya, you expect him to be good at that."

Result

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

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Stage 13: First time trial extends Froome's lead as Dumoulin puts down an unbeatable time to take the stage
15 July
37km Individual Time Trial

Tour de France stage 13

Stage synopsis

It was a sombre affair on the 13th stage and first time trial of the 2016 Tour de France today. The riders gathered to pay their respects to the innocent French citezens that lost their lives in a terror attack in Nice on Bastille Day.

The stage was won by Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin, who is now the odds-on favourite to take the Olympic time trial title in Rio next month.

Chris Froome finished with the second quickest time, extending his lead over the other GC contenders, while Bauke Mollema overtook Adam Yates in the general classification to move second overall.

Yates however retained the white jersey and third place overall as, once again, Nairo Quintana did not produce the form that many expected and are yet to see.

What they said - Chris Froome

“I gave my everything today but, it's too sad. It's the strangest moment of my career.

"It's difficult to talk about today's stage. With what is happening in France, it gives a different perspective about the race.

"My thoughts go with all the families in Nice and those affected. I do a lot of training on those roads. To see the Promenade with all the dead bodies and the horrific scenes is devastating. I express my deepest sympathy and my condolences to those who lost their loved ones.”

Result

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

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Stage 14: Cavendish picks up fourth stage win of the Tour in dominant fashion
16 July
208.5km

Mark Cavendish wins stage 14 of the 2016 Tour de France

Stage synopsis

A flat windy day at the Tour de France provided many riders with the chance to rest their legs after their efforts in the time trial on Friday - but Mark Cavendish had no such intentions, sprinting his way to a fourth stage win at the 2016 Tour de France and his 30th in Tour history.

The Manx Missile latched on to Marcel Kittel's wheel in the closing stages, pouncing as the finish line approached to claim a stunning victory.

The German wasn't happy with Cavendish's overtaking move, but the Dimension Data rider was adjudged to committed no offence.

In the General Classification, all the leading contenders finished in the main group - meaning Team Sky's Chris Froome maintains his 1 minute 47 second lead and stays in yellow.

What they said - Mark Cavendish

"We knew we had to be there when it narrowed. It was about jumping the train at the end.

"I followed Kittel and made sure I stayed there. I saw Quick Step hit out early and knew Kittel would be left out in the front.

"He kicked off a bit but I was way past him - I think he was just frustrated."

Result

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

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Stage 15: Chris Froome retains yellow jersey on day of climbing at Le Tour
17 July
159km

Chris Froome retains yellow jersey

Stage summary

Chris Froome retained his yellow jersey on a day of climbs at Le Tour as Colombian Jarlinson Pantano won his first ever Tour stage.

The IAM Cycling rider outfoxed Rafal Majka in a sprint to the finish line. The pair had been part of a 30-man breakaway, becoming the final two as the climbs of the Grand Colombier took their toll on many of the riders.

Chris Froome maintains his one minute 47 lead following a quiet day in the peloton, while Adam Yates remains in third and in the white jersey.

What they said: Jarlinson Pantano

"This is incredible. It's a dream come true. I came to the Tour de France for that but I didn't believe it could happen. I'm very happy. I've done it thanks to my team-mates. I dedicate this victory to my wife and my team captain Mathias Frank who had to pull out because he was sick."

Result

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

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Stage 16: No danger for Froome or Yates as Sagan strikes
209km
18 July

Chris Froome maintained his advantage in the yellow jersey

Stage summary

Chris Froome maintained his advantage in the yellow jersey as did Adam Yates in the white jersey but it was the green jersey, Peter Sagan, who took the stage win in Berne.

The world champion won the sprint from a reduced group ahead of Alexander Kristoff.

Mark Cavendish had done superbly to stay in the lead group in a final few kilometres that featured short, sharp ascents but he could not contest the win after the 209km from Moirans-en-Montage.

What they said - Chris Froome

"I wasn’t up there for the last few kilometres, it was sketchy. I just tried to stay out of trouble. Everyone is glad there is a rest day tomorrow. That was tough today.

"I’m looking forward to the Alps."

Result

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

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REST DAY
19 July

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Stage 17: Froome extends lead with late attack as Yates closes gap on second
184.5km
20 July

Chris Froome

Stage summary

On a colossal climb in the Swiss mountains, Chris Froome extended his lead in the general classification by 40 seconds following a late breakaway alongside Richie Porte.

Froome now leads Bauke Mollema by two minutes and 27 seconds - but there was also success for white jersey holder Adam Yates.

The young British rider lead a late attack behind Froome and Porte, leaving Mollema and Nairo Quintana behind and closing the gap on second-place Mollema from 58 to 26 seconds.

The stage was won by Russian Ilnur Zakarin of Team Katusha who launched a solo attack at the base of the final climb to leave Jarlinson Pantano and Rafal Majka behind and take his first ever Tour de France stage victory.

What they said - Geraint Thomas

"It was a hot day, it was a fast start. When Nibali raised it towards the top of the penultimate climb, I felt like I was overheating. I don't really know what happened up front!

"The strength in depth is massive for us. If someone is having a bad day, there are three other guys feeling good."

Result

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

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Stage 18: Froome within touching distance of Tour victory with time trial masterclass
21 July
17km Individual Time Trial

Chris Froome wins stage 18 and extends general classification lead

Stage summary

Chris Froome produced a sensational time trial in the Alps to extend his Tour de France lead to almost four minutes.

The Team Sky rider, who has held the yellow jersey since stage eight, was last to set off and needed to chase down Tom Dumoulin's excellent time of 31 minutes and four seconds.

After a controlled start, Froome took a lead in the closing stages, extending it to cross the line in 30 minutes and 43 seconds, 21 seconds faster than Dumoulin.

Froome has now extended his lead over Bauke Mollema to 3 minutes and 52 seconds. Adam Yates shaved two seconds off his defecit to Mollema and now sits 24 seconds behind the Trek - Segafredo rider in third.

What they said - Sir Dave Brailsford

"Well, as always in a time trial, the pacing strategy is critical. You've got to be brave on a course like that and hold a little bit back. In terms of equipment, we spent a lot of time doing the maths and calculations and put him on a lightweight time trial bike with a disc wheel."

What they said - Chris Froome

"I really didn't expect to beat Tom (Dumoulin). Pacing was key. I started steady and controlled the first part and then really went for it over the top. I'm really happy with that.

"There's two more big days to come now. Hopefully I didn't leave too much out on the road today. Tomorrow's a very tricky stage, some very tricky descents and there's talk of thunderstorms so we're going to have to be on top of our game.

"It's great that I've extended my lead, but we're going to have to be on top of our game and see this through."

Result

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

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Stage 19: Froome fights back from crash to keep yellow jersey
22 July
146km

Chris Froome crashed in treacherous conditions but recovered to keep his grip on the yellow jersey.

Stage summary

Chris Froome crashed in treacherous conditions but recovered to keep his grip on the yellow jersey.

The Team Sky rider went down on road markings with just over 10km to go as rain made for difficult conditions, and was forced to use Geraint Thomas’ bike for the remainder of the stage.

Initially struggling when he did re-join the peloton, Froome was well supported by teammate Wout Poels.

Frenchman Romain Bardet have the host nation its first win of the 2016 Tour, soloing to the win on the Mont Blanc finish after 146km of hilly terrain.

Adam Yates fell back to fourth overall after being dropped on the final climb but retained the white jersey with just stages to go.

What they said - Chris Froome

“It’s ironic really, I was trying to stay up front, out of trouble, and I think I hit one of the white lines on the road and just lost my front wheel. I’m OK, I’m lucky there’s nothing serious. I just lost a bit of skin and banged my knee a bit. This is the kind of day I feel grateful I have got that four minutes advantage.”

Results

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

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Stage 20: Megève – Geraint Thomas leads Chris Froome towards a historic third yellow jersey victory in Paris
23 July
146.5km

Penultimate stage of Le Tour, Froome keeps yellow

Stage synopsis

Chris Froome all but cemented his victory in the 2016 Tour de France, as he was led safely through a treacherous final day in the mountains by Geraint Thomas.

A breakaway of expert climbers and descenders battled it out over the lumpy course for the stage win, but no GC contenders were involved in the break, meaning Froome and Adam Yates' jerseys were safe, barring any mishaps.

Yates rode at the back of the group of favourites, as has been his tactic throughout the 2016 Tour, and finished the day still in fourth place, losing just two seconds to second and third places riders Bardet and Quintana.

What they said - Geraint Thomas

"I rode the climb and took the descent steady. We went down fast, but not taking any risks.

"Our strength and depth has been massive in the team, we've got a lot of good climbers and it's the first time we've finished with nine riders still in the race, so it's be great."

Results

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

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Stage 21: Froome crowned Tour de France champion for third time
24 July
113km

Team Sky’s Chris Froome was crowned as Tour de France champion for the third time in his career as he enjoyed the final ceremonial stage finishing in Paris.

Stage summary

Team Sky’s Chris Froome was crowned as Tour de France champion for the third time in his career as he enjoyed the final ceremonial stage finishing in Paris.

Froome crossed the line on the Champs Elysees having earlier celebrated on the road with his teammates, enjoying a beer and glass of champagne.

Adam Yates made history as he became the first British rider to win the young classification white jersey.

Andre Griepel won the stage from a bunch sprint.

What they said - Chris Froome

"This Tour has obviously taken place against the backdrop of terrible events in Nice, and we pay our respects once again to those who lost their lives in this terrible event.

"Of course, these kinds of events put sport into perspective, but they also show why the values of sport are so important to free society."

Result

Report - Sky Sports Cycling

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Jersey guide

Chris Froome in the yellow jersey at the Tour de France

Yellow jersey

The wearer of the yellow jersey is the rider who has completed the race so far in the shortest amount of time and leads the general classification race.

It is probably the most coveted prize in cycling and the most iconic.

Last year’s winner: Chris Froome – Team Sky

Polka dot jersey

The jersey given to the King of the Mountains, with points being awarded to the riders who reach the summit of the Tour’s climbs first. The harder the climb, the more points are on offer.

Last year’s winner: Chris Froome – Team Sky

Green jersey

The winner of the points race – the sprinters’ jersey.

Points are awarded to riders for the position each stage and for the sprints during some of the stages.

Last year’s winner: Peter Sagan – Tinkoff Saxo

White jersey

The leader in the best young rider classification wears the white jersey.

Under-26 riders who have completed the Tour in the least amount of time compete for the title – it is often a good indicator of future yellow jersey wearers.

Last year’s winner: Nairo Quintana – Movistar Team