Tour de France at a glance
BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France (AP) - A brief look at Thursday's 16th stage of the 99th Tour de France:
Stage: The Tour's last big test in the mountains, an 89-mile ride from Bagneres-de-Luchon to the ski station of Peyragudes that includes three hard climbs and an uphill finish.
Winner: Alejandro Valverde of Spain, who pulled away from an eight-man breakaway group near the top of the beyond category Port de Bales climb, gaining a 2-minute lead on the peloton by the base of the final climb to Peyragudes and withstanding a late effort by Sky teammates Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins, who finished 19 seconds back.
Yellow Jersey: Wiggins solidified his grasp on the race lead, the Briton gaining time on all his main challengers. Froome kept second place, 2:05 behind. Italian climber Vincenzo Nibali lost 18 seconds but remains third, 2:41 behind Wiggins.
Stat of the day: 134. As in the number of points for the polka dot jersey now held by Thomas Voeckler of France. Voeckler only has to finish the race in Paris to be assured of winning the mountain climber's jersey, having won two stages in the Alps and Pyrenees.
Quote of the day: "Suddenly not so in the mood for Paris on Saturday...what a joke!'' Froome's girlfriend, Michelle Cound, writing on Twitter after her boyfriend chose to stick by Wiggins' side rather than speed ahead in the final climb.
Friday's stage: A 137-mile hilly stage between Blagnac and Brive-la-Gaillarde with two short, steep climbs in the last 24 miles that could reward a breakaway and open the door to a stage win by a rider other than the pure sprinters.(backslash)