CLOSE FINISH: Tinkoff rider Peter Sagan (centre) of Slovakia sprints to win the 16th stage of the 103rd edition of the Tour de France ahead of Team Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff (right) of Norway in second and Team Giant Alpecin’s John Degenkolb (left) of Germany in third.
CLOSE FINISH: Tinkoff rider Peter Sagan (centre) of Slovakia sprints to win the 16th stage of the 103rd edition of the Tour de France ahead of Team Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff (right) of Norway in second and Team Giant Alpecin’s John Degenkolb (left) of Germany in third. KIM LUDBROOK

Sagan claims third stage win as Froome holds off rivals

CYCLING: Tinkoff's Peter Sagan has won stage 16 of the Tour de France in a photo-finish ahead of Alexander Kristoff, while Chris Froome remains safe in the yellow jersey.

World champion Sagan took his third stage victory of the Tour by a tiny margin at the end of a 209km stage from Moirans-en-Montagne to Berne, Switzerland.

Team Sky's Froome was in the leading pack as they crossed the line to ensure he kept the yellow heading into tonight's rest day.

The Brit holds a 1min 47sec lead over Dutch rider Bauke Mollema.

Although it was a relatively flat stage ahead of the alpine challenges to come, the tight technical finish in Berne - which included a sharp cobbled climb 2km from the finish - was thought to suit the likes of Sagan, and so it proved.

However, it was far from straightforward as sprint specialists Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb survived that late climb alongside Sagan and Kristoff.

Katusha's Kristoff opened up the sprint first and the Norwegian looked to have all the advantage he needed, but Tinkoff's Sagan threw his bike forward at the line and snatched a win which all but ends the competition for the points leaders' green jersey.

Trek-Segafredo's Fabian Cancellara, the 35-year-old Berne native in his final Tour de France, had to settle for sixth place.

Froome crossed the line 13th, alongside his main rivals for yellow on the same time as the leaders.

Team Dimension Data's Mark Cavendish, winner of four stages in this Tour, stayed with the final group on the cobbled climb but did not have the legs to engage in the sprint and rolled home in 22nd place.

INM



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