Spaniard wins stage of Tour

FRANCE - Spaniard Miguel Astarloza won the 16th stage of the Tour de France here yesterday.

FRANCE - Spaniard Miguel Astarloza won the 16th stage of the Tour de France here yesterday.

His compatriot Alberto Contador retained the overall leader's yellow jersey and holds a 1minute 37second lead over seven-time winner and Astana team mate Lance Armstrong.

On the second of three days in the Alps, most of the drama unfolded on the latter stages of the 22,6km climb to the summit of the Col du Petit Saint Bernard.

As the Saxo Bank team of Andy Schleck drove the pace to try and eliminate some rivals, the Luxemburger himself accelerated away from the yellow jersey group to force a first split.

Armstrong was left trailing but Contador, wearing the yellow jersey, was able to follow along with Bradley Wiggins, Frank Schleck, Vincenzo Nibali and Andreas Kloden.

The Schleck brothers attempted to toy with their rivals on the way up to the summit, but as Frank tired, Armstrong launched a thrilling counter-attack which soon woke the Luxemburger from his slumber.

That seemed to be the end of the hostilities, however, as a group containing defending champion Carlos Sastre was able to make it back to Armstrong, Contador and the Schlecks before the summit.

There was one nasty incident as German veteran, Jens Voigt - a team mate of Andy Schleck - took a terrible fall and had to be taken to hospital. - AFP

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