BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France (AP) — Thomas Voeckler won the 16th stage of the Tour de France over four huge climbs in the Pyrenees, while defending champion Cadel Evans dropped out of title contention Wednesday.
Evans, who started the day fourth overall, struggled on the last two climbs, while Bradley Wiggins wore the yellow jersey a little more comfortably.
Voeckler dominated the 123-mile course from Pau to Bagneres-de-Luchon, the Frenchman leading a breakaway for his second stage victory of the Tour. He also won Stage 10.
Denmark's Chris Anker Sorensen was second, more than 1 1/2 minutes behind Voeckler. The top title contenders — Wiggins, Sky teammate Christopher Froome of Britain, and Vincenzo Nibali of Italy — finished over 7 minutes back.
Overall, Wiggins leads second-place Froome by 2:05 and third-place Nibali by 2:23.
The Tour was riding under a new doping cloud. RadioShack team leader Frank Schleck was expelled from the race Tuesday after testing positive for a banned diuretic.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
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