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Philippe Gilbert (leading) was one of two BMC Racing Team riders in the breakaway. (©Sirotti.)
Philippe Gilbert (leading) was one of two BMC Racing Team riders in the breakaway. (©Sirotti.)

Tour de France, Stage 16: Gilbert Eighth

16. July 2013

World road champion Philippe Gilbert of the BMC Racing Team finished eighth on Tuesday's stage of the Tour de France on a day when he and teammate Manuel Quinziato were part of a 26-rider breakaway which produced the stage winner.

Help From Quinziato
Gilbert said he knew the final 9.5-kilometer climb of the 168-km race would be decisive and difficult. That is where Rui Costa (Movistar Team) rode away on from his fellow escapees, built a nearly minute's lead by the summit, and easily soloed to the win ahead of a splintered group behind him. "The tailwind we had all day made it hard racing, especially on the climb," Gilbert said. "I knew Costa was the rider to follow because without the incident on Stage 13 where his teammate, Alejandro Valverde, lost time, he would would have been up there with the top contenders." Chris Froome (Sky Procycling) kept the overall lead heading into Wednesday's individual time trial. Quinziato said his role was to help Gilbert. "We spoke together to have me keep riding to keep the group together," he said. "That's what I did in the last 10 kilometers before the climb when two guys attacked. We wanted to keep the gap in check." Assistant Director Fabio Baldato, who was following the break in the BMC Racing Team car, said, "It was good to be in the breakaway because it was really hard just to make it today."