'Desperate' Contador angers Froome after Costa claims 16th stage
July 16, 2013 -- Updated 2116 GMT (0516 HKT)
Rui Costa of the Movistar team wins the 16th stage of the Tour de France in Gap.
- Portugal's Rui Costa wins 16th stage of Tour de France
- Costa part of a breakaway group which stayed clear
- Britain's Chris Froome retains overall lead and yellow jersey
- Alberto Contador crashes on final descent but stays third
(CNN) -- Portugal's Rui Costa rode to glory in Gap Tuesday as Tour de France leader Chris Froome was left fuming by a late high speed tangle with arch rival Alberto Contador.
Movistar rider Costa was part of a 26-strong breakaway group, who were allowed free reign on the 16th stage as Froome and the rest of the yellow jersey contenders waged their own private battle.
Costa, who was winning his second Tour stage, crossed the line after 168km from Vaison-la-Romaine to Gap in three hours 52 minutes 45 seconds.
He made a timely attack on the final second category climb of a testing day's racing to finish 42 seconds clear of second placed Christophe Riblon of France.
I just think at this stage of the race he is obviously getting desperate, attacking on the descents
Britain's Froome came under repeated attack on the final ascent from Contador of Spain, but with help from Sky teammate Richie Porte, each was repulsed.
The final tricky descent into Gap saw Saxo Tinkoff's Contador make further attempts to claw back vital time on the race leader, but on a sharp corner, just over eight kilometers from the finish, he hit the tarmac.
Read: Froome wins stage to extend Tour lead
Froome was also impeded and had to briefly take one foot out of his pedals, but was unscathed.
Porte then guided the pair back to the elite group, which also contained second-placed Bauke Mollema, Czech Roman Kreuziger and Nairo Quintana of Colombia.
Contador appeared to be examining injuries to his elbow, but rode freely to the finish.
He remained in third place overall, 11 seconds behind Mollema, but four minutes 25 seconds in arrears of the all-conquering Froome, who was clearly unimpressed by Contador's approach.
"It was bit careless of Contador," he told ITV Sport. "He overcooked one of the corners and came off in front of me.
"I just think at this stage of the race he is obviously getting desperate, attacking on the descents," he added.
The big loser on the day was Mollema's Belkin teammate Laurens Ten Dam, who was distanced by the late attacks and dropped out of the top five.
Dutchman Mollema was praised though for his sportmanship in refraining from making a further attack after Contador and Froome were held up by their incident.
Wednesday's 17th stage will give another clue as to the eventual winner of the centenary edition of the Tour -- a 32km mountain time trial from Embrun to Chorges in the Alps.
Froome, who extended his lead by winning Sunday's stage to Mont Ventoux, will be favored to take the honors as he bids to improve his second place on the 2012 Tour.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
He admits to having a "f**k you" attitude, but Lance Armstrong insists he "never gets crap" following his long-awaited admission of long-term doping.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1017 GMT (1817 HKT)
CNN's Alex Thomas talks to CNN.com writer Matt Majendie about his interview with Lance Armstrong.
August 13, 2014 -- Updated 1152 GMT (1952 HKT)
He might have been best known for his acting career, but the late Robin Williams was a cycling fanatic.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1606 GMT (0006 HKT)
Whisper it quietly, but after years of foreign domination the prospect of a French winner of the Tour de France is more than just a mere pipe dream.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1947 GMT (0347 HKT)
Vincenzo Nibali became only the sixth man in history to win all three of cycling's major tours as he sealed victory in the 2014 Tour de France.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
Standing on the podium at London 2012, Joanna Rowsell achieved her greatest dream -- and gave hope to millions around the world.
July 7, 2014 -- Updated 2248 GMT (0648 HKT)
The Tour de France is arguably the world's toughest event -- but it's just got a whole lot tougher.
June 6, 2014 -- Updated 0025 GMT (0825 HKT)
The primary joy of a bicycle is that, in its purest form, it's little more than a highly efficient way of walking.
May 28, 2014 -- Updated 1315 GMT (2115 HKT)
David Kinjah won medal after medal -- but he also nurtured local Kenyan talent, like future Tour de France champion Chris Froome.
March 5, 2014 -- Updated 1240 GMT (2040 HKT)
Winning the Tour de France may be one of sport's toughest challenges but Chris Froome believes today's cyclists have an equally arduous task.
January 23, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
Dubbed "the fastest man on two wheels," Mark Cavendish is a formidable sprint cyclist.