Tour de France 2010
Start: 3 July, Rotterdam Finish: 25 July, Paris
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France's Fedrigo (far left) outsprints Armstrong (far right)
Lance Armstrong was denied his first stage win since 2005 by Pierrick Fedrigo in a thrilling sprint finish to the 16th stage of the Tour de France.
Bbox rider Fedrigo outsprinted seven-time winner Armstrong and six others after breakaway leader Carlos Barredo had been caught with a kilometre to go.
Overall leader Alberto Contador held on to his eight-second advantage over Luxembourg's Andy Schleck.
Fedrigo's victory was France's sixth stage win of the 97th Tour.
He finished ahead of compatriot Sandy Casar and Spain's Ruben Plaza, with Armstrong crossing the line in sixth in the same time.
It was harder than I expected. It's been a while since I sprinted and I was just not quick enough
Armstrong last won a Tour stage in Saint-Etienne on 23 July 2005 on the way to winning his seventh title.
After being pipped to the line at the end of an arduous 199.5km stage that took the race from Bagneres-de-Luchon to Pau and featured four tough climbs, the Col de Peyresourde, Col d'Aspin, Col du Tourmalet and Col d'Aubisque, Armstrong said: "It was harder than I expected. It's been a while since I sprinted and I was just not quick enough.
"It was somewhat of a planned attack. I knew that starting on the Peyresourde was going to be very difficult, I knew that a group was going to go away.
"I've trained hard, I'm not the best guy in the race but I still have the spirit of a fighter.
"I focused on the stage, tried to get up in the moves and it didn't work - I wasn't fast enough in the end. Fedrigo's very fast and he deserved to win."
Fedrigo, who timed his burst for the line perfectly to win in five hours, 31 minutes and 43 seconds, added: "It was my day. Everything smiled on me. This shows that it isn't only the great leaders who can win on the Tour de France, it's also the general riders."
Barredo, who made a brave break for victory with a little more than 40km remaining, came home in ninth - 28 seconds behind the winner.
Race leader Contador came over the finish line just under seven minutes later, along with closest rival Schleck.
Cervelo rider Thor Hushovd won the final sprint to the line from the peloton to finish 10th.
In winning six points, the Norwegian reclaimed the points classification leader's green jersey from Lampre-Farnese sprinter Alessandro Petacchi.
The Italian is second with 187 while HTC-Columbia's Isle of Man ace Mark Cavendish is third on 162 points. Both trailed in among the last riders to finish Tuesday's stage.
Wednesday is a rest day followed by Thursday's 174km stage, which will see the riders start in Pau and return to Tourmalet - an 18.5km climb, with a mountaintop finish.
The stage is likely to be Schleck's best opportunity to reclaim the lead from Contador ahead of Sunday's finale.
Schleck, who was angry about the way Contador had taken the yellow jersey after he suffered a mechanical problem on Monday, says he has now forgiven the Spaniard.
Contador had apologised for taking advantage of his rival's misfortune and Schleck said: "We are fine now. The Tour de France isn't going to be won by eight seconds, and there's going to be a big race between him and me on Thursday."
Stage 16 results:
1. Pierrick Fedrigo (France/Bbox - Bouygues) 5hrs 31mins 43s
2. Sandy Casar (France/FDJ) same time
3. Ruben Plaza (Spain/Caisse d'Epargne)
4. Damiano Cunego (Italy/Lampre)
5. Chris Horner (US/RadioShack)
6. Lance Armstrong (US/RadioShack)
7. Jurgen Van de Walle (Belgium/Quick-Step)
8. Christophe Moreau (France/Caisse d'Epargne)
9. Carlos Barredo (Spain/Quick-Step) +28"
1. Alberto Contador (Spa/Astana) 78hrs 29mins 10secs"
2. Andy Schleck (Luxembourg/Saxo Bank) +8"
3. Samuel Sanchez (Spain/Euskaltel) +2'00
4. Denis Menchov (Rus/ Rabobank)+2'13"
5. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel / Omega Pharma-Lotto) +3'39"
6. Robert Gesink (Ned / Rabobank) +5'01"
7. Levi Leipheimer (US / RadioShack) +5'25"
8. Joaquin Oliver Rodriguez (Spa/ Katusha) +5'45"
9. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz / Astana) +7'12"
10. Ryder Hesjedal (Can / Garmin) +7'51"
17. Thomas Lovkvist (Swe/ Sky) +12'09"
18. Nicolas Roche (Ire/ AG2R) +12'34"
21. Bradley Wiggins (GB / Sky) +17'44"
24. Cadel Evans (Aus/ BMC) +33'13"
25. Lance Armstrong (US / Radioshack) +33'46"
60. Geraint Thomas (GB / Sky) +1h 33'12"
152. Stephen Cummings (GB / Sky) +3h 15'21"
154. Mark Cavendish (GB / HTC-Columbia) +3h 17'46"
159. David Millar (GB / Garmin) +3h 25'22"
163. Daniel Lloyd (GB / Cervelo) +3h 27'48"
165. Jeremy Hunt (GB / Cervelo) +3h 30'01"