Geschke was joined in the breakaway by Matteo Trentin who won the intermediate sprint to add 20 points to his green jersey classification and another three points at the finish, where he crossed the line in 14th place.
The battle for the breakaway, in what was one of the last chances for the opportunists, was on from kilometer 0 with multiple attacks going clear, including a large group featuring Alessandro De Marchi, Jan Hirt, and Greg Van Avermaet, but the move was heavily controlled with the sprinters eyeing the points at the intermediate sprint.
A 15-rider move featuring Trentin was able to gain a 30-second advantage prior to the sprint while behind, multiple riders jumped clear from the peloton to bridge to the breakaway.
With Trentin sweeping up the maximum points at the sprint, the peloton sat up behind and allowed the gap to quickly extend to five minutes while between the two groups, a five-rider move with Geschke attempted to close a two-minute advantage.
With 75 kilometers to go, the two groups finally merged by which stage their advantage was more than ten minutes with the peloton happy to let the breakaway contest the victory.
The first attacks came on the category one Montée de Saint Nizier du Moucherotte where Geschke formed part of a select chase group behind Lennard Kamna (BORA – hansgrohe) and Richard Carapaz (Team INEOS).
Kamna attacked solo at the top of the climb and held on to take the win while Geschke dug deep to finish in fifth place, a step up from his seventh place on stage 13.
Despite being distanced on the category one climb, Trentin rode his own pace in the final 30 kilometers to finish in 14th place in what was an indication of his strong form late into the race.
Trentin remains in third place in the points classification, 57 points behind Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and 12 pints behind Peter Sagan (BORA – hansgrohe).
Quotes from the Finish Line
“This morning I didn’t feel that good actually during the start, and then I missed the actual attack with Matteo. There were a couple of counter attacks and I was in the second one but we had to close almost two minutes to the actual breakaway and that cost a bit of energy unfortunately but once I got there, I could recover a bit until the final. In the end, we had a good group and I was a bit surprised that I was, out of the second group, the strongest in the sprint. Fifth place is nice. It’s the biggest race in the world so it’s a nice result.”
“It’s still a long way to Paris. There are a a couple of hard stages to get through, and then a stage where we can still think about the victory, and then Paris. I think the advantage [in the green jersey classification] is still pretty difficult, the advantage of Bennett is still huge, but we are here, we try, we fight, and at least we are having a little bit of fun. It was a bit of a pity that I came on the last climb with only two guys because probably with a few extra guys we could close on the group of five or six riders in front of us. We got close but not enough to make something better than 14th place.”
Tour de France
Stage 16 Le Tour-du-Pin > Villard-de-Lans (164km)
Top 3: 1. Lennard Kamna (BORA – hansgrohe), 2. Richard Carapaz (Team INEOS), 3. Sebastien Reichenbach (Groupama – FDJ)
CCC Team top 3: 5. Simon Geschke, 14. Matteo Trentin, 74. Michael Schär