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Chris Froome keeps yellow jersey in Tour de France stage 16

  • Rui Alberto Costa of Portugal celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the sixteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 168 kilometers (105 miles) with start in in Vaison-la-Romaine and finish in Gap, France, Tuesday July 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours)

GAP, France — Chris Froome preserved his healthy overall lead after a nervous finish to Tuesday's 16th stage, and then blamed his main Tour de France rival Alberto Contador for a downhill incident that could have ended their races.

Portuguese rider Rui Costa won the stage with a solo breakaway, while behind him the subplot between Contador and Froome thickened with a few days left until the finish line in Paris.

Although Froome is still more than four minutes clear of Contador, the British rider felt he could just as easily have ended up in hospital.

"One little accident and it could be the end of your Tour," Froome said. "In my opinion it was a bit dangerous from Alberto to ride like that, it's not good."

On the final descent down from the Col de Manse, Froome and Contador were undone by a sharp right turn as the Brit chased after the Spaniard.


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