Caleb Ewan posts 2nd Tour stage win in suffocating heat

Spectators hold French flag as they cheer the riders during the sixteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 117 kilometers (73 miles) with start and finish in Nimes, France, Tuesday, July 23, 2019. (AP Photo/ Christophe Ena)

Caleb Ewan beat his sprinting rivals in suffocating heat to win Stage 16 of the Tour de France on Tuesday

NIMES, France — Caleb Ewan beat his sprinting rivals in suffocating heat to win Stage 16 of the Tour de France on Tuesday, with Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe keeping the race leader's yellow jersey.

With temperatures soaring as high as 40 C (104 F), Alaphilippe and his main rivals did not attack each other over the 177-kilometer mainly flat stage in the Nimes rural hinterland.

Defending champion Geraint Thomas crashed about 40 kilometers after the race started from the Roman city but escaped largely unscathed, with a few scratches on his left elbow.

Ewan, a Tour debutant, edged Elia Viviani and Dylan Groenewegen to post his second stage win.

Thomas, who is second in the overall standings, had already been caught in pile-ups during the first and eighth stage of the three-week race. Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang, who stood ninth overall, also fell with 28 kilometers left and abandoned the Tour.

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