Tour de France: Sagan takes stage 16 victory following frantic finish into Berne

Peter Sagan sprinted to victory in stage 16 of the Tour de France to reaffirm his grip on the green jersey

Tour de France: Sagan takes stage 16 victory following frantic finish into Berne
Peter Sagan pips Alexander Kristoff at the line (image via: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

Peter Sagan looks certain to hold on to the green jersey for the remainder of the Tour de France, after the Slovak rider won stage 16 into Berne

A pretty nondescipt stage ended with a fantasic finale, which Sagan prevailed in after he passed Katusha's Alexander Kristoff on the line. 

World Champion, Sagan now has three stage victories at this year's Tour, equalling his previous best record from 2012 ahead of tomorrow's second rest day. 

Etixx pair caught in final 20km to set up frantic finale

In what could be best described as a 'transitional' stage, the riders took it easy following a couple of tough days in the Pyrenees. The race moved into Switzerland and towards the Alps, where the final mountain battles will take place later this week. 

Etixx Quick-Step pair Tony Martin and Julian Alaphilippe each put in a huge effort to forge the two man breakaway which was out front for the majority of the stage. 

Martin was seen as the perfect type of rider for this stage, which offered a punchy finish into the Swiss capital, as well as some cobbled sections. 

Alongside Alaphilippe, Martin was a known threat and was never really let out of the peloton's grasp. The pair's biggest lead at the head of the race reached about six minutes, but it never looked like it would stick, and they were eventually pulled back into the main group with around 20km of the stage remaining. 

Sagan wins via photofinish ahead of Kristoff

In one of the most exciting finishes to a stage in some time, all the main protagonists attempted to hit the front, but it was Sagan who ruled the roads once more with a perfectly timed move.

Didi 'The Devil' Senft jumps in the air at the start of stage 16. Image via: Michael Steele/Getty)

Didi ‘The Devil’ Senft jumps in the air at the start of stage 16. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Rui Faria Costa's fruitless one man attack had been nullified before the front group reached a left-hand turn which stemmed their speed before a cobbled section at the bottom of a tough decent split the race in two. 

After Marcel Kittel had hit the front in the final 500 metres, Kristoff in his bright red jersey sped past and looked set to claim his first victory of this year's Tour. 

The Norweigen rider celebrated after crossing the line in the belief that he had won, yet the photofinish proved that Sagan's astonishing plunge for the line had seem his handlebars cross first. 

Sondre Holst Enger of IAM Cycling finished third, with Giant-Alpecin's John Degenkolb in fourth, and looking much more of a threat than he was at the start of the race. 

The race now reaches it's second rest-day, before the riders resume on Wednesday with stage 17 which sees them travel from Berne up the Cote de Saanenmoser, Col de Mosses and Col de la Forclaz, before a mountain top finish up the Finhaut-Emosson