GAP, France (July 16, 2013)--Portuguese rider Rui Costa won the 16th stage of the Tour de France Tuesday after breaking away on the last climb of a hilly trek.
Costa secured the second stage win of his Tour career, crossing the line about 40 seconds ahead of Frenchman Christophe Riblon.
Race leader Chris Froome and Tour rival Alberto Contador were about 12 minutes behind Costa, who is not considered a contender for overall victory.
The stage started from the Provence village of in Vaison-la-Romaine in the heart of Rhone winemaking country, and included several medium-difficulty climbs along the 104-mile route to the Alpine town of Gap.
Before the start of Tuesday's stage, Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme brushed off a question about an online letter and petition urging Tour organizers to let women compete next year.
He swatted the air with the back of his hand and said he has nothing to say to the group of female cyclists behind the petition, including
Olympic gold medalist and road race world champion Marianne Vos and British Olympian Emma Pooley.
The petition seeks a separate professional women's field racing in parallel over the same distances, on the same days, and with an organization such that the two races don't conflict.