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Chris Froome protects yellow jersey as Michael Matthews takes Stage 16

Michael Mathews took Stage 16 in a tight sprint finish Credit: PA

Michael Matthews won stage 16 of the Tour de France to Romans-sur-Isere as Chris Froome fought off fierce crosswinds to protect the yellow jersey.

Australian Matthews won his second stage of this year's Tour in a sprint finish ahead of Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen and German John Degenkolb.

The peloton battled strong winds over lengthy stretches of the 165 kilometres stage from Le Puy-en-Velay, but three-time Tour winner Froome stayed on the right side as the peloton split into pieces over the final 20km.

Froome's Team Sky did much of the work to cause those splits, with Irishman Dan Martin caught on the wrong side as he surrendered 51 seconds and dropped to seventh overall, now two minutes and three seconds back.

Froome digs deep to stay in yellow as Mollema wins Stage 15

Froome is still in yellow. Credit: PA

Bauke Mollema won stage 15 of the Tour de France to Le Puy-en-Velay as Chris Froome survived a scare to retain the yellow jersey.

Dutchman Mollema attacked from the remnants on the breakaway in the closing stages of the 189.5 kilometre stage from Laissac-Severac L'Eglise to take his first career Tour win.

Froome had needed a wheel change when the race was on approaching the Col de Peyra Taillade, and lost almost a minute before spending eight kilometres chasing his way back to the group of main contenders.

But the three-time Tour winner held on and retains his lead of 18 seconds over Italian Fabio Aru, with Frenchman Romain Bardet a further five seconds down in third place.

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