Australia's Michael Rogers won the 16th stage of the Tour de France, a 237.5km trek from Carcassonne, with France's Thomas Voeckler second and Belarussian Vasil Kiryienka taking third place.

Vincenzo Nibali, about eight-and-a-half-minutes back, reined in his top challengers and retained the yellow jersey after Stage 16.

But the contest for the podium spots below him was shaken up: Thibault Pinot of France rose to third in the standings, bumping aside compatriot Romain Bardet, while Tejay van Garderen of the US lost more than three-and-a-half minute - and fell from fifth to sixth overall. Bardet, up to fifth, was nearly three minutes ahead of the American.

Rogers, a three-time world champion, took a bow as he crossed the line alone to collect his first career Tour stage win.

Rogers came close not to riding on this Tour for Tinkoff-Saxo Bank team. In a ruling announced in April, the International Cycling Union accepted that meat Rogers ate in China last year likely caused his positive doping test at the Japan Cup shortly afterward. Rogers, a crucial teammate of two-time Tour champion Alberto Contador, convinced the UCI he wasn't intending to cheat, and said the episode was ``a very difficult time'' for his family.

Individual classifications (top-5)

1 Nibali Vincenzo 73h 05' 19''
2 Valverde Belmonte Alejandro + 04' 37''
3 Pinot Thibaut + 05' 06''
4 Peraud Jean-Christophe + 06' 08''
5 Bardet Romain + 06' 40''

Source: Agencies