Second update of stage 16:
As the riders has passed the first most difficult Col du Grand Saint Bernard, the leaders Franco Pellizotti and Vladimir Karpets, have been joined by Gorka Verdugo of Euskatyel.
Their lead on the peleton increased to 5 minutes in the descent, showing that descending alone was better than in a big group.
And, if Karpets can increase the lead by another 56 seconds and hold it to the end of the stage, he could steal the Yellow Jersey from Contador.
However it is unlikely that Astana will allow that to happen. At this time, teammate Lance Armstrong is in front of Contador, and behind Contador is Bradley Wiggins of Garmin Slipsteam. Armstrong appears to be providing support for Contador. Andy Schleck is in the back of the peleton.
And in fact, at 66 km, the lead by the first group to the peleton has gone down to 4 minutes and 30 seconds.
The chase group has just subsumed the two leaders at 58.7 km. Among the chase group were Gomez, Goubert, Roches, Casar, Moinard, Velits, Fedrigo, Lefevre, Ten Dam, Voigts, Anton, Trofimov, Vogondy, Gomez, and Astarloza.
Bouet and Roulston were dropped and have been subsumed by the peleton.
This is the fourth time that the Col de Petit Saint Bernard has been passed in the Tour de France. The first was in 1949 when Gino Bartali won the summit, but Fausto Coppi took the stage win and the Yellow Jersey.