Hushovd, who was the overall leader for much of the first week and won Stage 13 last Friday, sat in third place as the lead riders headed into Gap, France. He appeared to be watching to time his final kick, finally pulling to the left and powering past Ryder Hesjedal and Edvald Boasson Hagen for the Stage 16 victory.
It was the 10th tour stage win for Hushovd, who covered the 101 miles from Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux to Gap in 3 hours, 31 minutes, 38 seconds with Boasson Hagen second with the same time. Hesjedal was third, 2 seconds back.
Thomas Voeckler, who was 18th in Wednesday's stage, saw his overall lead shrink by 4 seconds, as Cadel Evans moved into second place overall and trails Voeckler by 1 minute, 45 seconds.
Frank Schleck, who Evans passed in the standings, is still 1:49 off the pace with his brother Andy Schleck in fourth, 3:03 behind. Two-time defending champion Alberto Contador move up one spot to sixth and trails Voeckler by 3:42.
Stage 17 returns the riders Wednesday to the high mountains with a route that covers 111.2 miles from Gap into the Alps to Pinerolo, Italy. The route includes five categorized climbs, including two Category 2s and a Category 1 in the second half of the race.