1. Joaquim Rodriguez
2. Robert Gesink
3. Jurgen Van den Broeck
4. Christophe Kern
Bradley Wiggins, sixth, keeps the lead.
Joaquim Rodriguez wins stage 6 at Le Collet d’Allevard! This is his second stage win this year after stage 1 of the Tour of the Basque country.
Yesterday’s winner Christophe Kern rides impressively 40 seconds behind lone leader Rodriguez. Van den Broeck and Gesink follow him but Wiggins can’t and maintains his steady pace.
Rodriguez looks like he’s gone for the stage win. The group of Wiggins is at 35 seconds. Evans is at 45 seconds.
Evans gets dropped from the group of Wiggins, dragged by Kern.
Only six riders form a group 40 seconds behind Rodriguez with 3.5km to go: Wiggins, Evans, Van den Broeck, Kern, Gesink and Vinokourov.
With 5km to go, Rodriguez goes solo. He deeply wants the stage victory.
Vino and Purito stay in the lead. The fight is on for the yellow jersey. Van den Broeck attacks but Wiggins rides steady.
With 5.5km to go, there are two leaders: Vinokourov and Rodriguez.
Joaquim "Purito" Rodriguez counter-attacks, followed by Van den Broeck. They catch Gesink and Vinokourov takes his chance.
With 6.5km to go, Gesink is alone in the lead. Kern and Péraud accelerate behind him. Wiggins looks serene.
Edvald Boasson Hagen has finished his job: with 6.7km to go, he quit his position at the head of the front group and let them go. Gesink accelerates.
In the lead with 7km to go: Vinokourov (Astana), Van den Broeck (Omega), Coppel (Saur), Péraud (Ag2r), Evans (BMC), Gesink (Rabobank), Basso (Liquigas), S. Sanchez (Euskaltel), Wiggins, Boasson Hagen and Uran (Sky), Voeckler and Kern (Europcar), Rodriguez (Katusha), Pinot (FDJ), Sorensen (Saxo).
Defending champion Janez Brajkovic hasn’t managed to follow the rhythm of Boasson Hagen. He’s out.
Boasson Hagen (Sky) rides hard in the climb to prevent anyone from attacking Wiggins. The front group is drastically reduced to a dozen of riders. White jersey Rui Costa is not there.
Amador insists a bit, Gautier as well, but the Rabobank team is close behind them. Is Gesink motivated by the stage win?
The riders have just passed Allevard. They start climbing to Le Collet d’Allevard. The breakaway riders are about to get caught with 11km to go.
Mikel Landa (Euskaltel) who has crashed because of the caws, pulls out of the Dauphiné.
Mauro Finetto (Liquigas), Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel), Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Andrey Amador (Movistar), Kevin Seeldrayers (Quick Step), Juan Manuel Garate (Rabobank), Yuriy Trofimov (Katusha) and Sandy Casar (FDJ) only have 30 seconds advantage left with 14km to go.
The Astana team takes over from Sky at the head of the peloton and speeds up.
The peloton is at 1.30 with 16km to go.
The peloton have been disturbed by two caws and four riders have crashed but the gap remains the same: 1.55 with 20km to go.
After the Grand Cucheron, Leonardo Duque still has the highest number of points in the king of the mountain competition. He virtually leads with 45 points, ahead of Egoi Martinez, 30, Mauro Finetto, 29 and Kevin Seeldrayers, 26, who all have a possibility to take the polka dot jersey at Le Collet d’Allevard, as the hors-category final climb awards 20 points to the winner.
Result of the fifth king of the mountain price at col du Grand Cucheron, km 153:
1. Kevin Seeldrayers (Quick Step), 15 points
2. Mauro Finetto (Liquigas), 13 points
3. Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel), 11 points
4. Cyril Gautier (Europcar), 9 points
5. Juan Manuel Garate (Rabobank), 8 points
6. Sandy Casar (FDJ), 7 points
7. Andrey Amador (Movistar), 6 points
8. Yuriy Trofimov (Katusha), 5 points
Peloton at 1.57.
The breakaway riders are in the final kilometre of the climb, still with 1.50 lead.
FDJ team manager Marc Madiot talked to letour.fr from his team car just behind the breakaway group: "The peloton lives us around two minutes in the front but nobody rides flat out, so it will be a hill climb race in the last ten kilometres. The breakaway riders haven’t spent too much energy so far, and they haven’t been away for a too long time, that makes me more and more optimistic for a possibility of a stage win by Sandy Casar."
Simon Gerrans, Juan Antonio Flecha, Rigoberto Uran, Xavier Zandio and Christian Knees set the pace of the bunch and keep the breakaway riders two minutes ahead.
With 44km to, as they climb the Grand Cucheron, the eight breakaway riders have less than two minutes lead over the bunch. It’s 1.58.
Andrey Amador Bikkazakova who is one of the eight breakaway riders has now fully recovered from the terrible accident he had during his last training ride of the year 2010 in his country, Costa Rica. The 24 year-old got mugged by a group of gangsters and was left unconscious. Six hours later, he woke up and managed to call his brother and was hospitalised with injuries that affected his kidney and lungs. The rider from Movistar returned pretty quickly to cycling and finished fifth at stage 5 of Tirreno-Adriatico in March.
There’s a crash in the bunch, apparently without consequences but white jersey Rui Costa is one of the riders who went down. He’s back on his bike, and back in the bunch as well.
Maxim Belkov (Vacansoleil) pulls out at the beginning of the col de Grand Cucheron, where green jersey wearer John Degenkolb is dropped again.
The eight breakaway riders are known as good climbers. Sandy Casar and Juan Manuel Garate have won a mountain stage at the Tour de France, Yuriy Trofimov has won a stage of the 2008 Dauphiné to Morzine with the col de Joux-Plane, Egoi Martinez was the king of the mountain of the 2009 Tour de France and the 2010 Dauphiné...
Mauro Finetto (Liquigas), Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel), Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Andrey Amador (Movistar), Kevin Seeldrayers (Quick Step), Juan Manuel Garate (Rabobank), Yuriy Trofimov (Katusha) and Sandy Casar (FDJ) have started climbing the Grand Cucheron, which is the first category 1 hill of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphiné.
At Aiton, km 130, the peloton is 2.50 behind the eight escapees.
The last time that a stage finish has been contested at Le Collet d’Allevard was at the 1992 Criterium du Dauphiné. Colombian Martin Farfan won the stage with the approval of Charly Mottet who was on his way to winning his third Dauphiné (after 1987 and 1989) and enter the circle of the very few three-time winners of the race: Nello Lauredi, Luis Ocaña and Bernard Hinault.
36.8 kilometres have been covered in the third hour of racing. It still makes a high average speed since the start: 41km/h. The two biggest climbs are yet to come: the col de Grand Cucheron and Le Collet d’Allevard.
Jean-René Bernaudeau told Cyclismactu this morning at the start in Les Gets: “Last year we won a stage [with Nicolas Vogondy, ed.] and we placed two riders in the final top ten [Vogondy 6th and Pierre Rolland 8th, ed]. Now we’ve won a stage and we need to move up on GC to perform as well as last year.” That’s probably why Cyril Gautier is in the front group today but the Breton rider has a deficit of 8.31 from Bradley Wiggins and he might be more interested by a stage win at Le Collet d’Allevard.
The eight breakaway riders have a lead of 2.45 at km 119.
Mauro Finetto had asked his breakaway companions the permission to go away solo because he needed to answer the call of the nature. Now that it’s done, the eight escapees are together again, with 3.25 advance over the peloton still led by Team Sky.
Mauro Finetto goes away solo from the front group in the downhill of the col de Tamié. At the summit, the peloton is timed 3.45 behind him.
Result of the fourth king of the mountain price at the col de Tamié, km 104.5:
1. Mauro Finetto (Liquigas), 4 points
2. Kevin Seeldrayers (Quick Step), 3 points
3. Juan Manuel Garate (Rabobank), 2 points
4. Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel), 1 point
Peloton at 3.35 at the 1km to go mark.
The breakaway riders are in the ascent to the col de Tamié. They don’t increase their advance much. It’s 2.10 at km 96. Team Sky leads the bunch. They might consider Sandy Casar as a threat for the yellow-blue jersey. The FDJ rider is the highest ranked of the breakaway: he’s 25th at 5.41, Egoi Martinez is 33rd at 6.42, Andrey Amador 39th at 7.14.
Mauro Finetto (Liquigas), Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel), Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Andrey Amador (Movistar), Kevin Seeldrayers (Quick Step), Juan Manuel Garate (Rabobank), Yuriy Trofimov (Katusha) and Sandy Casar (FDJ) have an advantage of 2.30 over the peloton at km 92.
40.3km have been covered in the second hour of racing. The average speed after two hours is 43.1km/h. The bunch cruises 2.20 behind the eight breakaway riders.
The bunch has regrouped and slowed down. The 8 escapees have 1.25 at km 84.
Mauro Finetto (Liquigas), Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel), Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Andrey Amador (Movistar), Kevin Seeldrayers (Quick Step), rejoined by Juan Manuel Garate (Rabobank), Yuriy Trofimov (Katusha) and Sandy Casar (FDJ), form a group of eight leaders with 20 seconds lead at km 80.
Juan Manuel Garate (Rabobank) and Przemyslaw Niemec (Lampre-ISD) have taken some lead over the first part of the bunch in which the yellow-blue jersey of Bradley Wiggins has been seen. The peloton is split in two groups, separated by 50 seconds.
Professional cyclists aren’t used to climb to the collet d’Allevard at the difference of the fun riders of the area around Grenoble. “It’s harder than l’Alpe d’Huez”, David Moncoutié told Le Dauphiné after having seen the climb at training with his team-mate Mickaël Buffaz. The road of the final climb is wide with an average gradient of 9%.
The peloton catches the breakaway riders in the downhill of the col des Aravis.
Result of the third king of the mountain price at the col des Aravis, km 58:
1. Przemyslaw Niemec (Lampre-ISD), 10 points
2. Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel), 9 points
3. Kevin Seeldrayers (Quick Step), 8 points
4. Cyril Gautier (Europcar), 7 points
5. Robert Gesink (Rabobank), 6 points
6. Juan Manuel Garate (Rabobank), 5 points
The French champion has made it across to the front group. Peloton at 16 seconds.
The leading riders are in the last kilometre of the col des Aravis. The peloton is at 23 seconds and Thomas Voeckler is in between.
The winner of the Tour of Oman Robert Gesink who is a potential contender for the podium of the Tour de France after completing the race in sixth position last year is finally in action at the Dauphiné after losing 16.43 during the first five stages.
Jelle Vandendert (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Sébastien Joly (SDaur-Sojasun), Amaël Moinard (BMC), Robert Gesink and Juan Manuel Garate (Rabobank), Maciej Paterski (Liquigas), Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel), Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Yuriy Trofimov (Katusha), Sandy Casar (FDJ), David Lopez (Movistar), Kevin Seeldrayers (Quick Step), Oliver Zaugg (Leopard), Przemyslaw Niemec (Lampre-ISD) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) have 20 seconds lead in the ascent to the col des Aravis.
In the col des Aravis, 15 riders have 18 seconds over the bunch led by Team Sky.
In the ascent of the col des Aravis, a few riders are getting dropped, including green jersey wearer John Degenkolb, as expected, but also king of the mountain Leonardo Duque who has spent a lot of energy sprinting at the top of the previous climbs.
Dario Cataldo (Quick Step) abandons the Dauphiné. He’s obviously exhausted after finishing 13th at the Tour of Italy.
The breakaway riders get caught at the exception of Lieuwe Westra who pursues his effort at La Clusaz, km 50.
Tony Martin (HTC) and David Zabriskie (Garmin-Cervélo) are part of a 16-man group away from the bunch. Team leads the bunch to bring them back.
Result of the second king of the mountain price, at the col de Saint-Jean-de-Sixt, km 48:
1. Leonardo Duque (Cofidis), 3 points
2. Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel), 2 points
3. Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil), 1 point
Five riders attack in the second climb of the day: Duque (Cofidis), Txurruka (Euskaltel), Quéméneur (Europcar), Intxausti (Movistar) and Westra (Vacansoleil).
45.7 kilometres have been covered in the first hour of racing. The bunch is very active again today.
The Europcar team keeps their motivation high after Christophe Kern’s victory yesterday. Pierre Rolland has attacked a few times and now Cyril Gautier just launched a solo acceleration as well but the bunch reacted.
The written press today is full of praise for Christophe Kern’s exploit at Les Gets. “I’m probably happier than if I had won myself”, Thomas Voeckler told L’Equipe. “He had to be very strong for doing what he did. He’s a rider who knows how to hurt himself and he deserves this victory. It’s also good for the team that he comes back to this level.”
It’s game over for the 11 riders who have tried to break away. All together at km 41.
At km 39, the gap between the 11 riders away and the bunch is only 8 seconds.
Danny Pate (HTC), Sébastien Joly (Saur-Sojasun), Amaël Moinard (BMC), Carlos Barredo (Rabobank), Kristjian Koren (Liquigas), Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel), Pierre Rolland (Europcar), Egor Silin (Katusha), Joost Posthuma (Leopard-Trek), Marco Marzano and Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD) form a breakaway group.
Three riders abandon: Oscar Pujol (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Jan Tratnik (Quick Step) and John Murphy (BMC).
Pierre Rolland (Europcar) attacks at km 33 and is quickly rejoined by Egor Silin (Katusha) and Kristjian Koren (Liquigas). Three riders in the lead.
Leaders’ jersey wearers today
Today, the four distinctive jerseys are worn by:
- Bradley Wiggins (Sky), still in yellow-blue, for the third consecutive day, following his takeover at the Grenoble time trial on Wednesday. The Englishman has 1.11 over runner up Cadel Evans (BMC), 1.21 over Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack), 1.56 over Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) and 2.22 over Rui Costa (Movistar).
- Leonardo Duque (Cofidis) wears the polka dot jersey with 39 points. Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) have 16 points, but today’s stage can radically change the king of the mountain price.
- John Degenkolb (HTC-Highroad) will probably enjoy his last day with the green jersey, as he precedes Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) by only two points with 58 points. Bradley Wiggins (Sky) has 55, Alexandre Vinokourov (Katusha), 53, Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky), 47.
- Rui Costa (Movistar) has the white jersey of best young rider. He has an advantage of 24 seconds over Ben Hermans (RadioShack), 30 seconds over Jérôme Coppel (Saur-Sojasun) and 1.47 over Rein Taarämae (Cofidis).
- Ag2r-La Mondiale leads the teams classification despite their bad luck yesterday (Blel Kadri couldn’t start due to a muscle tear in his left calf and Nicolas Roche had a bad crash). RadioShack follows at 21 seconds, Sky at 1.20, FDJ at 3.05 and Europcar at 3.38.
Race leader Bradley Wiggins told Le Dauphiné newspaper: “The week-end of racing is going to be hard and I know that I’ll be attacked. But I believe in my shape. If I win the Criterium, it’ll be fantastic. I hope so. I don’t know the Collet d’Allevard and I don’t care. If this is a steep climb, it’ll be steep for everyone. Cycling isn’t a very complicated sport.”
Following an attempt by Andriy Grivko (Astana), Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank), Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Cervélo) and Yuriy Trofimov (Katusha), the attackers get caught and it’s all together again at km 30.
Six riders have attacked at km 25: Lemoine (Saur-Sojasun), Minard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Kristian Koren (Liquigas), Perrig Quéméneur (Europcar), Fran Perez (Movistar) and Frederik Veuchelen (Vacansoleil).
Czech rider Frantisek Rabon abandons the Dauphiné.
Tjallingii is no longer away. They regrouped at km 20.
FDJ riders exchanged some messages this morning on twitter. Young climber Thibaut Pinot wrote: “I’ve got stiff legs after yesterday’s stage.” It made Jérémy Roy laugh. The latter answered: “You’re an actor! You fly uphill while I have a caravan attached to my bike…” Rémi Pauriol added: “Yes, we’re getting to know you. ‘I have stiff legs’ means in reality: ‘I’ll split the bunch into pieces’…” Watch out for Pinot today!!!
Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank) attacks in the downhill towards Cluses, he’s got 28 seconds at km 16.5.
Result of the first king of the mountain price at the côte de Châtillon-sur-Cluses, km 10.5:
1. Leonardo Duque (Cofidis), 3 points
2. Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel), 2 points
3. Dario Cataldo (Quick Step), 1 point
The peloton is in the first climb of the day, with the orange jerseys of the Euskaltel team showing up in the front.
Yesterday evening, Nicolas Roche went to an hospital in Cluses to get his bruises cleaned on his chest, right hip and thigh. He also got some stitches on his injured elbow but nothing is broken and his preparation for the Tour de France won’t be altered.
Climbs of the day:
- Km 10.5: Côte de Châtillon-sur-Cluses, cat. 4
- Km 48: Col de Saint-Jean-de-Sixt, cat. 4
- Km 58: Col des Aravis, cat. 2
- Km 104.5: Col de Tamié, cat. 3
- Km 153: Col du Grand Cucheron, cat. 1
- Km 192.5: Le Collet d’Allevard, H.C.
The start proper of stage 6 has been given at 12.13 in Les Gets.
Following his crash yesterday, Nicolas Roche (Ag2r-La Mondiale) is a non-starter. 165 riders are ready to race.
This is a stage not be missed! Six climbs are on the menu with an unusual uphill finish at Le Collet d’Allevard. Action is guaranteed. Stay tuned!