Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) has won the stage of the Dauphiné he deeply wanted after finishing the Tour of Italy in fifth position. He soloed during the last five kilometres to Le Collet d’Allevard while Bradley Wiggins rode steadily to reach the top in sixth place and keep his yellow-blue jersey. The Englishman even increased both his confidence and his lead by fifteen seconds over runner up Cadel Evans. Jurgen Van den Broeck moved up to the top five overall instead of defending champion Janez Brajkovic who is the biggest loser today.
Climbs of the day:
- Km 10.5: Côte de Châtillon-sur-Cluses, cat. 4 (2.1km at 4.3%)
- Km 48: Col de Saint-Jean-de-Sixt, cat. 4 (1.8km at 5.2%)
- Km 58: Col des Aravis, cat. 2 (6.9km at 5.8%)
- Km 104.5: Col de Tamié, cat. 3 (9.6km at 4.1%)
- Km 153: Col du Grand Cucheron, cat. 1 (16.2km at 5%)
- Km 192.5: Le Collet d’Allevard, H.C. (11.2km at 8.4%)
The start proper of stage 6 was given at 12.13 in Les Gets to 165 riders. One non starter: Nicolas Roche (Ag2r-La Mondiale).
Europcar the most active team
Leonardo Duque was logically interested by scoring a few more points for the polka dot jersey in the first two climbs of the day. The Colombian from Cofidis collected six points as he passed first at the top of the Côte de Châtillon-sur-Cluses and the Col de Saint-Jean-de-Sixt. In the meantime, Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank) was the first of many riders to go on the offensive. The Europcar team was certainly inspired by Christophe Kern’s stage victory at Les Gets. Therefore, Perrig Quéméneur, Pierre Rolland, Thomas Voeckler and Cyril Gautier successively took place in the different breakaways of the very fast first two hours of racing.
Eight riders in the lead before half way
In the col des Aravis, 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) went away, rejoined by Voeckler in the last kilometre of climbing. The peloton split in two parts in the downhill and another front group was formed in the valley (at km 78) by eight riders: 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). Their maximum lead was 3.45 at the top of the col de Tamié.
Rodriguez goes for the stage win with 5km to go
Team Sky controlled the race before, during and after the col du Grand Cucheron. The British squad kept the eight attackers around two minutes ahead until the Astana team of Alexandre Vinokourov decided to increase the speed with 15km to go. With 10km to go, as the breakaway got caught, another race started. Edvald Boasson Hagen rode very hard for four kilometres and got rid of a few of Wiggins’ adversaries. Robert Gesink (Rabobank) attacked for the stage win with 6.5km to go. But he didn’t succeed, at the difference of Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) who went away with Vinokourov and soloed to victory with 5km to go. Wiggins kept the situation under control and maintained his lead. Runner up Cadel Evans (BMC) lost 15 seconds with one day to go.
“I’ve suffered in the last climb. I’m a bit disappointed to not have stayed at the contact of the best riders till the end. The white jersey is a consolation price for me. I’ve limited the losses. At the beginning of the last climb, the rhythm has been immediately very high and I’ve been hurt. I did my best to not put myself in the red, that’s what allowed me to not lose too much time. However, my sensations are better than at the beginning of the week. It’s encouraging. Now my goal is to follow the best riders in La Toussuire tomorrow. If so, I should improve my position on GC (11th).”
“It was kind of hard today but we managed to do what we planned and I collected a few points for the king of the mountain price because the bunch was still together in the first two climbs. Tomorrow, I believe that my main rival for the polka dot jersey will be Rodriguez. I don’t have a big advance. However, I’ll try to get some points tomorrow. If I do it, it’s good, otherwise, I’ll have done a good Dauphiné anyway.”
“This is the stage win that made me decide to ride the Dauphiné at the last minute. But what a fatigue! It’s been a very demanding stage. In the previous days when I had a chance of winning, I probably attacked too early, so today I wanted to wait for the very end. Five kilometres from the top was the perfect timing for going solo. This was the stage that suited me the most. I’m more than happy with this victory. But the Dauphiné is not over. Tomorrow I’ll fight for the final top three overall.”
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.