Thursday July 10th, 2014

Stage 6Arras / Reims

Start 13h00 (Local time)

Key moments

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Summary

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Summary

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Stage summary10.07.2014

Greipel crowned in Reims

Germany's André Greipel claimed stage 6 in Reims - the town where the kings of France were crowned - as his compatriot Marcel Kittel was left down by a mechanical in the last two kilometers. Vincenzo Nibali retained the lead on another rained soaked day with echelons on the roads chosen to remember World War I in the presence of the French president François Hollande.

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News from the sick bay…10.07.2014

Three riders out of tricky stage

After yesterday's carnage, the sixth stage was also full of spills and thrills as three riders abandoned the race after crashing.

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Giant Shimano team director Christian Guiberteau said three-times stage winner Marcel Kittel just did not have the strength to be a contender in today's sprint.

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French champion Arnaud Demare crashed like many other riders today and finished 4 :51 behind the day's winner.

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After faring well on the cobbles, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ),10th in the 2012 Tour, was taken in an echelon in the 15 kms of the stage and lost 59 seconds on the day's winner, Andre Greipel.

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"Today's plan was to put someone in the breakaway for both keeping the polka dot jersey in the team and moreover trying and win the stage. We were hoping for teams to being tired and disorganized in chasing. It wasn't the case but once again we've had a scenario with crashes. It's demanding. I'm getting tired, physically and nervously. I'm also getting used to the polka dot jersey but I'm aware that it'll be very difficult to keep it beyond Saturday."

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“That was bad to crash again today but I have nothing broken, so I'm fine. A guy crashed in front of me and another crashed behind, he's the one who took me down. But after two crashes I'm still here while other riders have had to go home. I just hope that my bad luck is gone. Today I've been boxed in and I came fifth without even sprinting, so it's all good for the green jersey. Maybe tomorrow is my chance for a stage win finally, but firstly I have to recover from my crash.”
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“That was hard! Especially in the last thirty kilometers with the side wind, it was a tough race. Maybe I didn't have a proper lead out train but we rode like crazy at the last roundabout. Fortunately we stayed together and I found a good wheel in following Mark Renshaw. I went full gas with 350 metres to go. It was pretty early but I thought whatever happens is fine as long as I give everything. I felt a lot of pressure after the first few stages but finally we have a victory. It's a good...

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Off the bus quotes10.07.2014

A new Tour is starting

The cobbled stage over, the peloton is aware that a new Tour is starting, led by Vincenzo Nibali and without title-holder Chris Froome.

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The of the town10.07.2014

Has Nibali won the Tour?

Vincenzo Nibali's convincing performance on the cobbles of stage 5 between Ypres and Arenberg was the talk of the village on Thursday morning.

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Sporting stakes10.07.2014

Champagne for Nibali!

After the epic, rained soaked and chaotic stage 5 on the roads and cobbled sections of Paris-Roubaix, the peloton aims at a quieter day from Arras to Reims. The Tour will leave the north of France without defending champion Chris Froome but many other riders who have crashed on the slippery asphalt strongly hope for a slower race to recover. This favors a breakaway in which Cofidis will try and send someone again to secure Cyril Lemoine's lead in the KOM competition. The possibilities for an...

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The heavy task of keeping the yellow jersey within Team Sky for a third year in succession now weighs on the back of Richie Porte...

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The riders went through their own kind of hell on Wednesday on the cobbles of the 5th stage of the Tour de France between Ypres and Arenberg but...

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How was the first time ?09.07.2014

Hayman, the oldest debutant

Mathew Hayman has the unlikely honour to be the oldest newcomer in the Tour de France. At 36...

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Newsflashes (Local time)

17:17Top 5

1. André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol)

2. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)

3. Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R)

4. Mark Renshaw (OPQS)

5. Peter Sagan (Cannondale)

17:15Pinot and Rolland lose one minute

Pinot and Rolland lose one minute

17:15The winner is... André Greipel

Greipel wins stage 6 ahead of Kristoff and Renshaw

17:13Van Poppel has a flat tyre, Kittel too!

Trek's sprinter Danny van Poppel has a flat tyre, Kittel too!!!

17:11Pinot at 28 seconds

The chasing group with Thibaut Pinot, Joaquim Rodriguez and Mikel Nieve is at 28 seconds with 4km to go.

17:104km to go

OPQS still leads the pack with 4km to go.

17:09Paris-Roubaix winner in action

Niki Terpstra takes over from Tony Martin at the head of the peloton as OPQS wants to keep the race under control.

17:06Peloton split in two

There's a major split in the peloton with 8km to go as Tony Martin is riding flat out. Thibaut Pinot is off the back but the main favorites are at the front.

17:04Maté the most agressive today

Luis Maté (Cofidis) has been awarded the Antargaz most agressive rider price.

17:03Démare off the back

Among the dropped riders: French champion Arnaud Démare, Joaquim Rodriguez, Thomas Voeckler...

17:03Strong side wind

There's a strong side wind in the last ten kilometres!

17:01All together

Maté is the last breakaway rider caught by the bunch with 12km to go.

16:58Pineau caught

Jérôme Pineau is caught so Luis Maté is the last rider away with 15km to go.

16:57Navarro back in the bunch

Dani Navarro makes his way back to the peloton.

16:55Degenkolb off the back

Injured rider John Degenkolb is off the back, so is Dani Navarro, the Cofidis team leader.

16:54Gérard and Leezer reeled in

Gérard and Leezer are caught by the bunch. Maté and Pineau insist at the front.

16:52Sprinters' teams in action

The teams of the sprinters ride hard behind the breakaway: OPQS, Lotto, Giant...

16:4625km to go

With 25km to go, Tom Leezer (Belkin), Luis Maté (Cofidis), Jérôme Pineau (IAM) and Arnaud Gérard (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) have an advantage of 40 seconds.

16:33Time gap over one minute

With 35km to go, the gap is back over one minute: 1.08.

16:32One more point for Maté

In the côte de Roucy, Luis Maté, aka "The Andalucian lynx", grabs the only point awarded at the top.

16:2549 seconds with 40km to go

Giant-Shimano, Astana and Tinkoff-Saxo are the most active teams at the head of the peloton.

16:17Hernandez abandons

Jesus Hernandez (Tinkoff) pulls out of the Tour de France after crashing. That's a big loss for Alberto Contador.

16:1052 seconds with 52km to go

The regrouped peloton isn't in a rush to catch the four leaders who were in sight but now have increased their lead: 52 seconds with 52km to go.

16:0642.8km in the third hour

42.8km have been covered in the third hour of racing. Average speed so far: 45.6km/h.

16:03French President on the route of the Tour

The president of the French Republic François Hollande is now on the route of the Tour de France in the car of Christian Prudhomme.

16:01Sagan and Démare back in the bunch

The Sagan group is back in the main bunch as the peloton has slowed down.

15:59Sagan and Démare off the back

Peter Sagan and Arnaud Démare are among the riders off the back, along with Péraud, Riblon (AG2R), Navarro (Cofidis), Slagter (Garmin)... They're 1.05 behind the leading four riders.

15:54OPQS in action

With 64km to go, OPQS rides hard at the head of the first part of the peloton, now only 45 seconds behind the escapees.

15:52Démare and Navarro in the last group

French champion Arnaud Démare who won stage 2 of the Tour de Picardie at the Chemin des Dames in May is off the back, along with Dani Navarro (Cofidis) and yesterday's winner Lars Boom (Belkin). Nibali and Contador are in the first part of the peloton.

15:51Peloton splitting at Chemin des Dames

As predicted by Marc Madiot, the peloton is splitting in the crosswinds at Chemin des Dames. It causes a crash, involving Hernandez (Tinkoff), Voeckler (Europcar)...

15:47Sagan injured

Peter Sagan has also crashed. He's at the back of the pack, showing bruises on his left side.

15:45French champion on his way back

French champion Arnaud Démare is making his way back to the bunch after the crash, like a few other riders.

15:44Leezer first in Pinon

Result of the intermediate sprint in Pinon, km 119


1.    Tom Leezer (Belkin), 20 points


2.    Arnaud Gérard (Bretagne), 17


3.    Jérôme Pineau (IAM), 15


4.    Luis Maté (Cofidis), 13


5.    Mark Renshaw (OPQS), 11


6.    Peter Sagan (Cannondale), 10


7.    André Greipel (Lotto), 9


8.    Alessandro Petacchi (OPQS), 8


9.    Marco Marcato...

15:39Zandio and Silin quit

Xavier Zandio (Sky) and Egor Silin (Katusha) abandon the Tour de France.

15:37Crash with 79km to go

A few riders went down with 79km to go. Démare and Bonnet (FDJ) were among them, also Navarro (Cofidis), Slagter and Bauer (Garmin). It looks like Zandio (Sky) and Silin (Katusha) can't go back on their bike. Race leader Nibali has asked Giant-Shimano to slow down at the head of the peloton.

15:34Reims, a city for sprinters

It's the twelfth time that Reims - the town where the kings of France were crowned - hosts a stage finish of the Tour de France and it's usually a place for sprinters to shine. The last three winners were Djamolidine Abdujaparov in 1991, Robbie McEwen in 2002 and Alessandro Petacchi in 2010.

15:23Maté scores one point

Luis Maté passes first atop the côte de Coucy-le-Château-Auffrique as he protects the lead of his team-mate Cyril Lemoine in the King of the Mountains competition.

15:15Time gap: three minutes

Tom Leezer (Belkin), Luis Maté (Cofidis), Jérôme Pineau (IAM) and Arnaud Gérard (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) have three minutes lead at km 99

15:06Marc Madiot: «There will be echelons!»

François Hollande might not witness a walk in the park but a very active race when he'll sit in Christian Prudhomme's car at the Chemin des Dames with 65km to go. FDJ.fr team manager Marc Madiot is also there to have a look at the course. “It's windy”, he told letour.fr. “The wind blows from the left side. There will be echelons! But it's a bit far away from the finish, so I'm not sure if it can work. There might be a regrouping before a bunch sprint.”

15:0547km/h so far

Tom Leezer (Belkin), Luis Maté (Cofidis), Jérôme Pineau (IAM) and Arnaud Gérard (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) have covered 46.4km in the second hour of racing. The average speed so far is 47km/h.

14:50François Hollande will join the Tour at the Chemin des Dames

Today's stage from Arras to Reims [the five letters long French towns…] is dedicated to the memory of the soldiers from World War I one hundred years after the conflict started. The president of the French Republic François Hollande is present at the “Caverne du Dragon”, a shelter for the warriors during the battle of the Chemin des Dames. Mr Hollande will follow the last 65 kilometres of the race in the car of Tour director Christian Prudhomme.

14:4347.6km in the first hour

47.6km have been covered in the first hour of racing.

14:173.10 at km 54

The time gap is going down: 3.10 at km 54.

14:16Defending champion out... like 34 years ago

No defending champion had quit the Tour since Bernard Hinault in Pau in 1980, so "The Badger" was asked to comment on Chris Froome's abandon yesterday in L'Equipe. "As he crashed several times, bruises added to each other and he didn't want to race anymore. Had he continued, he would have been frightened on the pavés. He crashed twice on asphalted roads, how worse would it have been on the pavés! This stage is a message to the young cyclists: 'come and do Paris-Roubaix, you'll know what it...

14:03Time gap stabilized at four minutes

It's four minutes all the time between Tom Leezer (Belkin), Luis Maté (Cofidis), Jérôme Pineau (IAM) and Arnaud Gérard (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) and the bunch led by five Giant-Shimano riders, the first of them being "breakaway killer" Ji Cheng.

13:58Survey: Kittel looks unbeatable

The day's survey on letour.fr wonders if Alessandro Petacchi can win in Reims like four years. At 2pm, most internet users believe that Marcel Kittel is unbeatable (33.73%). Less than 4% think that the Italian veteran is able to win again, either because he's too old (25%) or because Mark Renshaw is OPQS' sprinter (23%). About 15% of the people believe it won't be a bunch sprint again.

13:50Mark Renshaw: «It's a lot different without Cavendish»

Questioned before the start by letour.fr, Mark Renshaw described the life at Omega Pharma-Quick Step without Mark Cavendish and after the epic stage 5. “I feel a little bit tired”, said the Australian who finished 15th in Arenberg. “Two riders from our team crashed yesterday, both in breakaways: Tony Martin and Michael Kwiatkowski. But there's no serious injury. Today, we'll look in the early part of the race which teams are interested to work for a bunch sprint. It depends on Lotto...

13:36Kevin Reza: «We target the victory with Bryan»

Questioned this morning by letour.fr, Kevin Reza sounded as happy and optimistic as always, even after the horrors of stage 5. The Parisian is an important lead out man for Bryan Coquard along with Caribbean cyclist Yohan Gène. “I'm relieved”, Reza said. “Personally, I feared this stage a lot, especially in those particular weather conditions. It was the first time of my life riding on the cobbles. With the wind and the rain, it was a bit too much to my taste but I've been quite...

13:354.15 at km 21

Time gap at km 21: 4.15

13:25Giant-Shimano leads the peloton

Team Giant-Shimano has put four riders including "breakaway killer" Ji Cheng to set the pace of the peloton.

13:24Time gap on the up

Time gap: 4.15 at km 14

13:183.15 at km 9

Time gap at km 9: 3.15.

13:16Climbs of the day

Climbs of the day


-    Km 107.5: côte de Coucy-le-Château-Auffrique (cat. 4), 900m at 6.2%


-    Km 157: côte de Roucy (cat. 4), 1.5km at 6.2%

13:13Far down on GC...

None of the four escapees is highly ranked on GC. Pineau is at 22.09, Leezer who initiated the breakaway is at 27.26, Maté at 39.46, Gérard at 44.17.

13:10Four riders in the lead

Four riders have gone clear from the gun: Tom Leezer (Belkin), Luis Maté (Cofidis), Jérôme Pineau (IAM) and Arnaud Gérard (Bretagne-Séché). The start proper has been given at 13.03 to 192 riders. One non-starter: Max Richeze (Lampre).

12:57Ch. Guiberteau: «Degenkolb is injured but doesn't want to quit»

Questioned this morning by letour.fr, Christian Guiberteau who is a directeur sportif for Giant-Shimano gave alarming news about John Degenkolb. The winner of Gent-Wevelgem had high ambitions for tomorrow's stage to Nancy with a hill preceding the finishing line but he's seriously injured. “John has a 2cm muscle thorn in his bum. He managed to walk better this morning than last night. But his confidence is affected now. He's taking the start but in the unknown. It's going to be very...

12:56Brice Feillu: «It's tempting to go and target the Maillot Jaune»

Questioned before the start by letour.fr, Brice Feillu admitted that he might the Bretagne-Séché Environnement representative of the day at the head of the race. “I didn't go too badly yesterday”, he said. “I put a foot on the ground on two occasions but I didn't crash. I just had a problem of positioning before the first pavé section, so it complicated everything after that. I finished a bit further than I hoped. I had the legs for being at three or four minutes, no more. Today,...

12:55Kwiatkowski experiments white color

Michal Kwiatkowski (OPQS) has the white jersey on his shoulders for the first time. Peter Sagan is still the best young rider. Thanks to his excellent ride on the cobblestones, the Polish champion took over from Romain Bardet but the Frenchman has also done well and he's not far down on GC, followed closely by his compatriot Thibaut Pinot.

12:54Lemoine in defense

Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis) has the polka dot jersey for the fourth day in a row. It shouldn't be too complicated for him to keep it today as only two climbs are categorized from Arras to Reims. As they are in fourth category, they award only one point each, so Lemoine will pay attention to Blel Kadri and Jens Voigt's eventual attempts to break away.

12:54Sagan has a comfortable lead

Peter Sagan (Cannondale) has increased his lead again yesterday in the points classification. He's got an advantage of fifty points over Marcel Kittel…

12:53Nibali shines in yellow

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) is in the yellow jersey for the fourth day in a row. Not only did he keep the lead on the pavés yesterday but he increased it significantly over the other GC contenders. Michal Kwiatkowski has limited the loss as he's 50 seconds down. Also in the top 10, Jurgen Van den Broeck, Richie Porte, Andrew Talansky and Alejandro Valverde are around two minutes down, closer than Alberto Contador who is 2.37 down. Now the Spaniard is the only Tour de France winner still in...

12:5216° at the start

It's 16° and drizzling in Arras.

12:51Jersey holders on the front line

Distinctive jersey holders Vincenzo Nibali (yellow), Peter Sagan (green), Cyril Lemoine (polka dot) and Michal Kwiatkowski (white) have gathered on the front line in the starting area in Arras. The pack is ready to roll.

12:41Welcome...

Welcome to the live coverage of stage 6 from Arras to Reims. The race will start at 12.50 and will cover 194 kilometres. On paper, it's a sprinters' stage after the epic ride on the cobblestones yesterday.

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Will the three stages in the Vosges determine the overall winner?

  • Yes, they’ll confirm Nibali’s domination9.61%
  • No, the real fight will happen in the Alps47.68%
  • No, Contador will win the Tour in the Pyrenees30.74%
  • No, Porte will beat them all in the time trial11.97%
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