TDF 2024: Stage 6: Dutchman Takes Dijon


It was another flat stage today leading to a sprint finish and after tricky chicanes and turns, Dutch national champion, Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco–AlUla), edged Jasper Philipsen at the line.

The Belgian Philipsen came up one place short of victory for the second day in a row, with Biniam Girmay in third. Groenewegen picked up his sixth Tour stage win, his first since stage 3 of the 2022 edition in the Danish city of Sønderborg. It was also the sixth Tour bunch sprint in a row that went to a different rider.

After his historic 35th stage win yesterday, Mark Cavendish was edging for another sprint finish, but his team was winnowed out in the last 300 meters to the line, mostly due to effect of the turns and squeezes of the road on the sprinters.

The race entered Burgundy on the roads from Mâcon to Dijon, where the Tour returned after being away for 27 years! Not a single breakaway stuck, and scattered showers and relentless crosswinds kept the riders on edge throughout the 163.5 km course.

After narrowly dodging a crash on Wednesday, Tadej Pogačar had another scare today when Jonas Vingegaard’s teammates managed to split the peloton with 82 km to go. The leader found himself as the sole UAE Team Emirates representative in the 50-strong lead group, but it all amounted to nothing when the second group managed to reconnect about 10 km down the road.

It was another close one for the Slovenian, who will start the first time trial in the yellow jersey tomorrow.

Stage 6 in Detail

The peloton set out from Mâcon —the home town of the poet Alphonse de Lamartine and the footballer Antoine Griezmann— at 1:52 pm. Mads Pedersen, draped in bandages after a nasty crash in the run-in to the finish of the previous stage, pedaled on, keeping the peloton at 174 riders ahead of the 163.5 km long stage 6.

No-one made a move as soon as the flag dropped, but the pace was high from the get-go, with the top favorites, including the Maillot Jaune Tadej Pogačar, vigilant at the front. It was an obvious sign that the main contenders were on edge about the moderate crosswinds set to impact the peloton almost without letting up across the Saône-et-Loire and Côte-d’Or departments.

Every little helps for Abrahamsen

The king of the mountains, Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X Mobility), upped the pace on the Col du Bois Clair, the only climb of the day, coming 9 km into the stage. Axel Zingle (Cofidis) was glued to his wheel but failed to stop the Norwegian from going over the category 4 ascent in first place and padding his lead in the mountains classification (26 points, six ahead of Pogačar). The two men pressed on over the top, bringing their margin over the peloton to 1′15″ before sitting up in the run-in to the intermediate sprint in Cormatin, 31 km into the stage, where Jasper Philipsen took top points. The Belgian outsprinted Biniam Girmay, who became the first ever African rider to wear the green jersey this morning, and Mads Pedersen.

Pogačar isolated for a split second

The peloton moseyed along until Lotto Dstny tried —and failed— to force a split in the peloton. In the end, it was the European champion, Christophe Laporte (Visma | Lease a Bike), who managed to blow up the pack with 81 km to go, at the exit from Puligny-Montrachet, right when Mark Cavendish suffered a puncture. The yellow jersey, Tadej Pogačar, found himself alone in the first group on the road after all his teammates were caught napping, but the peloton came back together at 70 km from the line.

Groenewegen takes it in a photo finish

The tension in the peloton was so heavy you could cut it with a knife, as the leaders clustered at the front of the race to avoid any sudden crashes before letting the sprinters fight it out in Dijon, where the Tour had last called in 1997.

Alexander Kristoff’s Uno-X Mobility sprint train led the charge under the red kite, but Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco–AlUla) derailed it to take the first stage win by a reigning Dutch champion since Léon van Bon triumphed in Tours in 2000. The photo finish did not lie: Groenewegen was the winner, while Jasper Philipsen had to settle for second, as he had done in Saint-Vulbas yesterday.