TDF Stage 6: The Longest Ride, A New Winner
That’s because last yearâ€™s longest stage in the Tour, 227.5 km fromÂ Montargis to Gueugnon,Â was won by the Manxman.
But on the rain streaked, uphill finish and with a lead out from his Team Sky teammate Geraint Thomas,Â Edvald Boasson Hagen managed to hold off some of the fastest sprinters in the world over 800 meters to the finish line.
It was the first stage win in the Tour de France for the 24-year-old Norwegian.
“Geraint Thomas did a great lead out and it’s just fantastic it’s all worked out.,” he added. “To get my first stage at the Tour de France is so special.”
Norwegian fans will be partying it up in the towns of Normandy tonight because Thor Hushovd came in third in the stage, and still wears the Yellow Jersey.
Cadel Evans still holds the second position overall, with Frank Schleck third in the General Classification.
Matt Goss (AUS) of HTC Highroads was second in the stage sprint, while his teammate Cavendish was dropped in this grueling, over-140 mile stage that had riders stuck in their wet saddles for over five hours.â€¨â€¨
Things looked promising for Cavendish at the 131 km mark, today’s intermediate sprint point at Vassay when he won handily and apparently without penalty points. A team set up with two other HTC Highroad members gave him a clean lead out to beat Phillipe Gilbert and JoaquinÂ Rojas to the line.
But somewhere in the race the battery of the fastest man on earth wound down, and he could not finish the stage with the pack.
The disappointment was also to be had for Matt Goss who wrote on his Twitter less than an hour later, “NEARLY! Not often u wish for 10 more meters in a bike race!”
It was a spectacular coup for Boasson Hagen who managed to eclipse some of the best sprinters in the tour so far, including Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP) MOV and Philippe Gilbert (BEL) OLO. Gilbert was also considered one of the favorites for a win today.
As the riders entered the 2 km to the finish Vanendert attacked and was chased down by Thomas Voeckler. They were ahead by 100 meters, but were soon followed quickly by David Millar, Cadel Evans and Phillipe Gilbert.
Then Alexandre Vinokourov gained on Millarâ€™s right, but he was caught by Mollema who established a gap but not enough to hold off the steam roller of sprinter legs behind him: Geraint Thomas accelerated quickly past him with Edvald Boasson Hagen on his wheel, who stayed in front to the finish and won the stage.
Tyler Farrar said at the beginning of the day that he didn’t have the legs for a sprint at today’s finish, and would leave it to his Garmin Cervelo teammate Hushovd.
On a day that alternated between rain and sun, Levi Leipheimer of Team RadioShack lost more than one minute when he crashed on slick wet pavement and hit a road guard. Â The time loss means that Leipheimer is out of the top 20, slipping to 31st position, one minute and 23 seconds behind the leader.
A Bad Day for All, Including a Bjarne Riis Bike Toss
It must have been a difficult day for many riders. David Zabriskie of Team Garmin Cervelo wrote on Twitter after the race, “One time while self administering a colonic I think I saw Jesus…that is how I feel right now at this very moment…”
It’s hard for the normal Joe or Joette to understand just how difficult riding the Tour must be, but when champions like Zabriskie complain, or like Cavendish fall behind, it’s gotta be bad.
Alberto Contador also had problems today when a mechanical problem had him looking for a new bicycle, but he didn’t lose much time.
Robert Gesink also appeared to have a temper tantrum on the side of the road, throwing his bike and looking for a replacement in the second half of the stage.
It was almost a Bjarne Riis moment–harking back to the 1997 Tour when then on and off Yellow Jersey rider threw his bike in a tantrum along the side of the road. (Riis is now team manager of Alberto Contador’s SaxoBank-Sungard team.)
The stage featured three climbs: a category 3 climb at Cote de Saint-Michel-de-Montjoie (at 99.5km), another category 3 at Cote du Bourg-dâ€™Oilly (at 156.5km), and a category 4 at Cote du Billot (at 197km). The intermediate sprint was in Vassy at 131km. Those climbs may have taken the strength out of many sprint ridersâ€™ legs.
Because of its length, this stage was also a good opportunity for a breakaway: And indeed, an early break at 5 km from the start was established by Anthony Roux (FRA) FDJ, Leonardo Duque (COL) COF, Johnny Hoogerland (NED) VCD, Â Adriano Malori (ITA) LAM and Lieuwe Westra (NED) VCD .
A chase group formed behind them consisting of Jerome Pineau (QST) and Izagirre (EUS). If you recall, Pineau had a long break in last yearâ€™s Tour as well.
The breakaway riders were the first through the intermediate sprint point, with Roux (FDJ) gaining 20pts, Duque (COF) 17 points, Westra (VCD) 15 points, Malori (LAM) 13 points, and Hoogerland (VCD) 11 points.
Coming in to the intermediate sprint, the first rider in the peloton was Cavendish (THR) who gained 10 points with Rojas (MOV) second gaining 9 points, and Farrar (GRM) third gaining 8 points. Renshaw (THR), Gilbert (OLO), Petacchi (LAM), Delage (FDJ), Ventoso (MOV), Eisel (THR) and Moinard (BMC) also got points.
With 40 km to go, there were still two leaders including Malori (LAM) in a break and they were ahead of the peloton by more than 4 minutes, with a chase group a little more than a minute behind them.
Malori (LAM) soon was out in front by himself, and he was 35 seconds ahead of the peloton at 15 km to go. At the final five km, the peloton had him in their sights, with only a 12 second advantage for the break rider.
Because of his aggressive riding, Malori will get a red dossard for the seventh stage “and a few kisses from the podium girls,” according to ASO.
Ivan Velasco (EUS) did not start today, as he has quit the Tour because of a broken collarbone sustained in a crash.
OVERALL STANDINGS AT THE END OF STAGE 6 : Source: ASO
|1.||HUSHOVD Thor||51||TEAM GARMIN – CERVELO||22h 50′ 34″|
|2.||EVANS Cadel||141||BMC RACING TEAM||22h 50′ 35″||+ 00′ 01″|
|3.||SCHLECK Frank||18||TEAM LEOPARD-TREK||22h 50′ 38″||+ 00′ 04″|
|4.||MILLAR David||56||TEAM GARMIN – CERVELO||22h 50′ 42″||+ 00′ 08″|
|5.||KLĂ–DEN AndrĂ©as||74||TEAM RADIOSHACK||22h 50′ 44″||+ 00′ 10″|
|6.||WIGGINS Bradley||111||SKY PROCYCLING||22h 50′ 44″||+ 00′ 10″|
|7.||THOMAS Geraint||117||SKY PROCYCLING||22h 50′ 46″||+ 00′ 12″|
|8.||HAGEN Edvald Boasson||114||SKY PROCYCLING||22h 50′ 46″||+ 00′ 12″|
|9.||FUGLSANG Jakob||13||TEAM LEOPARD-TREK||22h 50′ 46″||+ 00′ 12″|
|10.||SCHLECK Andy||11||TEAM LEOPARD-TREK||22h 50′ 46″||+ 00′ 12″|
|11.||MARTIN Tony||175||HTC – HIGHROAD||22h 50′ 47″||+ 00′ 13″|
|12.||VELITS Peter||179||HTC – HIGHROAD||22h 50′ 47″||+ 00′ 13″|
|13.||HORNER Christopher||72||TEAM RADIOSHACK||22h 50′ 52″||+ 00′ 18″|
|14.||GESINK Robert||41||RABOBANK CYCLING TEAM||22h 50′ 54″||+ 00′ 20″|
|15.||VINOKOUROV Alexandre||61||PRO TEAM ASTANA||22h 51′ 06″||+ 00′ 32″|
|16.||GILBERT Philippe||32||OMEGA PHARMA – LOTTO||22h 51′ 07″||+ 00′ 33″|
|17.||VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen||31||OMEGA PHARMA – LOTTO||22h 51′ 13″||+ 00′ 39″|
|18.||BARREDO Carlos||42||RABOBANK CYCLING TEAM||22h 51′ 14″||+ 00′ 40″|
|19.||GAUTIER Cyril||183||TEAM EUROPCAR||22h 51′ 32″||+ 00′ 58″|
|20.||BASSO Ivan||91||LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE||22h 51′ 37″||+ 01′ 03″|
|21.||DE WEERT Kevin||124||QUICK STEP CYCLING TEAM||22h 51′ 38″||+ 01′ 04″|
|22.||GERDEMANN Linus||14||TEAM LEOPARD-TREK||22h 51′ 40″||+ 01′ 06″|
|23.||ROCHE Nicolas||101||AG2R LA MONDIALE||22h 51′ 46″||+ 01′ 12″|
|24.||CUNEGO Damiano||161||LAMPRE – ISD||22h 51′ 46″||+ 01′ 12″|
|25.||SILIN Egor||198||KATUSHA TEAM||22h 51′ 46″||+ 01′ 12″|
|26.||ROJAS Jose Joaquin||88||MOVISTAR TEAM||22h 51′ 49″||+ 01′ 15″|
|27.||VOECKLER Thomas||181||TEAM EUROPCAR||22h 51′ 49″||+ 01′ 15″|
|28.||URAN Rigoberto||118||SKY PROCYCLING||22h 51′ 52″||+ 01′ 18″|
|29.||PINEAU JĂ©rĂ´me||127||QUICK STEP CYCLING TEAM||22h 51′ 55″||+ 01′ 21″|
|30.||HESJEDAL Ryder||55||TEAM GARMIN – CERVELO||22h 51′ 56″||+ 01′ 22″|
|31.||LEIPHEIMER Levi||75||TEAM RADIOSHACK||22h 51′ 57″||+ 01′ 23″|
|32.||KARPETS Vladimir||191||KATUSHA TEAM||22h 52′ 03″||+ 01′ 29″|
|33.||MOLLEMA Bauke||45||RABOBANK CYCLING TEAM||22h 52′ 08″||+ 01′ 34″|
STAGE STANDING AT THE END OF STAGE 6
|1.||HAGEN Edvald Boasson||114||SKY PROCYCLING||5h 13′ 37″|
|2.||GOSS Matthew Harley||174||HTC – HIGHROAD||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|3.||HUSHOVD Thor||51||TEAM GARMIN – CERVELO||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|4.||FEILLU Romain||201||VACANSOLEIL-DCM||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|5.||ROJAS Jose Joaquin||88||MOVISTAR TEAM||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|6.||VICHOT Arthur||139||FDJ||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|7.||GILBERT Philippe||32||OMEGA PHARMA – LOTTO||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|8.||CIOLEK Gerald||123||QUICK STEP CYCLING TEAM||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|9.||MARCATO Marco||206||VACANSOLEIL-DCM||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|10.||JEANNESSON Arnold||134||FDJ||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|11.||FUGLSANG Jakob||13||TEAM LEOPARD-TREK||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|12.||EVANS Cadel||141||BMC RACING TEAM||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|13.||EL FARES Julien||155||COFIDIS LE CREDIT EN LIGNE||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|14.||HINAULT SĂ©bastien||105||AG2R LA MONDIALE||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|15.||KLĂ–DEN AndrĂ©as||74||TEAM RADIOSHACK||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|16.||THOMAS Geraint||117||SKY PROCYCLING||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|17.||BOZIC Borut||202||VACANSOLEIL-DCM||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|18.||DUMOULIN Samuel||153||COFIDIS LE CREDIT EN LIGNE||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|19.||GAUTIER Cyril||183||TEAM EUROPCAR||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|20.||GERDEMANN Linus||14||TEAM LEOPARD-TREK||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|21.||ROCHE Nicolas||101||AG2R LA MONDIALE||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|22.||VINOKOUROV Alexandre||61||PRO TEAM ASTANA||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|23.||RUIJGH Rob||208||VACANSOLEIL-DCM||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|24.||MARTINEZ Egoi||23||EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|25.||BOUET Maxime||102||AG2R LA MONDIALE||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|26.||MARTIN Tony||175||HTC – HIGHROAD||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|27.||HORNER Christopher||72||TEAM RADIOSHACK||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|28.||SANCHEZ Samuel||21||EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|29.||PERAUD Jean-Christophe||108||AG2R LA MONDIALE||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|30.||VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen||31||OMEGA PHARMA – LOTTO||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|31.||BOLE Grega||163||LAMPRE – ISD||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|32.||SCHLECK Andy||11||TEAM LEOPARD-TREK||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|
|33.||DANIELSON Tom||52||TEAM GARMIN – CERVELO||5h 13′ 37″||+ 00′ 00″|