Critérium du Dauphiné: Stage 6

After a spectactular stage in the mountains, Richie Porte took the Yellow jersey whilst Fuglsang won the stage in a photo finish

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Critérium du Dauphiné: Stage 6

Porte Rides into Yellow Jersey on Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 6

Richie Porte (BMC) narrowly missed taking a second stage win in the Critérium du Dauphiné (stage 6) in a nail-biting four-man sprint to the line, taking second place to Fuglsang and inheriting the leader’s yellow jersey. Chris Froome was third.

After four flat stages and a time trial, stage 6 was the first General Classification battle in the mountains with the hors categorie Mont du Chat climb in the last 30km and the tricky descent to the finish line set to shake things up.

Multiple breakaway attempts played out in the opening 15km before six riders went clear and gained a solid advantage of almost eight minutes. The peloton controlled the race situation for the first half before the teams eyeing the stage win started to bring the six riders back on the approach to Cote de Jongieux.

With 30km to go as Mont du Chat loomed, the breakaway’s advantage was down to five minutes. 5km later, it was Porte’s BMC Racing Team teammates who were at the front of the bunch. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) was the first rider to attack from the General Classification group on the ascent, as up ahead the breakaway started to split. Porte stayed calm and as the virtual yellow jersey, he responded to each attack to bring the group back together on multiple occasions.

Fabio Aru then launched like a missile out of the group to join Jakob Fulgsang up ahead and as Porte responded, it was only Chris Froome (Team Sky) who could stay on Porte’s wheel. The duo eventually picked up Fulgsang and the trio reached the summit 10 seconds behind Aru. On the downhill near the bottom of the mountain, the trio caught Aru and the quartet raced towards to the finish.

After an attack by Fuglsang had failed, in a rare sight, four General Classification riders went for the sprint, and as they crossed the line it looked like Porte was the winner. A photo finish revealed Fulgsang however had just edged Porte out of the win but Porte was able to take consolation in the yellow jersey. Porte now leads the General Classification by 39 seconds over Froome and 1’15” on Fulgsang with two more days in the mountains to come.
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Richie Porte: “I’m really happy with how the stage went. It really came down to all the leaders racing one on one. No one really had any teammates except Aru. I wasn’t really looking forward to coming down that descent so, to come through that stage was good. In the end it was fast but it went well. I came so close to the stage win in the sprint, although maybe it was not the most exciting sprint with four GC guys. But, it’s great just to have the jersey. I know it’s an uphill battle to keep it but I think today went really well.”

“We went fast up the climb but coming down there was a lot of speed so it was nice to get down safely. From KM 0, the guys were on the front and we didn’t have much help until the final with AG2R La Mondiale. There was a lot of attacks but my team stayed calm and I was happy to come over the top with just me, Froome, Aru and Fuglsang. It was a good stage and a crazy descent in the end but I think I am in a good place.”

“It’s nice to have the jersey but I know that the next two days are going to be super hard. But, I feel up to it and we have the team here to try and finish it off on Sunday. I think I had the target on my back this morning but I have a fantastic team here. I feel good. I’m in good form and I would love to keep this jersey until Sunday.”

Chris Froome: “I’d be lying if I said I was happy with third in the sprint there, I was hoping to get the stage win, but I was probably a bit eager in the last kilometre, doing a bit too much work to catch Jakob Fuglsang, and then I started the sprint a little bit too far out. But all in all I’m happy with how that went. It could have gone a lot worse! I was up front and the legs were pretty good. I’m happy to be up there with Richie at the moment, who’s in amazing form.”

“I haven’t done that descent before, I haven’t really seen it, and there’s been so much made of that descent, about how dangerous it is, so when I went for it I thought, ‘This could go one of two ways here’. But to be honest it was quite good fun, like playing a computer game. It was fun.”

Froome hadn’t looked comfortable on the climb and said of the ascent: “On the mid slopes, I was conscious of how far was still to go and I knew I still needed to put in a big effort near the top when the big guys went, so I took things a little bit more at my own rhythm and kept something in reserve. I think I’ve still got quite a bit of work to do but things are certainly heading in the right direction. Today’s climb, hopefully, will show that I’m at least on track for July.”

Alberto Contador: “I was in the wheels of the GC contenders, I just followed, followed, followed,” said Contador. “This was my objective. In one moment, Richie and Froome went harder and harder, and I decided I’d better go a little easier because I did not want to blow up. I saw that Valverde had a good tempo and I took his wheel and we went more calmly to the top.”

“After on the descent we went well, very fast, but on one corner when we passed one of the guys that was in the front, I almost didn’t make the corner and was close to crashing,” explained Contador. “I lost five seconds there, and it was still five seconds at the bottom.

“After the descent, I lost some more seconds to Bardet and Valverde to the finish, but for me, I am very, very happy – when I look at the work that I have in my bag, it’s a very good performance. I hope that also in the next two days everyone attacks and makes a very hard race because I think this maybe can be good for July.”

Jakob Fuglsang: “We worked really good as a team today – both me and Fabio, we demonstrated the training we did to prepare for the Daupiné and the Tour it was a very high quality work and today on the uphill we were really confident.”

“We knew the climb because we tried it in the days before the Dauphiné – continued the Danish rider – so we had the right gears on the bike and we could adjust the effort while climbing… before the start of the climb, I asked to my team mate Valgren to bring us at the front and he did an extraordinary job: this victory is for Michele Scarponi but it is also for the entire Team who did a great stage today.”

Fabio Aru: “I’m super happy for Jakob’s victory” said Fabio. “I had good legs on the climb and I’ve tried to attack… then when they came back on me along the descent I saw that someone was risking really much. I think we did a great team work today with Jakob – continued the Italian – and the sensations were really good: anyway, I’m just coming back to race after a long period so I prefer to focus day by day and see what will be the final balance on Sunday afternoon.”

Simon Yates: “I know the climb well but when you don’t have the legs that doesn’t make the difference. I hope it was just a bit of an off day but in this race there’s no where to hide,”  Yates explained. We think the form is there and I’m looking forward to the weekend. They are hard days but maybe not as hard as today’s climb.”

1. Jakob Fuglsang, Astana Pro Team
2. Richie Porte, BMC Racing Team
3. Chris Froome, Team Sky
4. Fabio Aru, Astana Pro Team
5. Alejandro Valverde, Movistar Team :50
6. Daniel Martin, Quick-Step Floors
7. Romain Bardet, AG2R La Mondiale
8. Oliver Naesen, AG2R La Mondiale 1:06
9. Alberto Contador, Trek – Segafredo
10. Emanuel Buchmann, Bora – Hansgrohe 1:14

16. Simon Yates ORICA-Scott 2.17
17. Johan Chaves EstebanORICA-Scott 2:19
18. Andrew Talansky Cannondale-Drapac 2:29
58. Ben Swift UAE Team Emirates 10.57
72. Peter Kennaugh Team Sky 12:10
84. James Shaw Lotto Soudal 14.55
100. Scott Thwaites Dimension Data

1. Richie Porte, BMC Racing Team1020:52:34
2. Chris Froome, Team Sky 0:39
3. Jakob Fuglsang, Astana Pro Team 1:15
4. Alejandro Valverde, Movistar Team 1:20
5. Fabio Aru, Astana Pro Team 1:24
6. Alberto Contador, Trek – Segafredo 1:47
7. Daniel Martin, Quick-Step Floors 2:14
8. Emanuel Buchmann, Bora – Hansgrohe 2:30
9. Romain Bardet, AG2R La Mondiale 2:49
10. Rafael Valls, Lotto Soudal 3:16

11. Pierre Latour AG2R La Mondiale 3:20
12. Simon Yates ORICA-Scott 3:26
14. Andrew Talansky Cannondale-Drapac 3:35
17. Johan Chaves EstebanORICA-Scott 4:39



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