Tour de France 2017

July 1-23, Düsseldorf, France, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Stephen Farrand

Hello and welcome to the live coverage of stage 6 of the 2017 Tour de France from Vesoul to Troyes.

Tour de France race hub

Tour de France Start list
 

Stage 6 preview: Who will win the expected sprint in Troyes?
 

Stage 5 report: Aru wins on La Planche des Belles Filles

 

Froome races into Tour de France lead as Aru rises to third

 

Tour de France 2017: Route profile stage 6

 

  1. 11:50:05 CEST

    Hello and welcome to our full live coverage of today's 216km stage.

  2. 11:50:52 CEST

    After yesterday's mountain finish at La PLanche des Belles Filles, it's time for the sprinters to take back the spotlight with an expected sprint finish in Troyes.

  3. 11:51:43 CEST

    We'll have all the news and images from the start in Vesoul, full blow by blow coverage of the stage and all the reaction and photos long after the stage.

  4. 11:52:26 CEST

    The Cyclingnews reporters are already at the start, chasing the latest stories from the race and interviews with riders.

  5. 11:55:41 CEST

    Thibaut Pinbot is the local hero at the start. He comes from nearby and his family and friends are at the start.

  6. 11:58:35 CEST

    This is Pinot's bike.

     

  7. 12:01:43 CEST

    As the riders sign on at the start under blue skies and a hot sun in Vesoul, it is good to study the general classification after yesterday's shake out.

     

    Chris Froome is back in the yellow jersey as he chases a fourth Tour de France win. However his rivals are still close. 

     

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 18:38:59
    2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 00:00:12
    3 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 00:00:14
    4 Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors 00:00:25
    5 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing 00:00:39
    6 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 00:00:43
    7 Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale 00:00:47
    8 Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 00:00:52
    9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:00:54
    10 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:01:01

  8. 12:03:04 CEST

    Froome certainly seemed happy to be back in yellow.

     

    Chris Froome in yellow is a very familiar Tour de France sight

  9. 12:06:58 CEST

    To see our full photo gallery and read our full stage report on Fabio Aru's win and Froome taking yellow, click here.

     

    Chris Froome stops the clock with the maillot jaune

     

  10. 12:09:12 CEST

    The sprinter's will take the spotlight today but of course two big-name sprinters will not be action after the stage 4 crash in Vittel.

     

    Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) went down hard and fractured his shoulder blade, while world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was disqualified from the Tour.

  11. 12:10:35 CEST

    This was the moment that sparked the crash, Sagan's disqualification and a huge debate about the rights and wrongs of the judges decision.

     

    The moment Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish clash in the Vittel sprint

  12. 12:13:31 CEST

    The riders have rolled out of Vesoul and now face a 10.9km neutralised sector before the flag is dropped and stage starts.

     

  13. 12:15:28 CEST

    The four jersey wearers lead the peloton away from the start village, with Froome in yellow, Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) in the best young rider's white jersey, Fabio Aru in the climber's polka-dot jersey, and Arnaud Demare in the green points jersey.

  14. 12:16:07 CEST

    It's expected to be a hot day, with temperatures of between 25-30C during the stage.

  15. 12:17:41 CEST

    There are some reports of cross winds being a factor during the stage.

     

    No doubt lots of teams have team staff driving ahead of the race to send back info on when and where the wind is strong and if echelons can be a problem.

     

  16. 12:18:54 CEST

    All the riders who finished stage 5 signed on at the start today. That means there 193 riders in the race.

  17. 12:19:52 CEST

    The riders are tucked behind the red race directors car.

     

    It will be interesting to see who tries to go in the break today.

  18. 12:21:36 CEST

    The 216km stage covers classic rolling French roads as it heads north-west towards Troyes. They will help the attackers get away from the peloton but make for a hrd day out front.

  19. 12:24:09 CEST

    The UCI officials were back doing bike checks at the start. They try to check hundreds of race bikes and spare bikes each day as they try to find and deter mechanical doping.

     

  20. 12:24:52 CEST

    The riders are speeding up as they prepare for the official start at km 0.

  21. 12:26:23 CEST

    It will be interesting to see which teams lead the chase of any attacks.

     

    Team Sky will not be keen to do the hard work despite having the yellow jersey. They will hope the sprinters' teams will pick up the slack and ensure their leaders get to fight for victory. 

  22. 12:26:59 CEST

    Race director Christian Prudhomme is in the car and drops the flag now. 

     

    They're off!

  23. 12:27:52 CEST

    And the first to attack goes. A Direct Energie rider with a UAE rider try their hand.

  24. 12:28:09 CEST

    The peloton seems happy to let them go.

  25. 12:29:36 CEST

    A right turn squeezes the peloton and slows their chase of three riders trying their chance.

  26. 12:31:35 CEST

    The three are Perrig Quemeneur (Direct Energie), Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Emirates).  

  27. 12:33:09 CEST

    The three have a minute.The peloton is rolling along but does not seem keen to chase.

     

    Chris Froome is on the front and other riders are also trying to deter a chase.

  28. 12:36:35 CEST

    The three riders are working smoothly together, taking turns on the front. 

     

    Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Emirates) has a excellent flat back position on the bike. 

  29. 12:38:00 CEST

    The gap is up to 2:30. Behind Team Sky is near the front, but the sprinters' teams do not seem interested in leading the chase for now.

  30. 12:38:21 CEST

    It will be interesting to see how much the gap grows.

  31. 12:42:08 CEST

    This is the view from the race car shot by the voice of race radio Seb Piquet.

     

  32. 12:47:46 CEST

    With the brek up the road and the peloton cruising along behind, it's a great moment to listen to the Cyclingnews podcast.

     

    This special edition is about the disqualification of Peter Sagan.

     

    The CN team on the race discusses whether the decision was the right one and we hear from both Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan on the crash, and the president of the race jury, Philippe Marien.

     

    Click here to listen. Feel free to comment below the podcast.

     

  33. 12:54:48 CEST

    The break have 4:00 but the peloton has started to keep them under control.

     

    The peloton is lined out as Quick-Step Floors, Lotto Soudal, Team Sky and other teams take turns on the front.

  34. 12:58:46 CEST

    It's a hot day in the saddle and so Chris Froome has a special yellow skinsuit to help him keep cool. We grabbed this shot of him at the start.

     

  35. 13:00:18 CEST

    Froome started the stage with two large bidons which keep his drinks cool.

     

    He also has a touch of yellow with his bar tape.

     

  36. 13:04:03 CEST

    Froome in yellow means that Geraint Thomas is back in the white Team Sky colours today.

     

     

  37. 13:05:28 CEST

    Ten or so teams have placed a rider on the front to help with the chase. The Wanty riders are then gathered behind them, with Team Sky next riding together to protect Froome. 

     

  38. 188km remaining from 216km

    13:08:00 CEST

    There is still  long way to go in today's stage. 188km to be precise. 

     

    However there is some concern of possible cross winds later in th stage. As stage 4 taught us, with the Cavendish crash, there is never a quiet day in the Tour de France.

     

  39. 13:18:19 CEST

    Riders are taking long drinks from their bidons.

     

    It's going to be a tough job for the domestiques to frequently drop back to the team car for drinks. 

  40. 13:22:03 CEST

    Sunweb's Michael Matthews fancies his chances of winnnig the green jersey now that Sagan is out of the Tour. 

     

    "Things didn't go well in Longwy. Afterwards we had a good meeting. In the intermediate sprint on stage 5 we showed what we're capable of. The battle for green is wide open. I believe that I can win. There's no favourite," he said at the start.

  41. 13:27:07 CEST

    The gap between the break and the peloton is staying at around 4:00 as the peloton plays cat and mouse with the three riders up the road. 

     

    The peloton is keeping them under control so they do not have to chase too hard in the finale of the stage.

     

    However the break is not going flat out either, they're trying to save some energy for a final all out charge in the hope of holding off the peloton.

  42. 13:35:00 CEST

    The riders are pedaling between huge wheat feels at the moment. The tractors and harvesters are out gathering the crop after a warm and dry spring/summer.

     

    Many stop working for a moment to watch the race by.

  43. 13:37:14 CEST

    No doubt that Frederik Backaert (Wanty - Groupe Gobert) is looking at the fields as much as the road ahead of him. He and his family have a farm in Belgium. 

  44. 165km remaining from 216km

    13:42:05 CEST

    Dane Lars Bak is doing a lot of the hard work for Lotto Soudal and Andre Greipel on the front of the peloton. 

    That will help his teammates stay fresh for the high-speed finale.

  45. 13:43:10 CEST

    With Mark Cavendish out of the Tour, Dimension Data will probably sit back and then ride for Mark Renshaw. He is usually Cavendish's lead out man but has a fast finish too.

  46. 13:44:49 CEST

    The average speed for the first hour of racing was 39.8km/h, confirming the steady start to the stage.

  47. 13:51:32 CEST

    Several riders have dropped back to their team cars and loaded up with bidons. 

  48. 151km remaining from 216km

    14:02:01 CEST

    The escapees' lead drops to 3:15 as they approach Langres, the site of the first of the day's two category 4 climbs.

  49. 14:04:59 CEST

    Yesterday's stage winner Fabio Aru may still have been wearing his familiar nasal strip, but this past winter, he took a more drastic measure to rectify a long-term breathing problem, by undergoing nasal surgery in Bergamo.

    Fabio Aru crossing the line on stage 5 of the Tour de France

     

  50. 14:08:35 CEST

    Away from the Tour, Lotta Lepistö (Cervelo-Bigla) sprinted to victory on stage 6 of the Giro Rosa in Roseto degli Abruzzi yesterday, while Anna Van Der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) retained the overall lead. You can read a full report here.

     

  51. 147km remaining from 216km

    14:10:50 CEST

    • Climb

    The leading trio don't contest the sprint at the top of the Cote de Langres, where Perrig Quemeneur leads Vegard Stake Laengen and Frederik Backaert.

     

  52. 14:12:00 CEST

    FDJ, Quick-Step and Lotto Soudal each have a rider at the head of the peloton with the seemingly ineluctable bunch sprint in mind. The gap currently stands at 3:04 as they climb out of Langres.

     

  53. 140km remaining from 216km

    14:21:26 CEST

    Dan Martin has showcased his talents in this opening week, placing third behind Peter Sagan in the uphill bunch finish at Longwy on Monday and then taking second on yesterday's summit finish at La Planche des Belles Filles. The Irishman is aiming to better last year's 9th place overall at the Tour. He compared his approach on a Planche des Belles Filles to his by-now traditional late charge on the Mur de Huy at Fleche Wallonne. "I've no idea what happened behind. It was a deceptively hard day and with the heat ... I really felt the heat on the final climb. That's the first real heat since the race started. It felt like I was glued to the road all day," Martin said. "The stage suited me in the end and I did my La Flèche Wallonne technique." Dan Benson has the full story here.

    Plenty of microphones to catch the post-stage comments from Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors)

     

  54. 137km remaining from 216km

    14:24:27 CEST

    The escapees trundle towards Beauchemin, with their lead still just north of three minutes.

     

  55. 131km remaining from 216km

    14:34:37 CEST

    • White Jersey

    Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) was among the attackers in the finale yesterday, and although his acceleration was snuffed out, he had the consolation of moving into the white jersey of best young rider, a title claimed by his twin brother Adam a year ago. "I wanted to win the stage," Simon Yates said after yesterday's stage. "I felt good there on the final climb and looking back now I should have stayed in the wheels. I burnt some biscuits there for the final but like I said, I wanted to win the stage, and sometimes you have to take some risks." You can read the full story here.

    Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) in white

     

  56. 128km remaining from 216km

    14:36:56 CEST

    The break's lead drops inside three minutes. According to the onscreen graphics, precisely two kilometres separate the peloton from the escapees. FDJ, Quick-Step et al will be more than happy to allow the break to continue to linger out in front for much of the remainder of the afternoon.

     

  57. 14:39:25 CEST

    Some supporters' flags on the roadside are billowing noticeably in the wind, but despite the relatively exposed roads, no team seems minded to try to split the race into echelons just yet. There could be some nervous moments for the GC men between now and Troyes, even if it has been a relatively sedate afternoon thus far.

     

  58. 120km remaining from 216km

    14:45:51 CEST

    Froome is well-positioned near the head of the peloton, at the rear of a line of white Sky jerseys. The gap to the break has dropped a little further, and now stands at 2:34.

     

  59. 112km remaining from 216km

    14:59:26 CEST

    With the gap down to 2:20, the peloton is taking it steady on the rolling roads.

     

    Team Sky stays near the front but the other teams seem to have lost interest in making an organised chase.

  60. 15:00:24 CEST

    Theres lots of banter and chatting going on in the peloton.

     

    The overall contenders and their teammates are treating the stage as a recovert stage before the mountain stages of the weekend.

  61. 15:08:05 CEST

    The break and the peloton passed through the feed zone just a few klometres ago and so many are enjoying a late lunch.

     

  62. 100km remaining from 216km

    15:16:00 CEST

    The riders are in the final 100km of the stage and many seem to be taking a natural break to some how celebrate.

  63. 15:19:28 CEST

    It looks Mikel Landa is on bidon duty for Team Sky. He hands one up to Froome and takes a drink himself.

  64. 15:25:19 CEST

    The great debate about the Cavendish crash and Sagan disqualification continues.

     

    To fully understand what happened and the consequences, listen our or special podcast with Editor Daniel Benson, ProCycling Editor Ed PIckering and Cyclingnews reporter Sadhbh O'Shea.

    Click here for the podcast.

     

    The moment Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish clash in the Vittel sprint

  65. 90km remaining from 216km

    15:30:31 CEST

    The Katusha and FDJ teams have placed a rider on the front to help the chase.

  66. 15:31:18 CEST

    A moment of panic in the peloton as a large umbrella is blow into the road. Riders scatter left and right and so avoid crashing.

  67. 15:35:14 CEST

    This a screen grab of the panic in the peloton when the umbrella was blown into the road.

     

  68. 15:37:30 CEST

    There is a breeze blowing from the riders' left but it is not enough to spark echelons or any real problems.

  69. 15:37:53 CEST

    The riders are more concerned with the heat and 30C+ temperatures.

     

  70. 15:45:01 CEST

    We have a fight for the sprint and for the points behind.

  71. 15:45:37 CEST

    The green jersey is wide open now that Sagan is out of the Tour.

  72. 15:46:40 CEST

    Frederik Backaert (Wanty - Groupe Gobert) wins the sprint from the break.

  73. 15:47:21 CEST

    Behind Colbrelli jumps first after a lead out from a teamamte but he is beaten by Demare, Matthews and Greipel at the line.

  74. 15:47:49 CEST

    They all went deep to fight for the points and so now sit up to recover for the final sprint.

     

  75. 15:48:47 CEST

    Demare currently leads the points competition and so wears the green jersey.

     

    He scored 13 points for fourth place there. Matthews scored 11 and Greipel 10. 

  76. 15:52:32 CEST

    Demare has extending his lead in the points competition but will need to score more points at the finish in Troyes.

  77. 15:56:48 CEST

    We are seeing some superb field designs with tractors and hay bails during the stage. The local farmers love being part of the Tour. 

  78. 67km remaining from 216km

    16:03:31 CEST

    The peloton keeps the break under control. The gap is 2:05.

  79. 16:06:16 CEST

    The break is appraching the Côte de la colline Sainte-Germaine, the second 4th categorised climb of the stage.

     

  80. 16:06:48 CEST

    It is hot out there so even the riders in the break are taking on extra drinks from a motorbike.

  81. 16:08:40 CEST

    The climb is 3.1km long and will surely see the three breakaways lose time.

  82. 16:10:47 CEST

    Allez! We have some action behind. Laurent Pichon attacks from the peloton to try to go across to the attack.

     

  83. 16:11:15 CEST

    The Fortuneo - Oscaro rider is trying to shake things up.

  84. 16:14:47 CEST

    The riders have finally found some shade on the climb. It will be very welcome.

  85. 16:16:15 CEST

    This image shows the hot conditions the break is facing today.

     

    The break of the day

  86. 16:17:38 CEST

    André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) was confident that the long stage in the heat would result in a bunch sprint.

     

    “I think that wherever there’s an opportunity for a bunch sprint, teams are going to set it up,” Greipel said.

     

    The German powerhouse stood next to the team bus at the start in Vesoul and explained how he was going.

     

    “As you can see, we’re in the mix for the green jersey but the green jersey comes with the victories, as you get the most of the points. So, we’re aiming for stage wins of course. In the end, it’s a procedure over three weeks which takes a lot of energy."

     

    "We take it day by day. For the moment, I don’t feel 100 per cent but at least I’m trying day by day. I’ve got the team to support me for that. Hopefully, we have the good cards on our side today.

     

    "Why not 100 per cent? I think for me it’s always… The weather turns from one way to the other. So hot. I’m always having problems but I get used to it.”

  87. 16:19:15 CEST

    Perrig Quemeneur (Direct Energie) took another point at the top of the 4th category cote de la colline Sainte-Germaine.

     

    The peloton remains close, with the gap down to 2:10.

  88. 16:19:55 CEST

    It is currently 35C out there.

  89. 16:22:09 CEST

    The peloton takes a tight turn with care. Nobody ants to crash on a quiet stage like today. 

  90. 16:24:06 CEST

    This is the favourite shot of the photographers today.

     

    A view across the fields

  91. 16:27:35 CEST

    This was perhaps the best way to watch the race go by.

     

    It was a day for messing around in boats

  92. 16:28:45 CEST

    As the kilometres tick down to 50km to go, the gap is down to 1:45. 

    The road is narrow and there is a slight crosswind.

  93. 16:29:11 CEST

    Pichon tried hard to go across to the break but he's fding fast and is dropping back to the peloton.

  94. 16:30:10 CEST

    This is a great shot of Chris Froome from during the stage.

     

    Chris Froome (Team Sky)

  95. 50km remaining from 216km

    16:31:29 CEST

    On a long straight road the peloton can just see the breakaway riders but they will not want to catch them just yet.

  96. 16:32:07 CEST

    The Tour de France peloton was lined out on the country roads

  97. 44km remaining from 216km

    16:43:43 CEST

    The sprinter domestiques are still leading the peloton, with Lars Bak there for Lotto Soudal and Julien Vermote for Quick-Step Floors.

  98. 16:45:45 CEST

    Who is your favourite for the sprint in Troyes?

     

    We suspect this guy might win again on a disc-brake bike.

     

    Marcel Kittel was back on his disc-brake bike

  99. 16:50:40 CEST

    Kittel spoke briefly before the start about the sprint.

     

    “The goal is to win again today, I’m feeling good and so is the team," he said.

     

    "Demare is on great form, we saw that on stage 4, he’s the rider to beat."

     

    "Despite Cavendish and Sagan being out of the Tour I think we’ll still see a high-speed sprint." 
     

  100. 33km remaining from 216km

    16:54:04 CEST

    The last rider to win in Troyes was Erik Zabel in 2000.

     

    With Sagan out of the Tour he will keep his record of six green jersey victories for another year.

  101. 16:55:18 CEST

    The peloton is still keeping th break in check but the sprinters' teams are starting to gather at the front of the peloton now.

     

    The red Lotto Soudal jersey are all on the right, protecting Greipel.

  102. 16:57:08 CEST

    Despite it being a steady day with a three-rider break, the riders have raced at an average of 41.1km/h for almost 200km.

    That deserves respect.

     

  103. 16:59:34 CEST

    The riders will have studied the final kilometres of today's stage in photos and fly-over videos.

     

    They know there is a left turn with 6km to go and then another left turn with 2km to go near the Cathederal Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul.

  104. 17:01:57 CEST

    There is a final roundabout to tackle and chose the right line with a kilometre to go, before a final change in line in sight of the finish along Boulevard du 1er R.A.M. (Régiment d’Artillerie de Marine).

     

    The finish is only 6.5m wide and so positioning and a good lead out will be vital for victory.

  105. 25km remaining from 216km

    17:02:38 CEST

    The GC rider teams are moving up to the front now, with Astana on the left and BMC on the right of the peloton.

  106. 17:05:55 CEST

    Team Sky is protecting Chris Froome.

     

    Chris Froome was protected by his Team Sky teammates

  107. 17:09:46 CEST

    The speed is riding and rising as more riders push through to the front to do a turn. The tension is rising too. 

  108. 17:10:59 CEST

    The only rider looknig relaxed is Steve Cummings. He's sat at the back of the peloton as usual to avoid any crash and stay safe.

     

    He's punching the tickets of any riders that are spat out of the back.

  109. 17:13:51 CEST

    Fabio Aru is not wearing the Italian champion's tricolore jersey today because in the red polka-dot jersey.

     

    Fabio Aru (Astana) in the polka-dot jersey

  110. 17:16:09 CEST

    Frederik Backaert (Wanty - Groupe Gobert), Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates) and Perrig Quemeneur (Direct Energie) are putting up abrave fight but their lead is now less than a minute.

     

    The peloton can smell them and see them up the road.

     

    The break of the day

     

  111. 13km remaining from 216km

    17:17:26 CEST

    The sprinter's teams are in position but not leading the peloton for now.

     

    Modern day sprinting and the very high speeds has forced teams to hold back their final charge until the last three or four kilometres.

  112. 17:19:23 CEST

    Jurgen Roelandts of Lotto had a late mechanical but he is trying to move back up to the front to help Greipel in the sprint. 

  113. 17:20:09 CEST

    The peloton is flying along at 54km/h, with teams spread all across the road.

  114. 17:22:32 CEST

    No Katusha take control with Tony Marti putting out big watts on the front. 

  115. 7.5km remaining from 216km

    17:23:54 CEST

    The breakaway trio are selling their skins for a high price today.

     

    They still lead by 20 seconds.

  116. 17:27:47 CEST

    Trentin is riding on the front for Kittel. He's not in perfect health and is working early today.

  117. 3km remaining from 216km

    17:28:09 CEST

    Quick-Step seem to want to boss this sprint from the front.

  118. 17:28:40 CEST

    The break is finally caught.

     

    Gruppo compatto! It's time for a sprint.

  119. 2km remaining from 216km

    17:29:34 CEST

    Dimension Data and FDJ on the front. QuickStep has disappeared.

  120. 17:29:58 CEST

    Boasson Hagen is on Renshaw's wheel to do the sprint.

  121. 17:30:31 CEST

    Kittel is Sabatini's qheel but is a little back. Cofidis is riding for Bouhanni.

  122. 17:31:13 CEST

    Riders are fighting for Demare's wheel.

  123. 17:31:48 CEST

    Boasson Hagen leads it out.

  124. 17:32:10 CEST

    But the sprinters com past him. Demare leads.

  125. 17:32:37 CEST

    But Kttel comes through on the outside to win again!

  126. 17:33:47 CEST

    He was behind but avoided the chaos along the barirers and came past the other sprinters.

  127. 17:34:38 CEST

    Both Demare and Bouhanni came past Boasson Hagen on the barriers but were beaten by Kittel. 

  128. 17:35:27 CEST

    Kittel again emotionally put his down on his bars after his victory and then hugged his teammates.

  129. 17:35:51 CEST

    This is the provisional top ten result: 

     

    1 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors
    2 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
    3 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
    4 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin
    5 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
    6 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
    7 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
    8 Daniel Mclay (GBr) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro
    9 Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
    10 John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo

  130. 17:37:54 CEST

    Demare was seond with Griepel third, Kristoff fourth and Bouhani fifth.

    All the sprinters were there.

  131. 17:39:50 CEST

    With 50m to go Demare and Greipel thought they were gonig to win but Kittel came from behind at speed to beat them and celebrate his second win of this year's Tour de France.

     

  132. 17:40:41 CEST

    Bouhanni was not happy to lose out. He seemed fast but couldn't find a way through.

     

    "You can all wait, but I'm not going to talk," he shouted to the media waiting for him at the Cofidis team bus.

  133. 17:41:38 CEST

    Chris Froome (Team Sky) finished safely in the peloton and so kept the yellow jersey.

     

    This is the general classification after stage 6.

     


    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 23:44:32
    2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:12
    3 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:14
    4 Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:25
    5 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:39
    6 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:00:43
    7 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:47
    8 Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:52
    9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:54
    10 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:01

  134. 17:42:24 CEST

    Froome is warming down on the rollers in the podium area. 

  135. 17:44:01 CEST

    Yet again no single lead out train was able to control the sprint.

     

    Each sprinter was on their own in the final metres.

  136. 17:47:15 CEST

    Demare is warming down on the rollers in the French national champions jersey but he will soon pull on the green jersey on the podium.

     

  137. 17:49:17 CEST

    Matthews admitted he does not like to take too many risks in sprints.  He finished seventh.

     

    "I had good confidence after the intermediate sprint. The lead-out didn't work out for the final sprint. I'm not the type of rider who risks everything for a top-5 result," he said.

  138. 17:51:59 CEST

    This is one of the first photos of Kittel's win in Troyes.

     

    Marcel Kittel wins stage 6 at the Tour de France

  139. 17:53:50 CEST

    Kittel spoke about his alternative sprint strategy.

     

    "First of all I want to say that I'm very proud of my team. They did a great job, very different to Liege. We could really bring ourselves into the front at a key moment and keep me there. That was very important for the victory," he said.

     

    "The last kilometer was again a little bit freestyle but I had a good wheel, first from Arnaud Demare and then I had to go with 250 to go."

     

    "It went perfect, I could start from a great position a little bit behind to see where my competitors go, and yeah, I feel good at the moment."

     

  140. 17:55:32 CEST

    Kittel confirmed he is targetting the reen jersey. 

     

    "For sure I have it in my focus, but for now what is most important that you get points at the sprints, that you get those victories because they give you a lot of advantage," he said.

     

    "That's what counts. For the rest, I try to get the points in the intermediate, then we will see in one and a half weeks. It's still pretty long."

  141. 18:00:06 CEST

    This wider shot shows just how well Kittel beat his rivals today. He was already celebrating while they were fighting for the placings. 

     

    Marcel Kittel wins stage 6 at the Tour de France

  142. 18:01:56 CEST

    Patrick Lefevere explained how Quick-Step Floors shuffled their lead out train due to injuries.

     

    "He (Kittel) came at the right moment. Démare came a little bit earlier but again, his move was on the limit."

     

    "It was good for us that other teams moved up quite early. That was good for us, that way, we didn't have to work. Don't tell them though."

     

    "Our lead-out was different, since Trentin asked to be the first man in the train. Sabatini did well."

  143. 18:03:07 CEST

    Trentin explained why he opted not to be a late lead out man. 

     

    "My hip hurts a lot on the right hand side. It was a very long, hot stage. I felt better than yesterday, but not enough to be the last man. That way, I didn't have to ride with max power too long."

  144. 18:05:01 CEST

    This shot shows how Kittel came on the outside, avoding the fight for wheels and space around and behind Demare.

     

    The sprinters approach the line during stage 6 at the Tour de France

  145. 18:12:19 CEST

    Jacopo Guarnieri spoke to Italian television at the finish and didn’t hold back when talking about Bouhanni.

     

    “Bouhanni is an idiot. He didn’t just pass me, he also put his knee into my bars. He’s a dick, he’s always making people crash. We know he’s like that. He’s probably upset with is because he always loses…” the Italian lead out man for Arnaud Demare said.

     

    “Our lead out train didn’t go perfectly but we still got second, Arnaud. He didn’t have a perfect sprint but he showed he’s on great form.”
     

  146. 18:14:29 CEST

    After pullnig on the leader's yellow jersey onthe podium, Chris Froome spoke briefly abuot his stage.

     

    "As far as the Tour de France goes, that was as relaxed as it gets for us GC riders. Of course the sprinters had a big battle in the final, but for us it was a pretty uneventful day - just stay out of the wind, stay on the wheels and save as much energy (as possible) for the days coming up," he said.

     

  147. 18:15:31 CEST

    Froome admitted he would be ready to let the yellow jersey go to save energy for the decisive final week.

     

    "I think I wouldn’t mind giving it up to a breakaway if a breakaway did go, say, 15 or 20 minutes up the road with guys we didn’t worry about in terms of the general classification, but of course I wouldn’t be that happy to give it up to any of my rivals," he said.

     

  148. 18:19:51 CEST

    Here Kittel gets ready to celebrate his 11th Tour de France victory and his second of this year's Tour de France.

     

    Everyone else is sprinting for second place.

     

     

    Marcel Kittel wins stage 6 at the Tour de France

  149. 18:23:06 CEST

    Demare's only consolation for defeat to Kittel was keeping the green jersey for another day.

     

    He has 170 points. Kittel is second with 143 and Matthews is third with 96.

     

  150. 18:33:47 CEST

    Chris Froom has a lot of extra duties as race leader, including autographing several yellow jerseys each day.

     

     

  151. 18:36:54 CEST

    John Degenkolb spoke post stage to NBC television after his tenth place in the sprint.

     

    The absence of Cavendish and Sagan has not made the sprints any easier.

     

    “The level of sprinting is so high here in the Tour, even if two guys are missing it’s still a crazy-high level. You have to compete against the best sprinters of the world," he said.

     

    “It was crazy. It was super, super fast. I was actually close to Marcel when he started moving slowly up to the front, and I just didn’t have the legs to go with him, even on his wheel in his slipstream there was no way for me to make it the front like he did. That shows his powerful strength."

     

    “In the end, I was very, very happy just to be up there again. Yesterday was not so good (after his stage 4 crash in the sprint). I didn’t feel great on the bike, but today already I felt much better, and I could even try to go for a result in the end."

     

     

  152. 18:38:16 CEST

    Degenkolb commented Demare's tactic of diving along the barriers.

     

    “When you see the final metres, especially the gap Demare went through there, I was too far back directly, but when you see it from the top shot, I think there’s almost no space. It’s very, very tight there," he said.

     

    "He actually moved off his line and went through a very, very small gap there. You have to make right decisions, and as long as everything goes OK, there’s no problem, but when it ends up like me and Cav on the ground, then it’s not so good."

  153. 18:44:36 CEST

    Fabio Aru (Astana) was also kept busy post-stage.

     

     

  154. 18:49:30 CEST

    To read all the reaction from riders at the finish, including Jacopo Guarnieri's angry criticism of Nacer Bouhanni's sprin moves, Click here.

     

    Guarnieri is Demare's lead out man and so reveals some of the bad blood brooding between the two French teams.

     

     

  155. 18:55:06 CEST

    To read out full stage report and see our 50-image photo gallery and video highlights of the stage, click here.

     

     

    Marcel Kittel wins stage 6 at the Tour de France

  156. 18:57:58 CEST

    To check out Kittel's Specialized disc-brake bike, click here.

     

    Marcel Kittel's history-making Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS Disc

     

  157. 19:02:52 CEST

    As you may have read on Cyclingnews here, the Bora-Hansgrohe team and Peter Sagan made a desperate appeal to the Court for Arbitration for Sport in an attempt to get his disqualification over turned.

     

    They even hoped that Sagan would be some how let back into the Tour.

     

    However the CAS has quickly rejected any kind of appeal, sentencing that "Peter Sagan remains disqualified from the 2017 Tour de France."

     

    Click here to read more

     

    The moment Cavendish goes down and Sagan puts out his elbow

  158. 19:09:05 CEST

    To enjoy a look back at the opening stages of the Tour de France and see how the Astana women's team is donig at the Giro Rosa, check out the weekly InCycle show.

     

    Click here, sit back and enjoy the best video reporting out there.

  159. 19:22:36 CEST

    Kittel seems to be asking: Who's got the biggest guns?

     

    Marcel Kittel on the Tour de France podium after winning stage 6

  160. 19:32:28 CEST

    Chris Froome has none of Kittel's muscle but can count on his Team Sky teammates to protect him.

     

     

    Chris Froome in yellow behind the Sky train.

  161. 19:49:43 CEST

    This photo sums up today's stage in many way. There was a long break by three riders but the peloton let them hang out front as the stage crossed France's wheat belt southeast of Paris.

     

    With temperatures in the 30C+, the best thing was pull up the tractor, grab a baguette and some cheese, open a bottle of wine and relax and watch the race go by.

    Allez le gars!

     

    Scenery along the route of stage 6 at the Tour de France

  162. 20:15:40 CEST

    Thanks for joining for this extra-long full live coverage of the stage to Troyes.

     

    Check out the home page and our social media feeds for all the latest news and interviews from the Tour de France.

     

    We'll have full live coverage of stage 7 on Friday. 

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