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BinckBank Tour 2018: Stage 6

Welcome to live coverage of stage 6 of the BinckBank Tour.

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Stage 5 results: Cort wins as sprinters foiled again

A touch of the Classics for BinckBank Tour finale – Preview

 

Welcome to stage 6 of the BinckBank Tour on what is expected to be an important day for the overall contenders. There is a lot of climbing on the menu today with today's stage being dubbed a mini-Amstel Gold.

65km remaining from 182km

Four riders are up the road with a two-minute lead on the peloton behind. The quartet are: Matthias Brändle (Trek-Segafredo), Nick van der Lijke (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij), Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondiale)

Matej Mohoric is the current race leader after he he took it on stage 3.The Slovenian has held firm in the subsequent days but today is going to be a stern test of his strength. This is what the top 10 looks like now. 

 

1 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain-Merida 16:28:51
2 Sean De Bie (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan 0:00:03
3 Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:00:22
4 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic 0:00:28
5 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb 0:00:30
6 Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij 0:00:32
7 Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:36
8 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb 0:00:37
9 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:41
10 Alex Dowsett (GBr) Katusha-Alpecin

 

Quick-Step Floors have been controlling the bunch for much of the day. They have a number of riders well up the standings. Max Schachmann is their best placed rider in ninth at 41 seconds but they also have Yves Lampaert and Niki Terpstra in the top 20. 

 

There have been at least two abandons so far today with Baptist Plankaert departing the race after a crash. Meanwhile, Oscar Gatto climbed off a short while ago. 

 

The peloton has dispatched with 12 climbs so far today and are on the large 40km finishing loop. There are still plenty of helling to contend with before the finish line in Sittard-Geleen and we will see the numbers whittled down bit by bit. Already, there are riders in trouble as the peloton picks up the pace. 

 

49km remaining from 182km

The huge uptake in the pace has split the peloton up. The front group has almost caught the breakaway. 

 

No visual on Mohoric yet. 

 

There he is, Mohoric sits third in the peloton, which is led by Niki Terpstra. 

 

With the breakaway so close, we have a lot of attacks coming off the front of the bunch. 

 

It comes back together each time, but more and more attacks go off the front. No team can get a proper handle on this. 

 

Only a few metres separate the breakaway from the first peloton as the riders take a sharp turn off the main road and head into the climbs again. 

There are several chasing groups splintered cross the road. 

 

The breakaway has been caught just before the peloton heads through the feed zone in the Tom Dumoulin sport park. 

 

Th chasing group have just gone through the finish line and there is a substantial gap between the two. It seems, for now, that the key contenders are in the leading group. 

 

Victor Campenaerts puts in a little dig and Mohoric chases him down. He's been quite activeon this loop and he must be careful that he doesn't wear himself out. 

 

Another attack with UAE Team Emirates on the move along with a rider from Roompot. 

 

Meanwhile, over in Norway, stage 2 of the Ladies Tour of Norway has just finished with Marianne Vos triumphant again. We'll have more on that very soon. 

 

We now have Bodnar and Roosen off the front. Meanwhile, Schachmann is chasing back onto the peloton after a mechanical. 

 

We also have news of Marcel Kittel calling time on his race. The German has had a very disappointing season so far and this is another major blow. 

 

Sutterlin at the back with an issue. He's called for the team a number of times but there are no team cars behind and the roads are too narrow for the neutral service vehicle to get up easily. 

 

38km remaining from 182km

More attacks with Grivko, Stybar and more off the front. The leading pair has 20 seconds on the main peloton.

 

That little move is brought to heel while we have more going off the front. Mohoric gets a bit of a gap on a short descent with his distinctive descending style. The gap to the leaders is 27 seconds. 

 

Campenaerts moves back to the front to try and control things for his team leader Tim Wellens. Lotto Soudal announced today that Campenaerts would replace Tomasz Marczynski, who has fallen ill. 

 

32km remaining from 182km

It is relentless on the front of the bunch but all of this attacking is playing into the hands of the two leaders, who have 35 seconds. 

 

There are only around 30 riders left in this leading group and Dylan Groenewegen is one of them, could he win today? Stefan Kung is also in there and he's trying a little move himself. 

 

The pace of these attacks has strung the bunch right out. Gougeard is attacking again. He was in the earlier breakaway. 

 

For now, the roads have been fairly flat, with the occasional downhill, and the leaders have held their advantage. The true test will be when they hit the climbs again just before the finale. 

 

27km remaining from 182km

After that flurry of action, it has calmed down somewhat. Drucker is working on the front for BMC Racing but the leaders now have 48 seconds on the peloton. 

 

Bodnar started the day just 45 seconds down on Mohoric and he is now the virtual leader. 

 

Brandle now put to work on the front of the peloton, while Langeveld has set off in chase of these leaders on his own. 

 

The relationship between the breakaway and the peloton has been interesting this week with attacks foiling the peloton on three of the first five stages. At present, the gap to the leaders is going up. Will this duo be able to do what others have done this week?58 seconds now for the two up front. 

 

Mohoric calls for the team car to collect a few bidons. He's got no teammates with him in this group so he has to do all the grunt work on his own. 

 

22km remaining from 182km

The hostilities have resumed in the peloton with Zdenek Stybar attacking. 

 

Plenty of reaction coming after Stybar's attack. The chase wasn't getting anywhere so a few riders taking things into their own hands. Stybar has been brought back and now we have Schachmann attacking with Kung. Langeveld still in no man's land. 

 

Langeveld looks over his shoulder and he can see the peloton coming up fast behind him. The little uptick in pace brings the gap to 52 seconds but it's still considerable.

 

Despite having a rider up front, LottoNL-Jumbo move towards the front and Dylan Groenewegen latches onto an attack from Tom Jelte Slagter. 

 

It seems that Groenewegen is not content with just waiting for a bunch gallop. 

 

Stybar goes again. Quick-Step Floors have serious numbers and Stybar is one of their lower ranked guys in the overall classification so they're sacrificing him to try and burn out some of the other riders.

 

18km remaining from 182km

The final few climbs have begun and the leaders now have 45 seconds. The gap is coming down but ever so slowly. 

 

The leaders hit the golden kilometre and Bodnar is allowed to take the bonus seconds for the GC. Meanwhile, Wellens has attacked with Lampaert and Stuyven. 

 

This is a serious move. 

 

Lampaert is the best placed overall in this group at just 43 seconds back on Mohoric while Wellens is at 53. 

 

Stuyven is also at 53 seconds after taking the stage win on Thursday. 

 

They're building a decent gap now and have cut the advantage of the two leaders down to just 18 seconds. 

 

Wellens will be able to handle the coming climbs a little better than his two companions but the flat finish will be to his disadvantage. 

 

A crash for Stefan Kung as he loses control of his bike on a corner. He almost held it but couldn't stop himself from going down. Valgren goes right over the top of him but both seem to be ok. Niki Terpstra had to stop, but was not involved in the crash. 

 

The three chasers have caught the two leaders. Van Avermaet and Matthews have also jumped the gap to make it a seven-man lead group. 

 

Lampaert gives Suyven a hand sling to put his compatriot onto the front of this leading group. Wellens had attacked but that group is now back together. 

 

11km remaining from 182km

Behind, Mohoric is putting in a supreme effort to try and shut this down and he's making up some serious ground. 

 

10km remaining from 182km

The overall lead is hanging in the balance with just 10 kilometres to go. 

 

Another attack from Wellens. He doesn't want to bring guys like Matthews and Van Avermaet to the line. 

 

Wellens makes a gap while there is little sign of a proper chase behind him just yet. 

 

As wellens hits the climb, we see Lampaert and Van Avermaet trying to close the gap. However, they've been caught by the other chasing group with Van Baarle leading the way. 

 

More riders joining up with this second group ont he road. Wellens has his elbows on the handlebars as the road flattens out and he's trying to increase his gap. 

 

We have some attacks coming from behind Wellens and it looks like Schachmann, followed by Mohoric. 

 

I can't help but be impressed by Mohoric's tenacity. He is turning himself inside out to defend this leader's jersey. Currently, Schachmann is the bigger worry for him, rather than Wellens.

 

More riders joining the party in the chase group as things come back together. We're still waiting on a time check for Wellens but I'd put it at around 15 seconds. 

 

6km remaining from 182km

Mohoric still on the front as they chase Wellens. We now have a time check. It's just 13 seconds - I was pretty close. 

 

This aggressive finale is taking its toll on some and Bodnar has been dropped from the main group. Meanwhile, Stybar has attacked on a short descent.

 

5km remaining from 182km

Stybar is almost with Wellens, who looks over his shoulder an dsees the former cyclo-cross world champion looming over his shoulder. 

 

Stybar catches Wellens but they've got Van Baarle and Muhlberger chasing behind them now. 

 

The gaps are quite small so this is by no means certain for any of these riders. Still plenty to play for. 

 

Van Baarle and Muhlberger make contact with Stybar and Wellens and we now have a four-man lead group. 

 

Just two kilometres remain and the four leaders have eight seconds. We have more attacks coming from behind. 

 

Schachmann is the rider between the leaders and the peloton. He looks like he might just make it across the gap. 

 

Just as Schachmann is about to make contatc, Muhlberger attacks under the flamme rouge. 

 

500 to go and Muhlberger still has a gap

 

A huge chase behind him but it looks like he will hold onto it. 

 

Muhlberger wins, Wellens takes second and Stybar in third

 

 

Mohoric finishes in the main group behind and he should still have the overall race lead. 

 

Yves Lampaert comes to the line with the medical car. It looks like he's had a crash in the finale, which wasn't shown on screen. His race numbers are hanging off and he puts his hand to his back. Let's hope the injury isn't race ending. 

 

Here is the top 10 from today's stage

 

1 Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 04:05:10
2 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 00:00:03
3 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors
4 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Sky
5 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors 00:00:05
6 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 00:00:08
7 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb
8 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 00:00:11
9 Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe
10 Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin

 

Confirmation of the overall classification sees Mohoric actually increase his lead. He now leads Matthews by 30 seconds with stage 3 winner Taco van der Hoorn moving into third at 32 seconds. 

 

This is how the top 10 overall looks after that aggressive finale. 

 

1 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain-Merida 20:34:12
2 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb 00:00:30
3 Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij 00:00:32
4 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb 00:00:34
5 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors 00:00:35
6 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:36
7 Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 00:00:37
9 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Sky 00:00:44
10 Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:47

 

A very happy Gregor Muhlberger crosses the line. 

 

For a recap of today's action, head to our report here.

 

That is it from our live coverage today. Keep tuned for the reaction from today's stage and we will have more live coverage tomorrow on another tough day out for the peloton. 

 

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