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Critérium du Dauphiné 2013: Stage 6

 Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage six of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

The peloton has just left La Léchère for the fast slightly downhill start towards Albertville.

 

 Today's 143km stage is a mix of flat roads along the valley and then four climbs before a plateau and a dive down to the finish in Grenoble.

It seems perfect for a breakaway or a select sprint finish. 

Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) made an early attack but for now the peloton is all together. 

 

After his stage victory yesterday, Chris Froome (Team Sky) is in control of the race leader's yellow jersey and looks set for overall success. Team Sky will have to rode tempo during part of today's stage but the British team will be happy with a quiet day in the saddle, letting other riders and teams chase success today.

Team Sky will be saving its strength for the weekend mountain stages.  

 

13km remaining from 143km

The riders have covered 13km of the stage but a break has still to form.

 

130km remaining from 143km

 The riders have covered 13km, leaving 130km to go.

Crash! Warren Barguil (Argos-Shimano) takes a tumble but seems ok and is back on his bike.

 

Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) has won the hot spot sprint in Albertville. 

 

Sylvain Chavanel and Nikolas Maes took second and third, stopping other riders taking points and threatening Meersman's lead in the green jersey competition.

 

As often is the case, the sprint has sparked an attack. Chavanel kept going and has been joined by other riders.  

 

113km remaining from 143km

However the peloton has quickly chased them down and the race is all together. 

 

Frenchman Pierre Rolland (Team Europcar)  tried to get in the move. He crashed yesterday and had promised to go on the attack to try to win a stage. 

Read what he said yesterday here.

 

Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) had a poor time trial on Thursday. He bounced back yesterday and insisted in an interview with Cyclingnews that he 'is where he wants to be' as the Tour de France looms large on the horizon.

Read the full interview feature with Contador here.  

 

Elia Favilli (Lampre-Merida) was the only non-starter today. However Timofey Kritskiy (Katusha) has now retired from the race too. 

 

It's perfect weather for racing today with blue skies and sunshine. The riders are lined out and riding fast, so have little time to enjoy the conditions. 

 

The peloton has covered 50.4km in the first hour of racing. Some of the roads were downhill but that's still fast and furious.

 

89km remaining from 143km

We have a new breakaway forming and this one could be let go.

The trio are Assan Bazayev (Astana), Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoliel-DCM) and Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp-Endura).  They have a 40-second gap, while many in the peloton have stopped for a natural break. That's good news for the trio.

 

86km remaining from 143km

The trio has a lead of 1:25 as they start the côte d’Arvillard, the climb of the day. 

 

The trio has a lead of 1:25 as they start the côte d’Arvillard, the climb of the day. 

 

Flecha is the first to the summit of the cote, taking three mountain points.

 

73km remaining from 143km

As we approach half-distance in the stage, the lead of the break has fallen slightly as they begin the Cat 1 Col du Barioz climb. 

 

Radio tour has confirmed that Team Europcar is leading the chase of the break. 

The French team is keen to impress as it looks for a second sponsor for 2014 in an attempt to secure WorldTour status.

 

The Col du Barioz is a nasty climb: 7.1 km at 7.3 % average.

 

It's perfect for a counter attack and we have one: Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar) has gone across and through the  breakaway. We have a new race on our hands now. 

 

Voeckler has joined Flecha at the front of the race. 

 

Kevin Seeldrayers (Astana), José Herrada (Movistar) and Alexandre Geniez (FDJ) have also jumped across to the breakaway during the climb of the Col du Barioz. 

 

And Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol) is also in the move, replacing a tired Felcha. Wellens went on the attack yesterday too.  

 

More riders are going across to the move. We now have eight up front.

 

60km remaining from 143km

Team Sky is leading the peloton, with the gap just 40 seconds. Will they let it go? 

 

Kevin Seeldrayers (Astana Pro Team) is the first rider over the top of the climb and so takes 15 points.

The peloton is now 1:00 behind.  

 

The gap is now 1:40 as Team Sky rides on the front to protect Chris Froome's yellow jersey.

 

GURNING ALERT! VOECKLER IS IN THE BREAK IN A FRENCH RACE!!

@nyvelocity Fri, 7th Jun 2013 12:09:25

Froome looks relaxed in the peloton, spinning a low gear with his usual low heel style. 

 

Meanwhile over the border in Switzerland, riders are preparing for the Tour de Suisse, which begins on Saturday.

 

The break has crossed the Col des Ayes and is diving down the descent. 

 

The peloton also reaches the top and takes on bidons from their soigneur at the side of the road. 

 

The breakaway riders have their team cars with them to keep them hydrated.

 

50km remaining from 143km

There is just 50km left to race.

 

The next 30km cover rolling roads before the fast descent to the finish in Grenoble. 

 

Elia Viviani (Cannondale) is working hard with several teammates to get back on to the peloton but OPQS is now on the front, trying to make him suffer. 

 

The breakaway is on the final climb of the day, the Cat 4 Col des Mouilles.

 

Sylvain Chavanel is driving the peloton and making some of the sprinters suffer. Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) is in the front group but is fighting hard to hold the wheels. 

 

Bouhanni makes it over the last climb at the back of the bunch. Viviani is still chasing with his teammates.

 

38km remaining from 143km

There are few drops of raining, which could make the long descent interesting.

 

The race is on! The break of eight riders is working hard but so is the peloton. The gap is down to 1:30, as OPQS and BMC do some big turns on the front to try to set up a sprint win. 

 

The breakaway has split under the push of the Astana riders but Voeckler is doing everything he can to bring things back together.

 

Voeckler is at the front of the break now and driving hard. The break is down to just four riders now. 

 

Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) is riding comfortably in the peloton, wearing the best young rider's white jersey.

 

At the back of the bunch, Thor Hushovd (BMC) has been dropped. It will be difficult for him to get back on for the sprint. 

 

25km remaining from 143km

Quite a tough pace on these uncategorised ramps en route to Grenoble. Gap to the break now 1' 15". Some sprinters dropped #Dauphine

@TeamSky Fri, 7th Jun 2013 13:03:45

The remains of the break have been swept by the peloton as Omega Pharma still lead the chase to set up Gianni Meersman for the sprint.

 

Both Chavanel and Tony Martin have sat up after working hard for Meersman but he lacks teammates for the final chase of the break. 

 

11km remaining from 143km

Voeckler has eased off the front. Is he preparing a late attack? 

 

It seems almost impossible for the four to be caught now. 

 

Chute!

Riders touched wheels with a Blanco rider going down hard and sliding off the road.

 

Geraint Thomas is leading the peloton, keeping Froome out of trouble. 

 

The four breakaways are still working smoothly but the games, attacks and final tactics will surely begin soon. 

 

Astana has a numerical advantage but can they outwit Voeckler and Lopez?

 

2km remaining from 143km

The speed has dropped. Get ready for the first attack.

 

Voeckler is on the front, switching across the road.

 

It seems both Astana riders want to win.

 

1km remaining from 143km

Last km. 

 

The four are all across the road. It's going to be a four-rider sprint. 

 

Sprint.

 

Voeckler leads it out and manages to distance is rivals and win.

 

Lopez finished second, with the Astana riders taking third and fourth.

 

Kevin Seeldrayers (Astana) is third in the official results, with Silin fourth. 

 

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) won the bunch sprint, 46 seconds behind Voeckler

 

Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) was sixth, with Francesco Gavazzi (Astana) was seventh.  

 

It is Thomas Voeckler's first win of 2013 and confirms he's looking good for the Tour de France.

 

Chris Froome (Team Sky) finished safely in the peloton and so kept his race leader's yellow jersey. 

He now faces two tough mountain stages before he can celebrate overall success.

 

Thanks for following our live coverage of today's stage. 

We'll have a full report, photo galleries, interviews and new from the race very soon.

Join us tomorrow for live coverage of the 187.5km seventh stage from Le Pont-de-Claix to  Superdévoluy.

 

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