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Criterium du Dauphine 2019: Stage 6

The peloton is currently in the neutralised zone in Saint-Vulbas and is scheduled to hit kilometre zero at 10.30am local time. The 229km stage features no fewer than eight classified climbs, including the category 2 Col de Beaune, which comes just before a rapid descent to the finish in Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne. 

The general classification picture is as follows ahead of stage 6:

 

1 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 17:28:00
2 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:04
3 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) EF Education First 0:00:06
4 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:07
5 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00:20
6 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00:24
7 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:25
8 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:26
9 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:00:30
10 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:40
11 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Ineos
12 Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:54
13 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:13
14 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:27
15 Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:01:39
16 Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First 0:01:43
17 Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin 0:01:44
18 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Gobert 0:01:59
19 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education First 0:02:02
20 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:02:12

 

228km remaining from 228km

Stage 6 of the Dauphine is formally underway.

 

Rain is falling steadily over the peloton through these fast opening kilometres. It's been a rapid start to the stage but as yet no breakaway has gone clear.

 

217km remaining from 228km

The early pace is having an impact at the rear of the peloton, where Alexandre Geniez (AG2R La Mondiale) has reportedly lost contact.

 

216km remaining from 228km

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) attacks from the peloton, bringing Alessandro De Marchi (CCC) and Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) with him. 

 

214km remaining from 228km

The three leaders have 20 seconds in hand on a peloton that has split in two. Pierre Rolland (Vital Concept) is among the riders in the second half of the bunch, which is 35 seconds down on Alaphilippe et al.

 

Alaphilippe is the best-placed of the escapees on GC, albeit more than 16 minutes down on yellow jersey Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott). 

 

211km remaining from 228km

The peloton seems content to allow Alaphilippe, Muhlberger and De Marchi some leeway, and they extend their buffer to 45 seconds. The bunch, meanwhile, has come back together after splitting during those quick opening exchanges.

 

207km remaining from 228km

The race has settled into a discernible pattern. Julian Alaphilippe, Alessandro De Marchi and Gregor Muhlberger now have 1:10 in hand on the peloton.

 

Having missed the break, Sunweb are working at the head of the peloton. Their best rider on GC is Tom Dumoulin, who is 42nd overall at 8:52 and who said he had no ambitions for today's stage. The Dutchman is building towards the Tour de France after his crash in Frascati forced him out of the Giro d'Italia last month. "Today I will take it as easy as possible and yesterday I felt some problems with the knee so I will take it easy today and hopefully work on my shape again on the weekend," Dumoulin said. "The GC riders will have a big fight, especially in the rain with the last downhill it’s pretty tricky. It’s a good day for me not to be in the race."

 

200km remaining from 228km

There are still 200 kilometres and eight classified climbs left on this mammoth stage. Alaphilippe, Muhlberger and De Marchi remain 1:15 clear of the bunch.

 

Sunweb have desisted their chase of the three leaders and the break's advantage is rising accordingly.

 

Mitchelton-Scott have taken over at the head of the peloton but only after allowing Alaphilippe and company extend their lead out beyond the three-minute mark.

 

185km remaining from 228km

The break's lead continues to grow. Alaphilippe, De Marchi and Muhlberger now have 5 minutes in hand on the peloton.

 

Chris Froome has dominated the news cycle these past 48 hours. His crash while reconnoitring Wednesday's time trial left him with a broken femur and has ruled him out of the Tour de France. While still in intensive care on Thursday, Froome learned that he might yet inherit the 2011 Vuelta a Espana title after it emerged that Juan José Cobo had been found guilty of a doping violation due to anomalies detected in his biological passport between 2009 and 2011. Froome's palmares won't be amended just yet, mind. Cobo may appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within one month, and a decision the winner of the 2011 Vuelta will only be taken after the case is completed. Read more here.

 

175km remaining from 228km

Alaphilippe, Muhlberger and De Marchi covered 44.5km in the first hour of racing, and their lead over the bunch now stands at 5:55.

170km remaining from 228km

The escapees continue to pad out their advantage over a peloton content, for now at least, to grant them considerable leeway. 7:30 the gap.

 

In Chris Froome's absence, Wout Poels is the best-placed Ineos rider on GC, in 11th place at 40 seconds. "Normally Chris would have been the protected rider but now it's Wout," said Ineos directeur sportif Servais Knaven. "The others might have more freedom in certain moments but of course, it's shit what happened. Wout is going well and he proved that on stage 2 and for him this is a really nice opportunity. We're still here to prepare for the Tour and we'll see how things are in the mountains." Read more here.

 

157km remaining from 228km

Rain is general all over the Ain this morning. As the escapees approach the day's first climb, the category 2 Col de la Chambotte (5km at 7.8%), their lead over the bunch is up to 7:45.

 

152km remaining from 228km

Alaphilippe, De Marchi and Muhlberger are on the lower slopes of the Chambotte with a lead of some 8 minutes over the peloton.

 

The escapees are still extending their advantage on the climb. Their lead is in excess of nine minutes as they approach the summit of the Chambotte.

 

140km remaining from 228km

Alaphilippe lead Muhlberger and De Marchi over the day's opening climb with a lead of 9:15 on the bunch. The average speed after two hours of racing is 41kph. 

 

Luka Mezgec sets the tempo in the peloton, now ten minutes down on the leaders. The next climb on the agenda is the category 4 Côte de Lachat (2.9km at 4.7%). 

 

Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) currently lies 13th place overall, 1:13 down on Yates. He suggested that today's stage would be one for the escapees before the GC is decided on two final days in the Alps. "I don't think it’ll be much of a GC test. I think everyone is expecting the break to go to the finish. There will be a lot of attacking at the start and I think it'll be a really hard stage but normally the GC battle will looking towards the weekend," said Martin. Read more here.

 

127km remaining from 228km

The escapees stretch their lead still further. It now stands at 10:40 over the peloton, where Mitchelton-Scott are still setting the tempo.

 

Alaphilippe leads the break over the Côte de Lachat, which puts him level with Casper Pedersen (Sunweb) atop the king of the mountains classification.

 

119km remaining from 228km

Ineos and EF Education First have begun to ride at the head of the peloton in a bid to keep the break's advantage under control. The gap is currently 10:30.

 

115km remaining from 228km

And yet, the break's lead is still growing. The gap is now 11:20, though it's still not enough to trouble Yates' yellow jersey. Alaphilippe is the closest escapee to him on GC, but the Frenchman began the day 16:04 down.

 

110km remaining from 228km

Alexandre Geniez (AG2R) was struggling earlier on the stage and the Frenchman has abandoned at the feed, as has Bart De Clerq (Wanty-Groupe Gobert).

 

Mühlberger led the break through the intermediate sprint at Le Châtelard, where their buffer over the bunch had yawned out to 12:15.

 

103km remaining from 228km

After three hours of racing, the average speed is 39.8kph.

 

97km remaining from 228km

Alaphilippe leads the break over the category 4 Col de Frêne to move into the sole lead atop the king of the mountains classification.

 

The leading trio's buffer nudges out to 13:30. Even with more than 90km still to race, they will surely fancy their chances of going the distance here.

 

90km remaining from 228km

Mitchelton-Scott are back at the head of the peloton. The next climb on the agenda is the Côte de Châteauneuf (1.4km at 6.6%).

 

85km remaining from 228km

Alaphilippe claims another summit, leading over the Côte de Châteauneuf. The three escapees are now 13:50 clear of the peloton.

 

Today's finale sees the climb of the Col de Beaune followed by a sharp descent, and it seems tailored to Julian Alaphilippe. "Today is a good stage. I like this type of profile. I will do my best and we’ll see how I feel," Alaphilippe said this morning. "Before the descent at the final you have the climbs, and the race is long today. We have to do good race today before we think about the victory.”

 

73km remaining from 228km

In the meantime, Alaphilippe continues to pick off king of the mountains points. He leads over the category 3 Côte d’Aiton. The bunch trails at 13:50.

 

There are three climbs remaining on the menu today. First up is the category 2 Côte de Saint-Georges-d’Hurtières (4.9km at 5.9%), the summit of which comes with 64km to go. The category 3 Côte du Bochet (1.6km at 7.4%) comes 25.5km from the finish before the day’s stiffest test, the category 2 Col de Beaune (8.1km at 6%). A rapid 7.5km descent separates the summit from the finish in Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne.

 

65km remaining from 228km

Alaphilippe, De Marchi and Muhlberger are a kilometre from the summit of the Côte de Saint-Georges-d’Hurtières and still with a lead of 13:40 over the peloton.

 

62km remaining from 228km

Alaphilippe buttresses his virtual lead in the king of the mountains classification by leading over the Côte de Saint-Georges-d’Hurtières.

 

José Gonçalves (Katusha-Alpecin) attacked from the peloton on the Côte de Saint-Georges-d’Hurtières to crest the summit 12:45 down on the break and around 30 seconds clear of the bunch.

 

Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Nick Schultz (Mitchelton-Scott) crashed on the descent of Saint-Georges-d’Hurtières but both riders have since remounted and rejoined the peloton.

 

54km remaining from 228km

Daryl Impey sets the pace for Mitchelton-Scott in the peloton, 13:40 behind the three leaders.

 

After a miserable start to proceedings, the rain has abated and the leaders are now on dry roads and bathed in pleasant sunshine.

42km remaining from 228km

Alaphilippe, De Marchi and Muhlberger have come through La Chambre with a lead of 12:10 over the peloton. José Gonçalves continues alone between the break and the bunch.

 

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42km remaining from 228km

Alaphilippe, De Marchi and Muhlberger have come through La Chambre with a lead of 12:10 over the peloton. José Gonçalves continues alone between the break and the bunch.

 

37km remaining from 228km

A front wheel puncture for green jersey Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), who gets a quick wheel change and chases back on.

 

35km remaining from 228km

De Marchi, Alaphilippe and Muhlberger still have almost 12 minutes in hand on the bunch. The stage winner will come from this trio but for the time being, they are continuing to exchange turns and collaborate smoothly.

 

The technical descent of the Col de Beaune might well cause some frissons in the yellow jersey group and we can also expect some accelerations on the climb itself, even Adam Yates believes the main GC showdown will not come until Saturday and Sunday. ""The downhill at the end could be decisive but it’s not worth risking your life for gaining ten seconds,” Yates said. “Any stage from now on is pretty hard, the last two are quite short and selective but as I said yesterday, I’m feeling good. The sensations are good.”

 

31km remaining from 228km

This is De Marchi's second successive stage as part of the day-long early break but the Friuli native is showing few signs of fatigue as he takes another long turn on the front.

 

The three leaders are on the approach to the category 3 Côte du Bochet (1.6km at 7.4%). Daryl Impey sets the pace in the peloton for Mitchelton-Scott.

 

Jose Goncalves (Katusha-Alpecin) is about to be picked up by the peloton after his forlorn solo raid in pursuit of the escapees.

 

28km remaining from 228km

The break are currently grinding their way into a stiff headwind as they proceeds towards the base of the Côte du Bochet.

 

26km remaining from 228km

Onto the Bochet for the three leaders, who are carrying a buffer of 12:24 over the bunch. As yet, there are no signs that their working alliance is fraying.

 

25km remaining from 228km

Julian Alaphilippe leads the break into the headwind and over the top of the Côte du Bochet. The trio is 12:40 clear of the peloton.

 

21km remaining from 228km

The teams of the GC contenders are starting to move up towards the head of the peloton as the final ascent of the Col de Beaune draws nearer.

 

20km remaining from 228km

Into the final 20km for the three leaders, who have 12:20 in hand on the bunch. The question for Muhlberger and De Marchi is how do they solve a problem like Julian Alaphilippe? The Frenchman is the fastest finisher by reputation, a redoubtable descender and, of course, a very strong climber. He can win this stage in a variety of ways.

 

Back in the bunch, a delegation from EF Education First has hit the front on the descent of the Bochet in support of Tejay van Garderen.

 

The speed in the peloton on the Bochet saw a number of non-climbers distanced, including Andre Greipel and Sonny Colbrelli.

 

The bunch is splitting further in the crosswinds between the Bochet and the final climb of the Col de Beaune, but it seems that all of the GC contenders are safely in the front part of the peloton, which is being led by EF.

 

16km remaining from 228km

Alaphilippe leads De Marchi and Muhlberger through the finish line in Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne for the first time. They now take in a  lap of the 10-mile finishing circuit over the Beaune and back down its treacherous descent.

 

15km remaining from 228km

De Marchi leads the break onto the lower slopes of the Col de Beaune. This, surely, is where the unity among the escapees will begin to fragment.

 

14km remaining from 228km

Alaphilippe is sizing up Muhlberger and De Marchi on this climb but has yet to unleash an acceleration.

 

13km remaining from 228km

Alaphilippe hits the front on the climb but the break's efforts are rather more tentative now. They still have 10 minutes in hand on the bunch, of course, so they can well afford to be cagey.

 

13km remaining from 228km

Julian Alaphilippe accelerates. Muhlberger is straight onto his wheel and then De Marchi follows. Alaphilippe relents but it seems that this is the beginning of his onslaught.

 

The bunch, meanwhile, has started the finishing lap some 9:20 down on the break.

 

12km remaining from 228km

Alaphilippe goes again and this time he has opened a more substantial gap before Muhlberger edges back up to his wheel. De Marchi also makes it across, but the Italian was shaken a little looser by this second acceleration.

 

Back in the main peloton, Wout van Aert and Tim Dumoulin are among the many riders dropped as the gradient begins to bite on the Col de Beaune.

 

A rare 2019 sighting of Gianni Moscon on the front of the peloton, as the Ineos rider sets the tempo on the Col de Beaune.

 

Alaphilippe sits up and calls for a bidon from his team car, although we are inside the final 20km of the stage. His directeur sportif, mindful of the rules, waves a hand of refusal.

 

The Ineos pace-making has whittled down the yellow jersey group considerably. Moscon is still setting the tempo, 8 minutes behind the break.

 

10km remaining from 228km

Alaphilippe climbs out of the saddle once again as the break reach the final 2.5km of climbing. De Marchi and Muhlberger are still with him.

 

9km remaining from 228km

De Marchi attacks the break but Alaphilippe and Muhlberger follow the move immediately.

 

Now Muhlberger has a go. Alaphilippe follows the Austrian but this looks like the end for De Marchi, who loses contact with his breakaway companions.

 

De Marchi battles his way gamely back up to Muhlberger and Alaphilippe. As soon as he does so, Muhlberger kicks again. Rinse and repeat: Alaphilippe follows and De Marchi loses ground. 

 

Further down the climb, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Group Gobert) has attacked with purpose from the yellow jersey group. Moscon has finished his pace-making for the afternoon.

 

8km remaining from 228km

De Marchi claws his back on and then makes an acceleration of his own. Muhlberger leaves it to Alaphilippe to close the gap.

 

Alaphilippe does so and immediately Muhlberger attacks again. The Austrian and De Marchi are taking it in turns to attack Alaphilippe...

 

7km remaining from 228km

Muhlberger leads Alaphilippe over the summit of the Col de Beaune with a small advantage over De Marchi.

 

Muhlberger leads Alaphilippe on this sinuous descent, which features some 20 bends. 

 

6km remaining from 228km

Almost a disaster for Alaphilippe, who rides off the side of the road and onto the grass verge on a corner. He manages to stay upright, however, and then catches back up to Muhlberger.

 

5km remaining from 228km

Muhlberger has led all the way down this descent. He and Alaphilippe appear to have distanced De Marchi, though the Italian is still chasing.

 

Down the road, Guillaume Martin is still clear of a yellow jersey group where Michal Kwiatkowski sets the pace.

 

Guillaume Martin has been brought back to heel by Kwiatkowski.

 

3km remaining from 228km

Into the final 3km for Muhlberger and Alaphilippe, who have 15 seconds in hand on De Marchi.

 

2km remaining from 228km

Mühlberger has led all the way down the descent but now Alaphilippe slips past to come to the front for the first time.

 

Meanwhile, a 30-strong yellow jersey group led by Kwiatkowski approaches the summit of the Col de Beaune, 6:20 down on the leaders.

 

1km remaining from 228km

Mühlberger is back on the front. The road only flattens out in the final 500 metres, and he will surely need to try to get rid of Alaphilippe before then.

 

1km remaining from 228km

Mühlberger leads into the final kilometre with Alaphilippe locked onto his rear wheel.

 

Mühlberger leads off the descent and into the flat final 500 metres. This ought to be a formality for Alaphilippe, but who knows if that missed bidon will cost him.

 

Mühlberger opens his sprint from distance and Alaphilippe is struggling to make it around him...

 

Alaphilippe and Mühlberger were elbow to elbow as they crossed the line. It looks as though Alaphilippe took it but we await the photo finish image.

 

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) wins stage 6 of Critérium du Dauphiné.

 

Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) took second place, beaten by the width of a tyre. Alessandro De Marchi (CCC) came home alone in third.

 

That was Alaphilippe's 10th victory of the season and the sprint was anything but a formality for the Frenchman. Mühlberger pushed him all the way with a strong and canny sprint effort, having already put the Frenchman under pressure on the Col de Beaune.

 

The yellow jersey group, meanwhile, is navigating the sinuous descent with Kwiatkowski still on the front.

 

Into the final kilometre for the yellow jersey group, which has stretched to breaking point under Kwiatkowski's impetus. There shouldn't, however, be any gaps among the GC contenders at the finish.

 

Wout Poels (Ineos) wins the sprint for 4th place, 6:15 or so down on stage winner Julian Alaphilippe.

 

Result:

 

1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 6:00:54
2 Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
3 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) CCC 00:00:22
4 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Ineos 00:06:10
5 Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team
6 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
7 Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
8 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott
9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
10 Alexey Lutsensko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team

 

Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) retains the overall lead, 4 seconds ahead of Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida) and 6 clear of Tejay van Garderen (EF Education First).

 

General classification after stage 6:


1 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 23:35:04
2 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:04
3 Tejay van Garderen (USA) EF Education First 0:00:06
4 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:07
5 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00:24
6 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:25
7 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:26
8 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:00:30
9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:40
10 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Ineos

 

Julian Alaphilippe on his win: "I’m always hungry for success and every victory is important for me and the team. To win in the Dauphine in my first race in France is a really special feeling. I’m really happy after a hard day in the break, with only three guys. I know my mate from the breakaway, from Bora. He’s really strong and I know he’s explosive. I had to be careful but it was a headwind and so didn’t want to start my sprint early. In the end I passed him in the last moment, so I’m happy. My shape is good and I’ll continue to work until the Tour de France but I want to enjoy this win, it’s a really beautiful victory."

 

 

Yellow jersey Adam Yates speaks: "It wasn’t a full gas stage. That’s what you expect when it’s not a mountain top finish. The three guys away were quite far on GC, everyone else was happy with what we were doing. In the last climb, we expected the race to be a little harder."

 

 

Jakob Fuglsang showed few ill effects from his crash as he placed 6th on the stage to remain 4th overall. "He crashed but it’s just a small one," said Astana manager Dmitry Fofonov. "That happens in the bunch when one rider touches another. It was In the middle of the stage but it wasn’t at a strategic point in the race. One guy from Mitchelton crashed and then Jakob crashed with him. He has one wound on his right hip and one on the elbow. Tomorrow is the first mountain stage. All the favourites are there and we’ll see tomorrow where we are in GC. At the moment we’re in a good position and today the guys managed the last climb really well."

 

Fulgsang speaks about his crash: "I was at low speed. I think someone wanted to go left and I wanted to go right. I lost balance on his rear wheel. I almost saved it but I also ended up taking down a Mitchelton guy also. For me it’s nothing serious and I hope it’s the same for the Mitchelton guy as well. I got back up and used the same bike. It was nothing special.

"It was super windy in the last part of the race. Obviously with the stage victory gone that calmed things down and Ineos took complete control at the beginning of the climb and went their speed. No one felt like trying anything. It was a fast climb. Two riders tried but they were taken back quite easily.

"I have maybe a deeper wound on the elbow that needs to be cleaned. I have lost some skin on the hip and ankle but it’s minor scratches. I don’t expect it to be a factor. It’s going to be two hard days and I’m looking forward to testing the legs. Today was kind of a boring day so everyone must have been saving themselves. We’ll see."

 

Thanks for following our coverage of today's stage of the Dauphine. We'll be back with more from the final weekend but in the meantime, a full report, results and pictures are available here.

 

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