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Live coverage

Eneco Tour 2016: Stage 6

Hello and welcome to more live coverage. As we join today's stage of the Eneco Tour, there are 75km left to race of the 197km stage.  

After Friday's TTT stage, the race has been turned upside down with BMC and Rohan Dennis back in the lead. 

 

World champion Peter Sagan needs to pick up every possible second in intermediate sprints and the finish to try to snatch back overall success.

 

 

For full details on the TTT, click on our full stage report and photo gallery here.

 

 

As we join the action out on the road, there is a two-rider break out front, with the peloton chasing at 4:40.  

 

We stand corrected, there are six riders in the break, making the move a lot more interesting.  

 

The six in the break are: Bert Van Lerberghe (Topsport Vlaanderen), Berden de Vries (Roompot), Alexis Gougeard (AG2R), Chad Haga (Giant), Mark McNally (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Luka Pibernik (Lampre-Merida).

The BMC team is leading the chase as it defend's Dennis' leader's jersey. 

 

#EnecoTour 67km to go, 4'18" to the leaders. BMC control the head of the peloton. @vanSnail also up near the front.

@TeamDiData Sat, 24th Sep 2016 13:22:31

58km remaining from 197km

The break is enjoying the later summer in Belgium today. The six are working hard to stay away but their gap is falling. 

 

Matteo Tosatto of Tinkoff is also on the front, helping bring the break back under control.  

The break hits the Bois de Damme climb, it is short but steep at  900m and 12%. It's the steepest climb of the stage. 

 

Crash! Marcel Sieberg goes down hard, flipping over his bike.  

 

Other riders went down too but got up quickly. Seiberg is in pain and may not be able to carry on. 

 

The climb twists and turns up under the trees and is steep. 

 

#EnecoTour @vanSnail, Farrar and @NathanPeterHaas & @JayRThomson up front with EBH. 55km to go, gap is 3'30".

@TeamDiData Sat, 24th Sep 2016 13:38:35

Several riders have attacked over the top of the climb, stringing out the peloton. This is going to hurt.  

 

Those on the attack include Haas, Benoot and Bauer. 

 

BMC has sent Daniel Oss into the move to protect Dennis' lead.  

 

The move got a gap but now the peloton has closed them down as th road kicks up again. 

 

147km remaining from 197km

Oss is now on the front, setting a fast tempo to stop other attacks. 

 

We have more attacks as the rolling roads make it difficult for BMC to control the peloton.

 

#EnecoTour more attacks from peloton... again @NathanPeterHaas follows.

@TeamDiData Sat, 24th Sep 2016 13:54:56

Dennis is wearing the leader's white jersey, with Peter Sagan in the red points jersey instead of his usual rainbow jersey.

 

We're hearing that Marcel Kittel (Etixx) has been distanced. It will be interesting to see if he can get back on or if the other teams will ride to stop him. 

 

Tom Bohli of BMC drops back after doing a lot of work during the first part of the stage.

 

Kittel is also in the team cars as he tries to get back up to the peloton. 

 

#EnecoTour @MarcelSieberg abandons the race due to the crash he suffered a few kilometres ago. Get well soon Marcel!

@Lotto_Soudal Sat, 24th Sep 2016 13:57:07

The riders are currently to the south of Masstricht, riding in the hills of the Limburg area of Belgium. 

 

Will the break stay away until the Golden Km and the extra bonus seconds on offer? We will soon find out. 

 

37km remaining from 197km

Now the riders are on a straight, downhill section of road. It does not look like the peloton will catch the break before the Golden KM in another 13km. 

 

Patrick Bevin (Cannondale-Drapac) is currently in no-man's land, trying to get across to the attack. 

 

33km remaining from 197km

Behind BMC is back in control of the peloton, riding a steady pace to control the break but also allow it to sweep up the Golden Km bonus seconds.  

 

28km remaining from 197km

The break is at 2:05, with Bevin in the middle at 1:30. We could see some attacks from the break very soon as the strongest in the move try to get ride of Haga -who is an overall threat, and other riders who are perhaps tired.

 

#EnecoTour So, 28 km to go. A daily break has 2 minutes of advantage. Another sprint today?

@katushacycling Sat, 24th Sep 2016 14:17:21

No doubt Katusha would love to see Kristoff win the sprint. 

 

Here we go, it's time for the Golden KM sprints. 

 

The sprints are on a climb making extra tough today.

 

Haga wins 9 seconds in the Golden Kilometer. #EnecoTour

@EnecoTour Sat, 24th Sep 2016 14:23:37

Haga used his climbing ability andform to take all three sprints, collecting 3x3 seconds.  

 

Behind BMC are losing riders after doing all the work today, while Kittel is also distanced again. 

 

Tinkoff now has two riders helping with the chase. It seems Peter Sagan is ready to go for another sprint victory. 

 

Astana is also helping with the chase. 

 

#EnecoTour @MarcelSieberg is brought to the hospital of Maastricht for a check-up. There are no fractures, but he has a sore shoulder.

@Lotto_Soudal Sat, 24th Sep 2016 14:26:13

18km remaining from 197km

The break is down to five riders after the Golden KM climb, with Berden de Vries (Roompot) the rider dropped.

 

17km remaining from 197km

The breakaway is on the Muizenberg - 650m - 6.6%. The last climb of the day. 

 

Kittel was suffering before but rivals Nizzolo and Greipel are up front at the head of the peloton. 

 

Jules Jensen (Orica) gives it a dig and sparks some reaction in the peloton.

 

Tony Martin (Etixx) was one of the chasers but the peloton refuses to let any attacks stay away.  

 

That is helping the break of five, who still leads by 1:00.

 

Riders in the peloton are eating last minute gels for a a shot of caffeine. Lotto Soudal is also helping the chase now, as are Orica for Matthews. 

 

This could be a close one if the peloton doesn't get fully organised.

 

BMC would be happy for the break to stay away and so take the bonus seconds.

 

Van Lerberghe takes the Primus sprint and so extends his lead in the special competition.

 

10km remaining from 197km

The peloton can the break on a long straight section of road but they still need to close a 45 second gap. 

 

Crash! Several go down after the peloton comes back together after a roundabout.

 

8km remaining from 197km

The gap is still 45 seconds. 

 

7km remaining from 197km

The riders face a series of corners and city streets in the finale today. That could help the break stay away. 

 

The riders are on the outskirts of Lanaken now. 

 

5km remaining from 197km

Cofidis is also helping with the chase for Bouhanni, FDJ is also there for Demare.

 

The gap is down to 25 seconds now. It looks like we will have a bunch sprint finish. 

 

The neutral car is pulled out from behind the break. this is coming back together. 

 

Favourites for the sprint include Sagan, Bouhanni, Demare, Nizzolo, Greipel and it seems Kittel, who is back in the peloton.

Nizzolo has several Trek teammates to help him with a leadout. 

 

The gap is still 20 seconds to the break. This will be close. 

 

Trek has picked up the chase for Nizzolo. 

 

The peloton can see the break now but they're still out of reach. They may have blown their chance. 

 

196km remaining from 197km

The gap is still 15 seconds. 

 

Haga is on the front as the others begin to play games. 

 

The five still have a gap!

 

The break stays away. 

 

Pibernik takes  close sprint!!

 

That's a great win for Luka Pibernik (Lampre-Merida). The five all surged together and were equally matched but the Slovenian had an edge and held on to hit the first line first. 

 

#EnecoTour top three in stage 6: 1. Luka Pibernik 2. Mark McNally 2. Bert van Leberghe

@Lotto_Soudal Sat, 24th Sep 2016 14:54:24

That's a heart breaking second place for McNally after he went so close the other day. 

 

Nizzolo beat Bouhanni and Boasson Hagen to take the bunch sprint for sixth place, five seconds behind the break.    

 

That was a nail biting finale, with the break getting the better of the peloton. 

 

It mans that Peter Sagan failed to pull back any seconds on his BMC rivals, boosting Rohan Dennis' chances of overall victory.  

 

Dennis leads teammate Taylor Phinney by 16 seconds, with Tony Martin (Etixx) third in GC at 24 seconds. Sagan is fourth at 27 seconds.   

 

Rohan Dennis continues to lead the overall standings, ahead of teammate Taylor Phinney. #EnecoTour

@Etixx_QuickStep Sat, 24th Sep 2016 15:02:59

With the GC unchanged, the Eneco Tour will be fought out on the final stage on Sunday, with a finish on the Muur of Geraardsbergen after a tough day in the Flemish hills. 

 

It's September but could be April! 

 

Luka Pibernik was overjoyed but also stunned to have won the stage. 

 

"I didn’t expect this at the start this morning but once in the break, I just rode as fast as I could to the finish line. I’ve not had a lot of time to think about it all but its been an incredible day," he said.  

 

"We saw that we could make it to the finish line, so I tried to save as much energy as possible. I think Gougeard was the strongest guy in the breakaway and so I decided to go on his wheel. Then in the last 200 metres, I tried and I made it."

 


 

 

Pibernik has been a professional for three seasons with Lampre-Merida despite still only turning 23 in a months time. He is set to ride for the Bahrain-Merida team in 2017.

 

His previous victories came at the Slovenian national championships, making this stage victory by far his biggest pro win so far. 

 

He started his season way back in January at the Tour Down Under but also rode the Tour de France, which he finished. 

 

Another smooth day for the team. One more stage and the #EnecoTour will be done and dusted. https://t.co/VyXRdyei4A

@Etixx_QuickStep Sat, 24th Sep 2016 15:10:47

We have the first images of today's race, including this shot of the finishing sprint. 

 

 

It sounds like Chad Haga was happy with his day out front in he break. 

 

#EnecoTour "I had a good day out front, making the bike race & not just being a passenger." https://t.co/a8OgVJGfIv https://t.co/TjxfzwwFPO

@GiantAlpecin Sat, 24th Sep 2016 15:32:40

This is another great shot of the sprint, showing how Pibernik got it by half a bike length at the line.

 

 

Rohan Dennis kept the white and red leader's jersey for another day.

 

 

 

Today's stagewinner Luka Pibernik: 'It's incredible, I've made it!' #EnecoTour https://t.co/IDQBlghZYQ

@EnecoTour Sat, 24th Sep 2016 15:39:16

That's about it for today's live coverage.

 

For a full stage report and photo gallery, click here.  

 

We'll be back on Sunday for live coverage of the seventh and final stage at this year's Eneco Tour.

Join us to see who wins the final stage in the Flanders hills and who takes overall victory. 

 

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