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Tour de France stage 6 - live coverage


Good morning and welcome to our live coverage from stage 6 of the Tour de France. We are just about to head through the neutralized zone and begin the 191km of the  stage. Stay tuned for live text updates for the next few hours as we bring you all of the action. 

We're rolling out from Le Teil this morning with blue skies overhead but the riders are in for another testing day with several key climbs before the second summit finish of the race at Mont Aigoual. The final ascent has been used in the Tour de France just once before, back in 1987 but that year it wasn't the final climb, so this is all new territory for the race and the riders.

Of course, the major talking point from stage 5 was over Alaphilippe being handed a time penalty and dropping out of yellow as a result. It meant that Adam Yates moved into the race lead and he's currently on the front of the peloton in the yellow jersey. The nuts bolts of that story can be found, right here but we'll bring you more reactions in the early part of today's stage.

Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 5th stage Gap Privas 183 km 02092020 Adam Yates GBR Mitchelton Scott photo POOL Vincent KalutPhotoNewsBettiniPhoto2020

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Prudhomme has just dropped the flag and we're now racing on stage 6 of the Tour de France. As expected we have some attacks, with Roche going off the front. He's a rider that I tipped for a breakaway today after he lost a lot of time on purpose on stage 5. You can read the stage preview, right here

Thomas De Gendt for Lotto Soudal is on the front of the peloton nice and early and he's setting the pace for the bunch with 2km covered already and Roche sits up for a second and that allows a few more riders to come across. Van Avermaet, Herrada, and Cavagna are going clear with the Sunweb rider. That's a really good group but they might  want a couple more to bolster their number. 

The leading quartet only have eight seconds as we see a rider from EF Pro Cycling trying to making it five riders as the gap goes out to 12 seconds but the bunch aren't willing to sit up  just yet. The EF rider looks like Powless but I can't be sure just yet as now an NTT rider tries to make it six leaders. The road is gently going uphill so this is a good point for the break. Yep, it's Powless. 

The gap is coming down though because more and me riders are trying to get across. Boasson Hagen is on the move but there are another batch of riders trying to make the juncture too. This is flat out racing. Lutsenko has made it, and so too has a rider from  Bora. 

That makes eight riders in the break and that might be that. The bunch fan across the road and this is the chance for the break to establish itself. This is is easily the best break of the race as we see Roche and Oss swap turns. We'll have the full breakdown of riders in just a minute. The gap right now is 16 seconds. 

No, there's a reaction from the bunch and they're starting to chase things down because Van Avermaet is only around three minutes down on GC and he's too good to let go. Mithchelton might chase this back and bring it all back together. They won't get any help from QuickStep because they have a rider in the move. The gap is down to 11 seconds with 181km to go.

For now, here are the eight stage leaders. If the Olympic road champion wasn't there the bunch would probably let the break go. It's at 13 seconds.

Nicolas Roche (Sunweb), Neilson Powless (EF), Edvald Boasson Hagen (NTT), Daniel Oss, Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Greg Van Avermaet (CCC), Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana).

Trek, Movistar and even  Jumbo have men on the front and the gap is now down to 8 seconds. No one wants to totally close it down though. 

Lotto and AG2R are now  trying to send riders up the road but they're closed down by Mitchelton-Scott. Now Lutsenko is waving his arms around, he's not happy with the work rate in the break. That's not a good sign, is it?

Finally the bunch show some hesitation and the quality of the break might save them because the gap is out to 36 seconds. That's  the biggest time gap that we've seen so far in the race.

We can  see Yates and Carthy sharing a joke in the peloton, so it looks like the pace is  easing in the peloton as the gap goes out to 51 seconds. A reminder of the riders in the break:

Nicolas Roche (Sunweb), Neilson Powless (EF), Edvald Boasson Hagen (NTT), Daniel Oss, Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Greg Van Avermaet (CCC), Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana). 

The peloton aren't entirely easing off though as we see De Gendt sit on the front and set the pace. The break are having to work exceptionally hard to keep their advantage at just over one minute with 170km to go.

Powless is celebrating his 24th birthday today as we see the EF rider take a long pull on the front of the break. He's helping the eight-man move extend their lead to 2'17 as we see a few riders in the bunch stop for a comfort break. Now is when the break need to work their socks off and now we'll get a better idea as to whether Yates is here for stage wins or a possible GC battle. Right now he's at the back, still chatting way with fellow Lancastrian, Carthy. 

(Image credit: Getty Images)
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25km covered

We've covered 25km of the stage and the gap is at 3'38, which puts Van Avermaet in the virtual lead having started the stage 3'17 down on Yates.

Mitchelton-Scott now move up as a unit and begin to take control of the pace. They're going to keep the gap around a 3-5 minutes, I presume, for most of the stage  before hoping that GC teams try and close it during the portion of the stage, when all the climbs come. 

The Ineos squad are also interested in moving up as they bring Egan Bernal closer to the front of the peloton. The opening 140km of the stage is relatively flat as we see Juul Jensen set the pace right now. Up ahead Van Avermaet and Oss swap turns on the front of the break. Roche then comes through as the gap moves out to four minutes. Not sure who the best climber in the break is though...

157km remaining

With the gap at 4'08, we have 157km to go. We'll start to look at the stage profile in a bit more detail shortly but here's a reminder of the riders in the break.

Nicolas Roche (Sunweb), Neilson Powless (EF), Edvald Boasson Hagen (NTT), Daniel Oss, Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Greg Van Avermaet (CCC), Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana).

Today's climbs

We start with the  Cap de Coste peaking out at 146km. The ascent is just 2.1km in length, but it acts as a warm-up ahead of the sterner Col des Mourèzes. Like the Cap de Coste, the Col des Mourèzes is another third-category affair, but at 6.1km it's almost three times in length, although its average gradient is a rather more modest 4.8 per cent.

The run-off from Mourèzes is short and sweet, and it leads nicely into the Col de la Lusette. This first-category ascent will stretch the peloton and probably reduce the field to team leaders and just a cluster of mountain domestiques. It's 11.7km in length, with an average gradient of 7.3 per cent, but it also holds steeper sections.

When the riders crest the top, they're greeted with only the briefest of respites as the road plateaus before Mont Aigoual begins. The final slog to the line is 8.3km in length, with an average gradient of four per cent

(Image credit: Getty)

Juul Jensen, Bauer, and Impey are on the front of the pack right now as we see the gap move out to 4'51 with 151km to go. 

Back in the  bunch we see our first sighting of Nairo Quintana, who has been decent so far in the race. He's tucked in behind his Arkea teammates, and will be in contention at the finish, although I'm not sure the final climb is hard enough for a climber like him to make the difference. 

Have we peaked? With 145km to go the gap to the break is holding at 5'15 as Mitchelton settle for a long day in the saddle. 

A couple of Ineos riders swing out from the bunch and pick up feed. Sivakov was one of them and he already looks a lot better than earlier in the week. Remember he crashed heavily (twice) on stage 1 and has been riding in full recovery mode ever since.

Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 1st stage Nice Nice 156 km 29082020 Pavel Sivakov RUS Team Ineos photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2020

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

At the back of the bunch we can see Coquard trying to chase back through the cars. He looks fine, so must have dropped back to  his team car or had a mechanical. 5'35 is the lead now to the eight leaders. 

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It's been a rapid opening hour of racing and there's no let up just yet with the eight leaders managing to add a few more seconds to their advantage. 

Nicolas Roche (Sunweb), Neilson Powless (EF), Edvald Boasson Hagen (NTT), Daniel Oss, Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Greg Van Avermaet (CCC), Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) now  have 5'41 over the peloton.

Is Jesús Herrada the best climber in the break? There's a good argument to pick him for the possible stage win. He's won stages in the Vuelta and the Dauphine and he won the Ventoux Challenge twelve months ago. Cofidis haven't won a stage since 2008 by the way and on current form Elia Viviani isn't going to break that duck. Could  Jesús Herrada be the man?

Lutsenko was seventh on stage 2, so he's clearly on form. He's no slouch on the climbs and he also has a Vuelta stage win to his name. He was really prominent when the break formed and the long drag to the line does suit him too. He also has one of the best national champion's kit in the Tour de France this year, probably second behind Higuita. 

SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Alexey Lutsenko of Kazakhstan and Astana Pro Team during the Eroica 14th Strade Bianche 2020 Men a 184km race from Siena to SienaPiazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Back in the bunch we can see Julian Alaphillipe as he rides behind his teammate and the Green jersey, Sam Bennett. Here's what the Frenchman's team boss had to say about yesterday's time deduction.

"It's very hard but there is a rule. And if we apply it severely to others, then it's the same for us," Lefevere said to Le Parisien (opens in new tab).

"The yellow jersey is not above the others. If nobody had warned the riders that we couldn't refuel in the last 20 kilometres, then it would be different. But everybody knew that – although clearly someone in our team didn't."

You can read the full story, right here.

130km to go

130km to go and the  gap to the break is now at 6'06 and it's continuing to expand as we see Yates and Dan Martin share a word at the back of the bunch. Fair play to Yates, just the jersey is yellow, so there's no ghastly yellow shorts, socks, etc. etc. Less is more.

I used to love the Worlds when riders would wear their national team jerseys with their trade team bib shorts. Colour co-ordination is overrated. 

Munch bunch

It's lunchtime in the peloton and Mitchelton are the first to grab something to eat. I was talking to a DS a few days ago, and they were complaining about the fact that Tour bubbles meant that they couldn't visit the golden arches for dinner. Hard times, indeed. They were joking though, I think. 

Juul Jensen swings over and now it's Sam Bewley who takes over for the Mitchelton Scott train. The gap is down to 5'49, which still keeps Lutsenko in the conversation around the yellow jersey but realistically... it's not going to happen. 123k to go.

Let's talk about Pogacar, because he's in the white jersey and he hasn't put a foot wrong so far in the race. He could be a contender for the finish today if he can get his positioning right and the break is caught. We spoke to his director Allan Peiper last night about the 21-year-old and his growing stature within his first Tour de France. Here's our chat with Allan

The gap goes back out to 6'10 and it's going to be like this for at least another hour or so. Remember, all the climbs are loaded into the final section of the stage but it will be interesting to see who comes and helps Mitchelton with the chase. Not QuickStep, they have a rider in the break but if the Australian team can bring the gap down to three minutes then you can expect Jumbo Visma to help. I can't see Ineos doing any chasing just to end up helping Roglic take some more bonus seconds.

112km to go

112km to go and the gap is holding at 6'12. We've not really talked about Powless but he's doing a job here today for EF, if the break  survives. The American team lead the team's classification at the moment, hence the yellow helmets, and they have plenty of options for the finish with Carthy, Higuita, Uran and Martinez on their roster.

The eight leaders have a gap of 6'20 and that's the biggest it's been so far today. A reminder of our leaders:

Nicolas Roche (Sunweb), Neilson Powless (EF), Edvald Boasson Hagen (NTT), Daniel Oss, Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Greg Van Avermaet (CCC), Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana).

Who are you tipping today from the break? Are you team Jesus?

Back in the bunch and yesterday's stage winner Wout Van Aert is coming back through the cars. The rest of the Jumbo Visma team are just sitting behind the Ineos train. 

Back in the bunch Buchmann is being helped to the front. He lost 9 seconds on stage 4 and today is a harder climb and finish. He has to be there or at least limit his losses   as he continues to recover from his Dauphine crash. He was fourth last year in the Tour de France and looked undroppable at times, but so far in the Tour he's looked vulnerable on the hills. 

101km to go and the gap is at 6'36. No passengers in this break, which contains a number of Grand Tour stage winners. Two have won stages in the Tour,  Edvald Boasson Hagen and Greg Van Avermaet, whilst Roche hasn't won a stage in the race but he did finish 12th on GC in 2012.

Adam Yates came through the Dave Rayner Fund and later today we'll be running an extract from Peter Cossins' excellent book on the late British rider. For more information on the history of the Fund, and to see how important it has been for so many young male and female riders coming through the ranks, click here. I highly recommend that you then purchase the book. 

Top ten on GC

1 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 22:28:30

2 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 00:00:03

3 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 00:00:07

4 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis 00:00:09

5 Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 00:00:13

6 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma  00:00:13

7 Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic 00:00:13

8 Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott 00:00:13

9 Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team 00:00:13

10 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale 00:00:13

A bit of tech for you. We've interviewed Samuel Sanchez's new-look bike. He had an update to his machine after winning the Spanish national road championships. What do you think?

Luis Leon Sanchez's Spanish champion's themed Wilier Zero SLR

(Image credit: Wilier Triestina)

90km to go

We're rattling through the stage right, now and have 90km to go. The gap to the leaders is at 6'18.

Mitchelton have lined out the peloton but the gap is currently holding at just over 6 minutes, which keeps Van Avermaet in the virtual race lead. The break are so good, it's going to take a really consistent effort to bring them back but the stage is nicely balanced at the moment. Whether the break survives will come down to who joins Mitchelton Scott on the front of the peloton. So far they've not had any help.

We get a shot of Wout Poels, who was handed the combativity prize for yesterday's stage. He's really banged up after a fall earlier in the Tour and is almost an hour down on GC. The hope, for Bahrain McLaren is that he finds his feet and starts to recover as the race goes on. 

85km to go

85km to go and Ineos pick up a feed as we see a few riders chase back to the peloton having gone back to the team cars. This really has been a fast stage so far. The gap is at 6'00.

Our man on the ground, the ever-excellent Alasdair Fotheringham, has just ventured up the final for today's stage. Here's his dispatch from the press room.

"Things get really complicated right from the start of the third category, Col des Mourezes: km 163, which precedes the final first cat. Col de la Lusette: km 177.5. Both are similarly difficult: not that steep but both very, very narrow, like a car-and-a-quarter wide -  and very technical, with some really awful road surfaces. Basically it feel like roads you'd have found in the Tour 50 years ago. The descent of the Mourezes  is extremely fiddly, technical and fast as well as badly surfaced, and on top of that the minute you get to the bottom of the Mourezes, there's a sharp left hander and you're straight onto the Lusettes. This is very similar, maybe a bit steeper at the bottom but some brutal hairpins above all, narrow and if you've got a puncture and or are too far back, you won't see the leaders again. It's going to be very hard for teams to co-ordinate on this part. On the plus side for those who lose out, with about two kilometres to go on the Lusette it flattens out and broadens out and although there's a bit of a downhill it's essentially a wide, very well-surfaced A road from there to the finish, with barely any serious gradient. 

Roche pulls a foot from a pedal but I think he's just stretching as he drifts to the back of the group. He instigated this attack, right from the gun. Probably after reading the CN preview and seeing that we tipped him for the break. That must be it. 

So the increase in pace from Mitchelton has seen the leading eight riders lose 30 seconds or so, and the gap is down to 5'36. We've got an intermediate sprint coming up in about 15-20km as we see Boasson Hagen on the front of the break.

Martin (Cofidis) has a teammate with him as he comes back through the cars. The pace is so high, which means it takes ages and ages to come back to the bunch as we  now see Bewley lead the peloton  - the gap at 5'36 with 77km to go.

A few eyes on Sagan with that intermediate sprint coming up and points for the minor places. Here's what he had to say after yesterday's stage, which saw him lose the green jersey. 10km to go until we reach the sprint.

Sagan goggles

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The road does start to climb here but it's only a gentle, rolling incline. We're starting to make our way to the exciting part of the stage as we see a few more GC teams move up and begin to organise their efforts. 

Bauer back on the front of the bunch and the gap is holding at 5'34 with 71km to go. This stage is so evenly balanced but the situation is tipping towards the peloton as they continue to slowly chip away at the lead. To reiterate though, Mitchelton will need some allies once the road starts to climb. 

Nt sure what the problem is but Edet is back seeking medical attention. The doctor leans over and it's something around the eye or face area for the Cofidis rider but he'e back on his way to the peloton now. Out  front and Herrada takes a long turn on the front of the break as we see Daniel Oss sit at the back. We're getting closer and closer to the intermediate sprint. 

Right at the back of the bunch and Alaphilippe is calling for his team car. He's nice and relaxed as we dip into the final 70km of the stage. 

Boasson Hagen takes 20 points ahead of Oss, with Van Avermaet in third.

Kluge is then sent up the road, maybe Ewan doesn't want to sprint or isn't feeling great. 

Kluge is ninth, and then we see Bennett take tenth a few seconds later.  Sagan was further back. So Bennett extends his lead.

Quintana, Dayer is down in a crash with 60km to go. He's back on his feet though and coming back after I think he went over a bidon.

As we see Kluge absorbed back into the bunch with 59km to go and the gap at 5'44. 

If you're just joining us we have Nicolas Roche (Sunweb), Neilson Powless (EF), Edvald Boasson Hagen (NTT), Daniel Oss, Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Greg Van Avermaet (CCC), Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) up the road.  They  have a lead of 5'47 with 57km to go. All the climbing, however,  is  still  to come. 

The Cap de Coste is on the horizon. Just a third cat but it will be interesting to see who joins Mitchelton near the front of the peloton at that point. Right now, it's just the Australian team on the front and setting the pace. 

So Bennett now has a 12 point lead over Sagan in the race for the Green jersey. Last night we caught up with the last Irishman to lead and win the competition, Sean Kelly. Here's our story

The 1983 Tour de France podium: Laurent Fignon in yellow, Sean Kelly in green

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

50km to go

50km to go and the gap to the break is at 5'44. 

Lutsenko moves up and take a long pull on the front of the break, and the Astana rider still looks as fresh as a daisy, despite almost 140km on the attack. His chance of  moving into yellow has gone but the stage win could still be up for grabs. 

We are almost on the lower slopes of the Cap de Coste. It's a short third cat climb but the pace is so high it could create a few small splits at the back of the peloton. 

Still no sign of Bahrain, UAE, Ineos or FDJ, who are  all saving their powder for the last two climbs. And we're onto the Cap de Coste. The gap to the peloton is at 5'26 with 46km to go.

Oss, as you might expect, is at the back of the break as the road starts to climb as we see Bahrain for the first time as they bring Landa into the picture.

Van Avermaet takes a pull on the front of the break, with Powless next to come through. The break are still working well together, and they know that the stage win is in the balance, but they've lost a few more seconds and the gap is at 5'12 with 45km to go.

The  peloton have just reached the bottom of the climb with the gap at 5'04 as up ahead Van Avermaet does a really long turn on the front. Roche takes the points over the top with the Belgian in second, as with 44km to go we see Tony Martin lead Jumbo Visma to the front of the peloton.

Tony Martin out of the saddle and the pace quickly rises as a few more Jumbo riders take control, including Wout  Van Aert.

Powless takes over on the descent now as we head towards a short valley section but that climb has already caused problems due to the Jumbo pace and a bunch of riders are dropped. Not just a few, there are dozens off the back already. 

The bunch crest the top of the climb and the gap now is down to 4'06 with 40km to go.

Crash. And that's a Movistar rider who has come down on the descent. He's okay and back in the bunch but that was a scary moment for Movistar, who are having a poor race and even worse year. 

36km to go and the gap is at 4'03 and the way things are going, it's going to come back together unless the break can do something really special. 

We're almost on the lower slopes of the Col des Mourèzes, with the break holding just a four minute advantage. And now we're climbing. 34km to go.

No yellow jersey for Greg Van Avermaet, who only has about a 30 second lead on the   virtual standings as Herrada moves up and takes control on the lower slopes of the Col des Mourèzes. It's only a third cat but it's 6.1km in length. 

At the back of the bunch and Politt is holding on for dear life. The pace has been relentless as Jumbo and Mitchleton set the pace  but as I say that Ineos, UAE and Jumbo take complete control as the bunch reaches the lower slopes of the climb. 

And now it's all Ineos on the  front. They're taking the race on nice and early with over 30km still to race. This is is going to be brutal. Up ahead the break have 5km to climb. 

The break are losing time consistently as two Ineos riders peel off already, Sivakov and Rowe are gone. Job done.

It's Van Baarle who sets the pace now with Bernal in fifth wheel and Roglic watching on. This is the  first time we've really seen Ineos take control in this manner, especially this far out. Let's see what they can do...

Benoot dropped.

The break though are flat out, as Lutsenko takes over but the gap is coming down, and it's  now at 3'22 with 31km to go.

Amador takes over at the front as we see Hirschi sits up. Ineos still have six riders left. 

AG2r, Astana  and Cofidis bring their GC leaders to the front as the gap dips again to 3'17. Yates looks good for now, no panic for the yellow jersey as Amador continues to set a rapid pace. 

Yates, right now is just sitting on Roglic's wheel as we continue to climb the  Col des Mourèzes. Oss is still holding the break, so we've still got eight riders up front as Amador is now dropped. That didn't last long and he didn't really take that  much time off the break's lead. Interesting. 

Now Ineos are down to five, including Bernal with 28km to go. The leaders up the road have 1km left to climb. 

Van Baarle is back on the front now but Roglic has all but one of his teammates still here as Lutsenko raises the pace on the front of the break. 

Higuita is quite far back at the moment as a few more riders  are dropped off the back of the peloton. 

And it's going to be Roche who takes the points ahead of Herrada. The gap now is at 2'57, so it's somehow gone out again as Van Avermaet leads on the descent. 

26km to go and this descent is so, so technical. Buchmann is being moved up, Lopez too but it's still Ineos on the front with Van Baarle just stabilizing the situation for his team. We're down to about 50 riders or so in the bunch as they now start to descend. 

And the break are now climbing again and this is the tough one, the Col de la Lusette. It's 11.7km in length and Oss has cracked. 

Boasson Hagen is the next one to falter as Cavagna sets the pace. 

Lutsenko then takes over before Powless moves up. The gap is at 2'41 with 24km to go.

And now the bunch are climbing too. Here we go!

Latour dropped. 

Cavagna goes again but we still have six leaders in the break.

Now Roche takes over, and he knows he can't hesitate if he wants the stage win. Van Avermaet is at the back. 

Herrada takes a turn but Powless really attacks with 22.5km to go. Bon anniversaire!

Only Roche and Lutsenko can go with him for now but there's still 9km to climb. The road eases and GVA might come back. The lead is now 2'46.

Five leaders now, only Cavagna is off the back as Herrada almost makes contact.

Oh my god. They dropped Kenny. Elissonde is off the back too. 

Back down the climb and Ineos remain in control but the pace is steady now rather than spectacular. Yates is now on Bernal's wheel. 

Four leaders left, GVA, Roche, Luksenko, Powless and now Herrada, so that's five. We have 20km to go and the gap is at 2'59. 

Dan Martin is starting to struggle. 

Attack from UAE and it's Aru. 20km to go. Ineos weren't going fast enough. 

No one goes with the former Vuelta winner and this looks like a good move from UAE as they look to set up Pogacar. 

Three minutes for these leaders so the pendulum is swinging back towards the break with 20km to go. 

Aru already has twenty seconds on the Ineos group. 

And Van Baarle has popped. Kwiatkowski to take over now. Ah no, it's Castroviejo. 

Herrada dropped again, and I'm not sure he's coming back from this one as Lutsenko just  grinds through the gears.

The peloton are just matching the break with the gap holding at 2'55 with 18.6km to go. Aru has around 45 seconds on Ineos. 

The telling point is that Ineos are not dropping anyone anymore and they're not bringing back the break. 

Aru almost has a minute as we get to some of the steepest sections of the climb. 

Herrada has come back but just as he does, Powless goes again with 18km to go and Wout Van Aert is dropped. 

Up the road only Lutsenko is with Powless right now. Roche is dropped but GVA is slowly coming back. 

Our two leaders are Lutsenko and Powless with 4.4km to climb. Luksenko will not want Van Avermaet coming back. 

17km to go and Lutsenko is moving clear. Powless is cracking and he can't respond with the Astana rider now leading on his own. 

Aru stil has 45 seconds on the main GC group that contains all the main favourites. 

Gaudu needs a bike as the rest of the break struggle with the hardest part of the climb.  Herrada is now with Powless. 

4km to go for the bunch on this climb as Herrada now drops Powless. The gap to Lutsenko is 18 seconds. 

Down to just four Ineos riders on the front of the peloton as Cavagna is now caught. Up the road Lutsenko has 15 seconds on Herrada as Jungels is dropped by the yellow jersey group. 

The gap is going out again, every time the road rises Lutsenko remains at the same pace while Herrada slightly slows. The gap is now at 25 seconds. Meanwhile, Aru is at 35 seconds ahead of the Ineos group. 

We've got 2km to go on the climb. 

Herrada takes a gel. If he wins this stage, and ends Cofidis' drought it will be one of the greatest comebacks we've seen in the Tour in recent years.

Over the top of the climb and Lutsenko has 30 seconds of a gap. 

Higuita is just hanging on at the back of the yellow jersey group as Lutsenko takes on the descent. 11.9km to go. The stage is his if this continues. 

Aru, meanwhile, only has 17 seconds on the bunch. 

Herrada  is on the descent but not for the first time today, he looks cooked. 

9.2km to go and Aru has been caught

The road is about to climb again as Lutsenko climbs towards the finish, as Nieve now leads the peloton after that work from Ineos. 

Will we see anything from the GC riders today? They have one climb left on the stage. 

Pogacar wheel change. Terrible timing with 7.4km to go.

Herrada is heading to second right now, with the gap to Lutsenko at 32 seconds. 

Pogacar makes it back to the peloton with 6.7km to go. Still nothing from the GC riders, and this final climb isn't as hard as what we just raced over. 

Just over 5km left for Lutsenko as Nieve continues on the front for Mitchelton-Scott and the yellow jersey. 

There's no catching Lutsenko. He could race another 30km he looks that good. Herrada is slowly losing time and he looks so uncomfortable on the bike as we head into the last 4.4km of racing. 

Herrada isn't giving up here but he's a beaten man as the gap goes out to almost a minute. Behind him GVA and Powless are together but they won't catch the Cofidis rider.

Day off for the GC riders? It looks like that at the moment with 3km to go for the leaders. 

The peloton are losing time to Lutsenko. That says how these last two climbs have been raced.

Just 2km to go for Lutsenko. Astana are about to win their first stage of this year's race.

I was struggling to remember their last win in the Tour but Cort won last year, didn't he. 1.1km to go for the stage leader. 

This will be the biggest win of his career, by far, with just 500m to go for Lutsenko. 

Lutsenko wins stage 6 of the 2020 Tour de France.

Jesus Herrada comes over the line,  a spent force, but a well-deserved second place. 

Cofidis' long way for a stage win in the race continues. 

Down the field Ineos are back on the front. 

Here comes Powless and Van Avermaet. No birthday gifts from Golden Greg, who  takes third. 

Alaphilippe attacks. 

Nice move from the Frenchman who probably takes a second or two on his GC rivals. 

Here, for now, is our stage report from stage 6 of the Tour de France.

Tour de France stage 6 results

So Alaphilippe takes a second but other than that,  there were no gaps on GC today. Will the overall contenders look  back at this as a wasted opportunity. 

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Stage winner Team Astana rider Kazakhstans Alexey Lutsenko celebrates as he crosses the finish line of the 6th stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race 191 km between Le Teil and Mont Aigoual on September 3 2020 Photo by Christophe Ena POOL AFP Photo by CHRISTOPHE ENAPOOLAFP via Getty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Lets hear from today's winner: 

"This is a very important victory for me. The Tour de France is the most important race in the world, so I’m really happy. It went as well as it could have. I’ve been working hard to get a victory like this. It was a stage we targeted, and I’m delighted it came to fruition and the hard work paid off today. Today on the bus we spoke about this stage, we knew it was one we could target. I’d lost enough time to be allowed into the breakaway, then we got to the climb and I climbed at my rhythm. Alexandre Vinokourov had told me about the 2km section which would be the hardest part, and gave my maximum there. When I heard Herrada was at 25 seconds I was a little worried but I knew if I gave my all without going into the red that I could win."

Now we have some Powless:

In the very beginning, it was incredibly hard. Everyone in that group could roll incredibly hard on those flat roads. Just the speed we were carrying was really impressive and it’s not often you see guys who can hold speeds of high 40s lower 50s for so long. After we were in the group and rolling steady, I was really happy with the group because almost everyone was taller than me so I could hide behind them, like Daniel Oss or Greg, so I just tried to hide behind those guys.

It could have been, but I think I was also attacking at the right moments, on the steepest part of the climb when everyone behind me got the least amount of draft or assistance from my attacks. At the end of the day Iw as just really happy to be racing aggressively, and I think it’s all going to be money in the bank for future development and maybe one day I’ll be strong enough to hold an attack like that.

And the yellow jersey, Adam Yates:

It was a strong breakaway. There were a lot of guys who really wanted to go in there today. It was pretty much all flat all the way to the climb so it was quite hard to control, but I think we did a good job. In the end I had Mikel and Esteban with me, so all in all it was a good day.It was just the way the break already had the gap, and all the bonuses were already taken, so there wasn’t much to gain for anyone, then also the final climb wasn’t super steep, and it takes a lot of effort to get a few seconds. Everyone was saving their energy and keeping it for a later day. We defended well, and it’s another day in yellow.

It was a strange situation. We rode well today and hopefully did the jersey proud. Tomorrow is a sprint stage we have two really hard stages. I know quite a lot about the climbs and it’s going to be super tough. I’ve got a strong team here not just for the flat but also the climbing stages, so I’m looking forward to it.

I still want to win a stage, that’s what I came here to do but it’s pretty hard to throw away time when you’re in the lead. From now we’ll take it day by day and we’ll see what happens.

This is interesting, according to Bauke Mollema, Egan Bernal was shouting at his team to slow down today. That might explain why they [Ineos] appeared to ease off on the penultimate climb. The story is here

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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