Tour de France: Alexey Lutsenko wins stage 6 on summit of Mont Aigoual

Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro Team) won stage 6 of the Tour de France at Mont Aigoual after he forged clear from the day’s early break on the category 1 ascent of the Col de la Lusette, but the tough finale was not enough to encourage any aggression from the overall favourites, who were content to finish together in the Cévennes.

Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) retains the yellow jersey, 3 seconds clear of Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and 7 ahead of Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) after a stage that saw Ineos Grenadiers set the tempo on the final climb, albeit without placing any of their rivals in undue difficulty. The adventurous 2020 route has yet to encourage much invention from the top tier of overall contenders, though the Tour is still young and there are tougher days to come, starting this weekend in the Pyrenees.

The attacking was instead concentrated at the head of the race, where Lutsenko punched his way clear of the day’s early break on the Col de la Lusette with 17km remaining. Together with Neilson Powless (EF Pro Cycling), the Kazakhstani had emerged as the strongman of the move at the base of the stiff climb and he dropped the American as the gradient stiffened further with 4km to go.

Jesús Herrada (Cofidis) caught and passed Powless as he set off in pursuit of Lutsenko, but the Spaniard’s chase was a forlorn one. He trailed the former under-23 world champion by half a minute at the summit and the gap stretched out to 55 seconds on the 13km-long false flat that led to the finish line at Mont Aigoual. Powless had Greg Van Avermaet (CCC) for company on the plateau towards the line, with the Olympic champion out-kicking him for third place on the stage, 2:15 down on Lutsenko.

“It was a stage we targeted, and I’m delighted it came to fruition and the hard work paid off today,” said Lutsenko, who credited the advice of his fellow countryman and team manager Alexandre Vinokourov.

“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 I 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.”

The yellow jersey group came in just under 3 minutes down on Lutsenko, with Alaphilippe clipping away on the final ramps to take fifth on the stage and claw back one second on the maillot jaune, but, all told, it was a day of relative calm for the pre-race favourites.

It was notable that Ineos took a controlling interest at the head of the peloton as the terrain grew more rugged in the Cévennes, leading on the Col des Mourèzes and the Col de la Lusette, but their rhythm was brisk rather than overwhelming. None of the overall contenders appeared in undue distress and it was telling, too, that the three-minute deficit to the front of the race barely changed in the final 30km or so. Jumbo-Visma appeared content to cede the front of the bunch to Ineos for the finale.

“We thought that was fine," Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) told NOS. “We have to show ourselves on the right days. Today other teams were able to do the work. That was perfect.”

How it unfolded

With Deceuninck-QuickStep no longer in the maillot jaune and with Mitchelton-Scott rather more lukewarm about defending it, the odds were altogether more amenable to would-be escapees on stage 5 than they had been on Wednesday, where a downhill parcours and block headwind contributed to a rare day without a single breakaway.

“I knew it was a day where the break could go the distance,” said Nicolas Roche (Sunweb), who triggered the winning move shortly after the race left La Teil. The Irishman – who was rewarded for his efforts with the day’s Prix de la Combativité – was joined by a willing coalition of the strong and the canny, as Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Van Avermaet, Herrada, Powless, Edvald Boasson Hagen (NTT), Daniel Oss (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Lutsenko (Astana) came with him.

Once they had been handed their bon de sortie by the peloton, that octet got down to the task in hand. Within 40km, they had a lead of five minutes over the bunch and Van Avermaet was the virtual overall leader. After 80km, that advantage reached it maximum extent of 6:30 on a peloton where Mitchelton-Scott were content to allow the escapees a loose leash.

The gap had tightened slightly by the intermediate sprint in Saint-Hippolyte-du-Fort, where Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) added a little padding to his points classification lead over Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), but the break’s freedom of movement became considerably more restricted once the road began to climb in the Cévennes.

Jumbo-Visma’s brief show of forcing on the category 3 Cap de Coste shed the bunch of the sprinters, before Ineos took up the mantle on the following Col des Mourèzes with a little under 40km remaining. They continued to set the tempo on the Col de la Lusette, a climb Alberto Contador had enthusiastically described as presenting “opportunities” for the men with eyes on overall victory.

Instead, they were largely content to follow in Ineos’ slipstream, particularly as the time bonuses atop the climb had already been snared by the escapees. The only attack from the peloton came from Fabio Aru, but the Italian’s effort petered out over the top and didn’t serve as a springboard for his leader Tadej Pogačar. Indeed, the only frisson for a GC contender came when Pogačar suffered a mechanical problem on the false flat towards the finish, but the Slovenian quickly returned to the sanctuary of the yellow jersey group.

“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,” Yates said. “Everyone was saving their energy and keeping it for a later day.”

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PlaceRider (Country) TeamResult
1Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team04:32:34
2Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis00:00:55
3Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team00:02:15
4Neilson Powless (USA) EF Pro Cycling00:02:17
5Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:02:52
6Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo00:02:53
7Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers00:02:53
8Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers00:02:53
9Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers00:02:53
10Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott00:02:53
11Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates00:02:53
12Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott00:02:53
13Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic00:02:53
14Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:02:53
15Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma00:02:53
16Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team00:02:53
17Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe00:02:53
18Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:02:53
19Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe00:02:53
20Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:02:53
21Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma00:02:53
22Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:02:53
23Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:02:53
24Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team00:02:53
25Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team00:02:53
26Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren00:02:53
27Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis00:02:53
28Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain McLaren00:02:53
29Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling00:02:53
30Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo00:02:53
31Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Pro Cycling00:02:53
32Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team00:02:53
33Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ00:02:53
34Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:03:01
35Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:03:01
36Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) CCC Team00:03:01
37Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates00:03:01
38Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:03:01
39Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo00:03:01
40Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren00:03:06
41Romain Sicard (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:03:06
42Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic00:03:06
43Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma00:03:06
44Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:03:08
45Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation00:03:12
46Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:03:12
47Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates00:03:12
48Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:03:12
49Robert Gesink (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma00:03:21
50George Bennett (NZl) Team Jumbo-Visma00:03:39
51Ion Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:03:39
52Winner Anacona (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic00:03:43
53Harold Alfonso Tejada Canacue (Col) Astana Pro Team00:03:46
54Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers00:04:07
55Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott00:04:24
56Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sunweb00:07:07
57Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:08:41
58Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:09:09
59Hugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro Team00:09:09
60Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:09:09
61Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:09:13
62David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:10:38
63Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team00:10:38
64Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates00:10:48
65Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Team00:10:48
66Simon Geschke (Ger) CCC Team00:10:53
67Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma00:15:42
68Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis00:15:42
69Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Arkea-Samsic00:15:42
70Niklas Eg (Den) Trek-Segafredo00:16:34
71Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation00:16:47
72Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe00:16:59
73Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers00:16:59
74Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:18:16
75Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation00:18:16
76Jens Keukeleire (Bel) EF Pro Cycling00:18:16
77Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) NTT Pro Cycling00:18:16
78Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe00:18:16
79Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:18:45
80Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ00:18:45
81Michael Valgren (Den) NTT Pro Cycling00:18:45
82Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe00:18:45
83José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team00:18:45
84Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:18:45
85Dario Cataldo (Ita) Movistar Team00:18:45
86Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team00:18:45
87Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:18:45
88Cyril Gautier (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:18:45
89Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo00:18:45
90Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:18:45
91Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) CCC Team00:18:50
92Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe00:21:27
93Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:22:58
94Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:22:58
95Michael Schär (Swi) CCC Team00:22:58
96Tejay Van Garderen (USA) EF Pro Cycling00:22:58
97Tim Declercq (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:25:01
98Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R la Mondiale00:25:01
99Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo00:25:01
100Fabien Grellier (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:25:01
101Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic00:25:01
102Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain McLaren00:25:01
103Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:25:01
104Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team00:25:01
105Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates00:25:01
106Andrey Amador (CRc) Ineos Grenadiers00:25:01
107Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:25:01
108Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain McLaren00:26:47
109Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Pro Cycling00:26:47
110Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis00:26:47
111Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe00:26:47
112Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo00:26:47
113Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team Sunweb00:26:47
114Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe00:26:47
115Michael Gogl (Aut) NTT Pro Cycling00:26:47
116Casper Phillip Pedersen (Den) Team Sunweb00:26:47
117Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Cofidis00:26:47
118Marc Hirschi (Swi) Team Sunweb00:26:47
119Clément Russo (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic00:26:47
120Roman Kreuziger (Cze) NTT Pro Cycling00:26:47
121Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Start-Up Nation00:26:47
122Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates00:26:47
123Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation00:26:47
124Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb00:26:52
125Jack Bauer (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott00:31:09
126Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Team Jumbo-Visma00:31:09
127Connor Swift (GBr) Team Arkea-Samsic00:31:09
128Steff Cras (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:31:09
129Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott00:31:09
130Ryan Gibbons (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling00:31:09
131Dayer Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic00:31:09
132Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:31:09
133David De la Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) UAE Team Emirates00:31:09
134Maxime Chevalier (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:31:09
135Kevin Reza (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:31:09
136Nils Politt (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation00:31:09
137Marco Haller (Aut) Bahrain McLaren00:31:09
138Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos Grenadiers00:31:09
139Tony Martin (Ger) Team Jumbo-Visma00:31:09
140Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:31:09
141Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:31:09
142Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:31:09
143Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling00:31:09
144Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC Team00:31:09
145Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott00:31:09
146Samuel Bewley (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott00:31:09
147Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates00:31:09
148André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation00:31:09
149Luke Rowe (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers00:31:09
150Jens Debusschere (Bel) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:31:09
151Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:31:09
152Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Team00:31:09
153Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal00:31:09
154Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-Scott00:31:09
155Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Team Sunweb00:31:09
156Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain McLaren00:31:09
157Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:31:09
158Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo00:31:09
159Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:31:09
160Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb00:31:09
161Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) NTT Pro Cycling00:31:09
162Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis00:31:09
163Jerome Cousin (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:31:09
164William Bonnet (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:31:09
165Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:31:09
166Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:31:09
167Guy Niv (Isr) Israel Start-Up Nation00:31:09
168Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie00:31:09
169Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:31:09
170Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis00:31:09
171Roger Kluge (Ger) Lotto Soudal00:31:09
172Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb00:31:09
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Sprint 1 - Saint-Hippolyte-Du-Fort km. 125.5
PlaceRider (Country) TeamResult
1Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) NTT Pro Cycling20
2Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe17
3Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team15
4Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team13
5Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sunweb11
6Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep10
7Neilson Powless (USA) EF Pro Cycling9
8Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis8
9Roger Kluge (Ger) Lotto Soudal7
10Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-Quickstep6
11Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep5
12Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept4
13Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe3
14Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie2
15Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC Team1
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Sprint 2 - D269 Mont Aigoual km. 191
PlaceRider (Country) TeamResult
1Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team30
2Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis25
3Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team22
4Neilson P