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Tour de France stage 6 – Live coverage

Stage 6 profile 2021 Tour de France

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Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 6 of the Tour de France.

After yesterday's time trial and GC shakeup, it's another day for the sprinters today as the peloton take on a pan-flat 160km to Châteauroux.

Châteauroux has hosted the Tour twice in recent memory. In 2008 and in 2011, Mark Cavendish took victory in bunch sprints. That 2008 win was the first of 31 so far at the Tour.

Cavendish is in green after his victory on stage 4 two days ago. Can he add to his points lead and win another stage today?

Carapaz adamant a Tour de France win remains on the cards despite low-key time trial

There's little to write home about on today's stage, which starts at 13:55 CEST (12:55 BST). Just one category-four climb on the route along with the customary intermediate sprint. But hey, at least it's relatively short rather than 200km or more.

Here's a look at the course map today.

Urán 'under the radar' but flying high at end of Tour de France first week

Riders took COVID-19 tests after yesterday's time trial. Reports from Reuters cycling correspondent Julien Prétot suggest that they all came back negative.

Catch up with what happened during yesterday's time trial with our stage report or our live coverage.

Caleb Ewan might be out of the Tour, and the likes of Sam Bennett, Pascal Ackermann, Elia Viviani and Giacomo Nizzolo didn't start, but there are still plenty of contenders for today's stage.

It sounds like there should be good weather for the peloton today. No word on any winds but it's a possibility – check out our stage 6 preview for more.

Teams have arrived at the start in Tours and are preparing for the stage, with sign-in ceremony up and running.

Reuters correspondent Julien Prétot reports that Tour organisers have withdrawn their lawsuit against the woman who caused the stage 1 crash.

Tour de France organisers withdraw lawsuit against spectator who caused mass crash

Eisel: Mark Cavendish’s 2008 Châteauroux Tour de France stage win changed everything

Just over 40 minutes until the riders roll out in Tours and the sign-on is still ongoing in front of big crowds.

Mark Cavendish's former lead-out man Mark Renshaw is backing the Manxman to take another stage win today.

15 minutes to go until the stage start.

Arnaud Démare will go for it today. Here's what he had to say ahead of today's stage.

Michael Matthews is thinking ahead more to the second week, though, even if he'll be in the mix today.

The riders are rolling out now.

Revealed: How Tour de France time trial recon helped Pogacar to victory

160km to go

Oliver Naesen (AG2R) and Brent Van Moer (Lotto) among the early attackers but no move established yet.

152km to go / 8km done

Groupama-FDJ give chase – a large number of the sprinter's teams are represented out front so they want to drag them back rather than having to work on the front for a sprint all day long.

An interesting battle early on. This is much better than a couple of no-hopers from Cofidis, B&B Hotels and Qhubeka NextHash jumping away at the start without much resistance.

Arkéa-Samsic and Qhubeka are among the teams helping Groupama-FDJ at the front now.

144km to go / 16km done

The jersey holders at the start today – Cavendish, Van der Poel, Schelling and Pogačar.

The peloton not making much headway yet. Even if they make the catch soon, Groupama-FDJ will have been forced to waste some energy here.

138km to go / 22km done

It's still coming down. 35 seconds now. 

They're still speeding along. Arkéa-Samsic in charge of the peloton now. 25 seconds the gap.

Connor Swift doing the work at the moment. It's no surprise the French team are keen today given Nacer Bouhanni's second and third places so far.

130km to go / 30km done

30km done in around 33-35 minutes. Well over a 50kph average so far.

Van Avermaet is pushing on alone as the move is brought back.

The peloton seem more content to let him go as his advantage goes up to 40 seconds.. Another rider on the attack in between.

Roger Kluge (Lotto Soudal) is on his own between Van Avermaet and the peloton, 25 seconds back.

123km to go / 37km done

Alpecin-Fenix are thought to be going for the sprint with Jasper Philipsen rather than stage 3 winner Tim Merlier today.