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Tour de Pologne 2015: Stage 6

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Hello and welcome to stage 6 from the Tour de Pologne.

You join us with around 100km of the stage covered. We have a group of around 17 riders clear of the field but there's still plenty of climbing still to come.

We had two leaders originally but those leaders merged with a chase group. We've just lost Atapuma and Teuns from the lead group though.

There are eight categorised climbs on the stage but we still have around 55km to go. There's no recent time check on the gap between the peltoton and the break but it had been around 3'30 at the last time check at around 70km to go.

Here's where we stand on GC coming into the stage:
 

1 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal 20:55:42
2 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:00:04
3 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:06
4 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:09
5 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team
6 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:15
8 Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Team Sky 0:00:16
9 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:17
10 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha

 

One rider in the break is  Ivan Santaromita. He's in the news today confirming that he will leave Orica GreenEdge.

 

“My contract is finished and I don’t want to stay with the team. Both parties are happy to close the contract. I want to change – I’m looking for a good team where I can find new motivation because here I lost my way and I lost my motivation.”

When asked why exactly things had gone off track, he said jokingly: “I’ll tell you after I sign for a new team, ” suggesting there may be a degree of underlying acrimony that the Italian is not yet ready to expand fully upon.

 

You can read the full story here

 

Bram Tankink (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) has gone clear of the break and has 1'10 over the rest of the move. That attack came on the last climb of Tauron.

 

The information on the main break is sketchy to say the least. Eduard Vorganov is there, in case you were wondering. 

 

50km to go and the peloton are at 3'00. Lotto on the front at the moment and setting the pace.

 

Tankink is climbing on his own but there are a handful of riders trying to bridge over the Dutch rider. He takes a bottle from a team car just as Pawel Poljanski (Tinkoff-Saxo) bridges over to him. We now have two men in the lead of the race but the peloton are starting to close in.

 

The rest of the break are less than a minute back and there's an attack from an Astana rider. There's not much in the way of collaboration at the moment. 

 

At least the leading pair are working well together as they swap turns. They're about to be joined by the rider from Astana who has bridged over in double quick time. The peloton is well under two minutes down though as Poljanski sets the pace for the leaders.

 

Tankink has been dropped and we've 40km to go, with three climbs on it. 

 

32km remaining from 174km

32km to go and Poljanski and Rosa have 37 seconds of the peloton, which has caught the rest of the break. 

 

Cannondale are leading the chase from the peloton with Sky, Lampre and Lotto also present and accounted for. 

 

It's now Team Sky with Boswell on the front setting the pace for the peloton. Nieve and Henao are both in the peloton and at the front with the yellow jersey tucked in just behind them.

The leaders are starting to lose time as well because of the pace setting from Team Sky as we take on the climb of Zab. The gap is less than 30 seconds.

 

Rosa has pushed on by himself but the peloton have him in their sights. 

 

Rosa is doing a job and making sure that Team Sky are doing the lion share of the chasing. Aru can sit back at the moment wait for an opportunity should it present itself on the final climb of the stage. 

 

Rosa goes over the top of the penultimate climb with a handful of seconds over the peloton, which contains the yellow jersey. 

 

The next climb is just over 5km in length and has sections of around 13 per cent - the perfect launchpad for an attack from the GC riders and climbers. Aru is near the front of the peloton, while we can also see Henao and his teammate Deignan. 

 

Rosa has been brought back but Team Sky aren't letting up and are leading the reduced peloton towards the finish with 25km to go. There are less than 40 riders left in the mix.

 

Electric pace from Team Sky at the moment but they're down to two men left on the front. Will we see Nieve attack in order to soften up the opposition for Henao?

 

Into the final 20km of the stage and Team Sky lead the peloton towards the penultimate climb. 

 

Onto the climb and it's 6 per cent, the bunch already lined out from the pressure from Team Sky.

 

Bart De Clercq is well-placed, just behind the Team Sky train in fourth wheel. 

 

Bart De Clercq has one teammate with him, but this is a big ask. He'll have to respond when the attacks rain down on him.

 

The road narrows, 14km to go, and riders are starting to struggle at the back of the bunch. 

 

Astana hit the front now and Formolo is struggling on this section. 

 

All the riders have to get out of the saddle as Sky raise the pace. One of their riders has a small gap as Bart De Clercq looks to just hold Astana in check.

 

Nieve has a small gap but Aru is looking to close it with the yellow jersey on his wheel.

 

There's a brief re-grouping and Sky move to the front. Aru only seems keen on marking his rivals. Craddock attacks and Neive goes after him. 13km to go.

 

Craddock now has company in the shape of Nieve and Hermans.

 

Over the top of the climb and this trio only have a few seconds on the chasers that include Aru, and the race leader. 

 

All back together and Aru positions his last teammate on the front. 

 

There's another attack from Team Sky and there's no real response  - Tiralongo isn't getting any help in the chase.

 

Nieve is clear and only 17 seconds off yellow. Hermans is clear too and the race leader has to try and shut this one down himself.

 

Nieve and Hermans are now together with 7km to go. This move could be crucial in the outcome of both the stage and the overall. 

 

These small roads lend themselves to the leading pair and the gap is over 10 seconds. 

 

Astana are leading the chase but it's a tough ask the them as we hit the final climb to the finish. 

 

It's 20 seconds and now Aru attacks.

 

Has Aru left it too late though? He attacks once again but there are a number of riders who can match him. Ulissi is also there. 

 

The two leaders are about to be caught though and Henao strikes.

 

Henao is now leading the race and Aru is having to do all the work in order to bring him back. 2km to go.

 

The gap is growing and Aru is struggling to close this with a number of riders just sitting on. 

 

The race leader is starting to lose ground as as Aru has managed to hold Henao at around 70m.

 

The gap moves out to around 100m and Henao has 1km to go until the finishline. The road flattens out now and it looks like Team Sky will take the stage win. Can any respond?

 

Ulissi could take yellow if the race leader can't make contact. 

 

Hats off to Team Sky. Henao takes the win on stage 6. 

 

He should also take the race lead.

 

Here's confirmation of the stage result:

1 Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Team Sky 04:38:27
2 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 00:00:08
3 Lawson Craddock (USA) Giant-Alpecin
4 Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
5 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team
6 Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Team Sky 00:00:11
7 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team
8 Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team
9 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-
10 Bart De Clerq (Bel) Lotto Soudal 00:00:16

 

General classification after stage 6:
1 Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Team Sky 25:34:12
2 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
3 Bart De Clerq (Bel) Lotto Soudal 00:00:10
4 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin 00:00:11
5 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team 00:00:14
6 Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 00:00:17
8 Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale 00:00:19
9 Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Team Sky 00:00:22
10 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha 00:00:27

 

Thanks for joining us for today's stage. We'll be back tomorrow for the final stage from the Tour de Pologne. You can find today's race report, right here.

 

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