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Tour de Suisse 2014: Stage 6

Welcome to live coverage of stage 6 of the Tour de Suisse from Büren an der Aare to Delémont

Welcome to stage 6 of the Tour de Suisse. We're about 10 minutes away from the start and the last few riders are signing on.

After four sprint finishes, today is definitely not one for the sprinters. There are four categorised climbs, including the first category Grand Chaumont.

And we're off. The riders get under way in the beautiful sunshine.

The news from yesterday's stage was the crash that took out Mark Cavendish and Matt Goss at the finish. Fortunately both riders were relatively unhurt in the crash, despite Cavendish being launched off his bike. You can read what the Manxman had to say here.

The news from yesterday's stage was the crash that took out Mark Cavendish and Matt Goss at the finish. Fortunately Cavendish was relatively unhurt in the crash, despite being launched off his bike. You can read what the Manxman had to say here.

Goss came away with some minor injuries, although he was able to make it to the finish, helped by his teammates. However, the Australian decided not to take to the start. After the finish yesterday, Goss said that he overcooked it on that penultimate corner. Cavendish's teammate was also caught up in the tumble and also decided not to start today.

Goss came away with some minor injuries, although he was able to make it to the finish, helped by his teammates. However, the Australian decided not to take to the start. After the finish yesterday, Goss said that he overcooked it on that penultimate corner. Cavendish's teammate was also caught up in the tumble and also decided not to start today.

A six-man group has attacked.

The six men out front are Lloyd Mondory (AG2R La Mondiale), Laurent Didier (Trek Factory Racing), Simon Clarke (Orica GreenEdge), Benjamin King (Garmin-Sharp), Jacopo Guarnieri (Astana) and Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka)

The peloton don't like that and immediately bring them back in.

Tony Martin is still the race leader. It's a long-shot, but he may be able to keep it for another day. However, there are plenty of riders waiting to pounce. Here is a look at the top 10.

 

1 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 18:27:47
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano 0:00:06
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale 0:00:10
4 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team 0:00:17
5 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin Sharp 0:00:23
6 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale 0:00:27
7 Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team
8 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:28
9 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:00:29
10 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-Merida

A few riders did manage to make it through they chaotic finish yesterday, including Sacha Modolo and Peter Sagan. The two sprinters duked it out around the final corner, with Modolo coming out trumps at the finish line. Here is how it finished yesterday.

1 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
3 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano
4 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha
5 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team
6 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
7 Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Lotto Belisol
8 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
9 Nino Schurter (Swi) Orica GreenEdge
10 Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana Pro Team
 

We've got another break trying to form, this time the riders are Vladimir Isaichev (Katusha Team), Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge), Jacopo Guarnieri (Astana), Jonathan Fumeaux (IAM Cycling), Jacobus Venter (MTN-Qhubeka).

171km remaining from 184km

Guarnieri was in the last escape attempt, so he's on a mission today to get into the day's break. The five men have a small gap of 16 seconds.

Danilo Wyss (BMC) is trying to chase down the escape group. He is 16 seconds behind them, with the peloton now 35 seconds back.

The leaders are now 3:20 ahead of the peloton. Wyss managed to get close, but he is now losing ground on the leaders and is 1:05 back. It looks like Fumeaux has been dropped from the leading group too, bringing the escape group down to four riders.

Despite being dropped, Fumeaux is still the current leader on the road. This may have something to do with him being jettisoned from the lead group. Omega Pharma-QuickStep wouldn't want to take the risk.

Bauke Mollema is currently sitting in fourth place in the GC at the moment. It was announced on Monday that the sponsors of his team, Belkin, would be pulling out of cycling at the end of the season. Mollema's agent has been very quick to get the ball rolling and match sure the Dutch rider has a contract for next season. Oleg Tinkov revealed that he had already spoken to Mollema's agent yesterday. You can read the full article here.

The Tour de France is just around the corner, and Cyclingnews and Bike Radar have teamed up with Chris Boardman again this year to bring you a comprehensive preview of all the stages from Leeds to Paris. You can find the video here and you can subscribe to our YouTube channel here for all of our latest video content.

150km remaining from 184km

We're about to start ascending for the first time today. First on the climbing menu is the Grand Chaumont. Our four leaders have an advantage of 4:34 now.

Fumeaux and Wyss are now back with the peloton, so it just the four men out front for now.

The gap to the four men out front has dropped a little now that they are on the climb. It now stands at 4:30.

Intrestingly, Bjorn Thurau decided not to go on the attack today. He's been very active in the early days of the race. Non of the men out front are a threat to his lead in the mountains classification with only 33 points available. He obviously wants to give his legs a rest today. Here is how the mountain classification stands as of this morning.

 

1 Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar 63 pts
2 Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling 37
3 Lawrence Warbasse (USA) BMC Racing Team 28
4 Philip Deignan (Irl) Team Sky 24
5 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert 14
6 Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Belisol 12
7 Nino Schurter (Swi) Orica GreenEdge 12
8 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica GreenEdge 11
9 Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team 8
10 Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 8

The leaders have just crested the top of the Grand Chaumont and their gap has been brought down to 2:40.

Once they hit the bottom of this descent, they won't have long in the valley before they start climbing again. The second category Col des Pontins in 12km time.

Michael Albasini is the only home rider in the escape today, after Fumeaux dropped out earlier on. Albasini has won two stages of the Tour de Suisse in 2009 and 2005. He's also wont he sprints and mountains classifications before. Ealier this season, Albasini won three stages of the Tour de Romandie. Can he take another victory on home soil today?

Isaichev has also won a stage of the Tour de Suisse in the past. He won from a five-man group that had managed to get over 11 minutes on the peloton. It doesn't look like they're going to get that much today, but with 62km gone, their advantage has gone back up to 3:50.

As the riders make their way up the second climb of the day we can confirm the results of the first climb. Guarnieri was the rider to make it over the top first, to give himself 12 points in the mountains classification. The peloton passed over the top some 4:08 back on the leaders.

Moreno Moser has become the latest rider to abandon the Tour de Suisse. Moser has had a bit of a torrid year and was certainly hoping for more that he's got out of the race.

120km remaining from 184km

The four leaders hit the top of the second climb of the day with 3:52 on the peloton, who don't seem keen on letting them get too far up the road.

From the top of the Col des Pontins it is a short descent and then the riders will face an uncategorised climb. Soon after they will pass through the feed zone and begin a long, gradual descent towards the third climb of the day Col des Rangiers which comes with 31km to go.

It's a tough ask, but Tony Martin could keep hold of the leader's jersey today. It's been a very good race for the German, who is building up towards the Tour de France. The Tour isn't the only thing in Martin's horizon. As he explains in this video with InCycle, he is still open to the possibility of attempting the Hour record. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

News of two other abandons during today's stage. Ben Swift (Sky) and Kenny de Haes (Lott-Belisol) have both climbed off the bike.

Outside of the Tour de Suisse, it has been announced that a finishing circuit will be added to the end of Clásica San Sebastián. Organisers say that they want to show off the city more on television and who can blame them, it's a beautiful place. You can read how the route has been altered here.

It was Michael Albasini who took the full 8 points at the top of the Col des Pontins. The leaders' advantage has stabilised at around 3:30.

111km remaining from 184km

Latest check has the leaders at 3:48. They are nearing the feed zone, so we can expect things to slow down for a little bit. On a long day like this, you wouldn't want to miss your lunch.

A quick look ahead to the Tour de France again, and Robert Millar takes a look at the main contenders for the race in his latest blog and gives us his take on where they stand. You can read this entry and all his others right here.

Jaroslaw Marycz (CCC Polsat) has decided to call it a day. Marycz was the rider that came down with Bradley Wiggins towards the finish of stage four.

We're almost at the half way point and the riders are getting their lunch. The leaders' advantage comes down to 2:50 for the moment.

The Tour de Suisse is not the only racing on at the moment. Today sees the second stage of the ZLM Toer, where sprinter Marcel Kittel is in action for the first time since the Giro d'Italia. We also have the first stage of the Tour of Slovakia and tomorrow is the opening stage of the Route du Sud, where Alejandro Valverde is preparing for the Tour de France.

92km remaining from 184km

100 kilometres ridden and the gap to the four escapees continues to come down. Only 2:36 remains of their lead.

Earlier this week we got a unique look inside the peloton with a series of on-board shots from the Belkin riders. Take a look at these great videos here. Don't forget you can subscribe to our YouTube channel here, so you don't miss a single video.

87km remaining from 184km

It's now the peloton's turn to get some lunch and that sees the gap to the leaders edge out a little bit to 2:43. Still a long way to go for these riders and it will take a lot of luck for them to stay out front until the finish.

A reminder of who we have out in the lead group. They are: Vladimir Isaichev (Katusha Team), Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge), Jacopo Guarnieri (Astana), Jacobus Venter (MTN-Qhubeka). Albasini is the best placed of those four, but at 9:38 down he's not much of a threat to Martin at the moment.

71km remaining from 184km

The gap to the four out front goes back almost to how it was before they passed through the feed zone. They now have an advantage of 3:20

As we mentioned before, Alejandro Valverde will prepare for the Tour de France at the Route du Sud, which begins tomorrow. Valverde has been training in the Sierra Nevada for the last few weeks. It remains to be seen if his alternative approach works. You can read our preview of the Route du Sud right here.

After 136 kilometres of racing, the gap to the leaders stands at 3:25. It has hovering around this mark for almost the whole stage.

You probably heard the news from earlier this week that Belkin would be pulling out of cycling at the end of the season. Well as the team search for a new sponsor, they've decided to crowd fund their sponsorship. If you want to sponsor the team, you can do it for €10 a pop.

A number of teams doing the work on the front. Lampre-Meridan, Sky and Cannondale all very visible. They've brought the gaps down to 3:00.

Mechanical problem for World champion Rui Costa. It takes a little time to get going again, but he gets a huge push from his mechanic. Two teammates, Valls Ferri and Serpa, have dropped back to help him get back to the peloton.

Almost the entire Sky team have amassed on the front. They've lost their original GC hope, Bradley Wiggins, however they still have Peter Kennaugh and Sergio Henao who are 11th and 15th respectively.

One for the commisaires. The Lampre-Merida car has dropped back and Costa is sitting right behind it to get a draft.

45km remaining from 184km

The peloton snakes through Delémont, where the race will be finishing. Sky's work has had a big effect on the advantage for the four guys out front. They have 2:24.

42km remaining from 184km

We still have two climbs to go. Peter Sagan is a potential contender for the stage win today, but he will have to hang on over the Col des Rangiers and Le-Rond-Pré. Isaichev takes the leaders across the finish line for the first time. The next one will be for the finish.

40km remaining from 184km

Time is running out for the four escapees as the pace in the peloton really picks up. They've only got a gap of 1:18 now.

A bit of a collision in the peloton as the riders head onto the bottom of a climb. Nobody has actually come down and they all seem to be ok.

37km remaining from 184km

The pace is really having an effect and we can see Tom Boonen getting dropped. Sky catch Isaichev and Guarnieri. Albasini still out front with 13 seconds.

Sky still pushing hard on the front and they catch Albasini. Tony Martin only has one teammate with him now.

It looks like Ben Swift is in that group of Sky riders at the front. Race radio reported earlier on that he had climbed off, but it seems they got it wrong. He's third in line in this group.

Fabian Cancellara is sitting on the back of the peloton at the moment. Mark Cavendish was just in front of him, but he has finally popped. He pulled right across the road and slowed down immediately.

33km remaining from 184km

No attacks and we're still gruppo compatto. Deignan really putting the hurt on and the peloton is really strung out here.

After suffering a mechanical earlier on, Costa is now back up near the front of the peloton. He is sitting in with one of his teammates and the Sky and Tinkoff-Saxo teams.

31km remaining from 184km

Barguil attacks, followed by Thereau

Thurau has a fairly big lead in the mountains competition, but he wants some more points. They have a 13 second gap on the peloton.

30km remaining from 184km

Thurau has his points and he immediately sits up. Barguil is now on his own with 30km still to go.

Barguil has been controversially omitted from the Giant-Shimano Tour de France team. Many expected him to make his debut this season, after he won two stages of the Vuelta a España. However, the team have decided to send him back to the Spanish Grand Tour.

 

Barguil is absolutely on the limit on this descent. He has 17 seconds with 25km to go.

Behind Barguil, Sky are chasing as hard at they can. Lots of riders have been shelled out of the peloton, which is almost in single file at this stage.

Barguil's advantage continues to grow, although not by much. He has 22 seconds on the group.

22km remaining from 184km

There are now some spots of rain falling, but it doesn't look like it's too hard at the moment.

Sky still pushing hard, there are five of them on the front, with Tony Martin sitting at the back of their train. Barguil's advantage has been more than halved. He's only got 10 seconds on the group.

Barguil is now back in the bunch, which has taken on a few more riders at the back.

A few of the sprinters have managed to hang onto the group. They still have one more climb to take on but Swift, Sagan and Modolo all still in there.

Only two Sky riders left in front of Swift. Knees and Henao. Sky won't want to make Henao work too hard in this finish, as they'll want to save him for the GC battle.

15km remaining from 184km

Laurent Didier has a small attack off the front, but he is quickly brought back. IAM now taking to the front as Knees pulls off.

A brief aside from today's stage and Marcel Kittel has won the opening stage of the ZLM Toer. That news will interest a few members of the Tour de Suisse peloton.

Tony Martin doesn't look troubled at all in his yellow jersey. He's still got one teammate with him as he sits very near the front of the peloton.

It is Fumeaux who is setting the pace for IAM Cycling. He was in the break earlier today, but wasn't allowed to stay out for too long, as Omega Pharma QuickStep perceived him as too big of a threat for the GC.

Mathias Frank attacks

Pinot follows him and QuickStep are chasing.

Sagan now attacks and passes Pinot and Frank. The Slovakian leads the way over the final  climb, he looks very comfortable.

Sagan waves his teammate up to the front. That attack will surely have a psychological impact on his rivals, which was probably why he made the move in the first place.

Sagan leads the peloton down to slop too, at 80kph, followed by the race leader Martin. Sagan hits a speed bump as he flies down this descent, but it hardly troubles him as his back wheel slips out.

This is an impressive display of bike handling from Sagan. The peloton just can't keep up with him and neither can the TV motorbike. Will he try to hold this advantage at the bottom?

More attacks coming. Sagan is joined by Marcus Burghardt with 3km to go.

The leading duo are joined by Priedler, Kolobnev and Brown but Sky bring it all back together.

1km remaining from 184km

Tony Martin takes to the front of the peloton. He wasn't to make this finish as hard as he can for his rivals.

Martin leads under the flamme rouge and causes a split in the peloton

Lampre close the gap

Trentin leads the sprint and wins

Excellent work from the leader Martin to make the split and perfectly lead out Trentin. Sagan bridged the gap but didn't have the power to overhaul the Italian.

The effort also makes sure that Martin stays in the leader's jersey.

The top 5 on today's stage are:

1 Trentin

2 Bennati

3 Gavazzi

4 Swift

5 Sagan

And here is the full top 10:

1 Matteo Trentin
2 Daniele Bennati
3 Francesco Gavazzi
4 Ben Swift
5 Peter Sagan
6 Sacha Modolo
7 Jose Joaquin Rojas
8 Stefan Dillier
9 Sergio Henao
10 Tosh Van Der Sande

The top 10 in the general classification stays exactly as it was with Tony Martin at the top of the standings, ahead of Tom Dumoulin, Peter Sagan and Bauke Mollema.

 

Here is how it looks:

1 Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
2 Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) +6
3 Peter Sagan (Cannondale) +10
4 Bauke Mollema (Belkin) +17
5 Tom-Jelte Slagter (Garmin-Sharp) +23
6 Davide Formolo (Cannondale) +27
7 Ion Izaguirre (Movistar) +27
8 Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo) +28
9 Matthias Frank (BMC)+29
10 Mattia Cattaneo (Lampre-Merida)

That's it from us today. Tune in tomorrow for stage 7 of the Tour de Suisse. You can get all the stage results, pictures and reports from today and the past stages here.

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