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Tour de Suisse stage 6 - Live coverage


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

We've another day in the mountains in store for the riders today with three climbs in the Swiss Alps. It's a relatively short stage, just 130.1km between Fiesch and Disentis – Sedrun. The riders will climb the Gotthard Pass – 8.5km at 7.2 per cent – before tackling the Lukmanier Pass – 18km at 5.6 per cent. There's then another climb towards the line.

We're about 12 minutes from the neutalized start of the stage and given the profile off the stage, with the riders climbing as soon as the flag drops, we're going to a see a wave of attacks. 

Here's how things stand coming into the stage in terms of the overall standings, with Richard Carapaz in the yellow jersey with three stages remaining. 

General classification after stage 5
1Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers16:42:50
2Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech0:0:26
3Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep0:0:33
4Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:0:38
5Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo0:01:11
6Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Team BikeExchange0:01:31
7Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation0:01:32
8Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange0:02:22
9Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Team Qhubeka Assos0:03:10

Riders about to roll out now and they'll immediately start climbing the Gotthardpass. What a brutal way to start the day. 

The big news this morning is that Mathieu van der Poel has left the race due to illness. The Dutchman won two stages earlier in the race and wore yellow but has cold has taken him out as he looks to wrap himself up in cotton wool ahead of the Tour de France. The story is just... here.

ABU DHABI UNITED ARAB EMIRATES FEBRUARY 21 Arrival Mathieu van der Poel of The Netherlands and Team AlpecinFenix Celebration during the 3rd UAE Tour 2021 Stage 1 a 176km stage from Al Dhafra Castle to Al Mirfa UAETour on February 21 2021 in Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

And there's a bug going around because four BikeExchange riders will also miss the start today and are out off the race. 

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The riders have rolled out from the start by the way and have a 5km neutralized zone to tackle. Then they race up a major climb. 

Andre Greipel has a mechanical at the back of the bunch but the German should be fine pacing himself back. 

The flag has dropped and we're underway on stage 6 of the Tour de Suisse. No major break just yet though.

125km to go and Alaphilippe has gone on the attack on the first climb of the day. He's brought a teammate for good measure as Marc Soler jumps out from the pack and goes after him. 

Marc Soler does indeed make it a three man group at the front of the race. Nibali (Antonio) is the next rider to try and break away. 

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So our four leaders are Julian Alaphilippe, Marc Soler, Mattia Cattaneo, and Antonio Nibali. According to race radio Max Shachmann is out the back of the bunch. We'll wait on confirmation for that one but that would be huge news. He started the day third overall, 38 seconds off the overall lead.

Mattia Cattaneo has dropped back from the lead group after taking a huge turn on the front in order to give his French leader as much help as possible. Some great early action in today's stage.

It doesn't look like Ineos are too worried just yet but there's another 8 riders on the attack now, including Hirschi, Rui Costa and Matthews. This is turning into a great stage already. We still don't have a time gap on the leaders yet though. We're hearing that Schachmann is almost a minute down on the peloton. He can't be right. 

It looks like Mattia Cattaneo is back so we've four leaders again as Nibali leads us over the first ascent of the day. We've got about 50 of flat and descending ahead of us. Last time gap we had showed that the Alaphilippe, Mattia Cattaneo, Soler and Nibali foursome had 25 seconds over the peloton. 

The Matthews and Hirchi group has been reeled in but the leading for riders including Alaphilippe have 28 seconds with 103km to go. 

Into the final 100km of the stage and the four leaders have pushed their gap out to 1'10. That's the largest gap that Alaphilippe has had all day. He started the day 4th at 55 seconds, so it now the virtual leader on the road. The World champion isn't holding back today.

The break have another 30-40 km of slightly downhill roads before they start to climb again but Ineos are on the front and just keeping the break at 1'15. 

There's been a crash in the peloton with Viktor Verschaeve coming down. 92km to go and the break have 1'20 on the main field.

80km to go and the gap is just holding at a minute. 

Here's our full story on the BikeExchange situation after four of the riders pulled out sick today. 

71km to go and the gap is back under one minute, 55 seconds to be exact. Alaphilippe has made a decent go of this but in this valley section it's advantage Ineos and the rest of the peloton.

68km to go and it looks like Alaphilippe is sitting up and allowing the other three riders to go up the road without him. Soler is no threat on GC so this could give the break some much-needed breathing room. 

And with 67km to go the peloton welcome back Alaphilippe. So we just have Mattia Cattaneo, Marc Soler and Antonio Nibali out-front. Will the peloton let them extend their modest lead?

Jon Aberasturi Izaga has won over in Slovenia. Results are here.

As soon as Alaphilippe is back about 20 riders shoot up the road and go after the break with 64km to go. Matthews is there again, as BikeExchange want to give Chaves some support later and the Australian needs to up the road for that to happen. Decent climber though, if you remember that stage in Paris-Nice a few years ago when combined with Alberto Contador on the final stage of the race. Good race that.

Powless is the top placed rider on GC in this counter attack but he's over nine minutes down on Carapaz.

Those riders are 25 seconds off the three man break with the peloton at one minute but the road is gently starting to rise now.

It's gently uphill, and with the second climb of the day to come, for around the next 30km or so. Ineos still lead the peloton with 61km to go.

We have just under thirty riders up the road now, spread over three groups but the three riders at the head of the race have been joined by Hirschi and company. 

From what I can tell from race radio the peloton now consists of Alaphilippe, the yellow jersey... and that's about it. Everyone is attacking or counter-attacking. 

51km to go

We have 39 riders up the road with 13 chasers and the main field at 1'36. There are no major GC riders up the road. 

The road is gradually starting to climb though and there's not a massive amount of wind from what I can see. Sun's out and guns out for Tim Declercq who sets the pace at the front of the break. The 39 rider break.

The 41 rider break, they picked up another two riders, now have 1'41 over the peloton with 48km to go.

Ineos are still at the front of what's left of the peloton and setting a decent tempo. There are  no major threats up the road right now so they just need to keep the break in check but they're unlikely to get any assistance from other teams. 

Golas is on the front for Ineos right now as the gap moves out to 2'24 to group 1. 

The riders in the break have just started the lower slopes of the Lukmanier Pass – 18km at 5.6 per cent.

Immediately there's an attack from a Kron from Lotto. Alone I Break, he's probably thinking to himself.

No one will get that reference will they?

The peloton are making in roads now because too few riders are working in the break. Kron was caught but the bunch are at 46 seconds with 43km to go and it looks like Kragh Andersen is leading the stage alone now. Indeed, he is.

Three riders, at least are trying to hunt down the Dane from DSM but he's on a mission as he sits in the saddle and turns the big ring. David de la Cruz though has just gone over the top of him and with 42km to go he now leads the race.

New time gap and the bunch are now at 3'09 with 41km to go, so safe to assuming that previous time check was wrong. 

Sivakov has now taken over at the front of the peloton for Carapaz and his yellow jersey. 40km to go in the stage and it's looking like a rider from the break could take this. De la Cruz has about 10 seconds on two chasers right now.

The huge break is starting to crack under the pressure and riders are all over the climb now but up ahead de la Cruz has opened up a nice little gap. 

It looks as though Andersen has cracked and is going backwards rapidly through the field. Rui Costa is making a surge but he's quite far down the climb, having been in the break. Antwan Tolhoek is leading a three man chase just ahead of the former world champion. 

Just ahead of him we have Andreas Leknessund, who is second on the road but de la Cruz is out of sight with 38km to go.

De la Cruz looks totally committed to this move and he's got close to four minutes on the peloton at this point. 

Rui Costa,  Andreas Leknessund and Antwan Tolhoek are part of a seven rider move that's tracking de la Cruz with 35km to go. Further down the climb and Sivakov sets the pace for the peloton.

Filippo Conca has been in the wars. His entire right side has been torn to pieces. Ouch.

34km to go

I think de la Cruz might have this. There's still a long way to go but he has 54 seconds over the Antwan Tolhoek group that includes Hermann Pernsteiner, Fabbro, Andreas Leknessund, Rui Costa and Powless. 34km to go.

There's a re-grouping in the Hermann Pernsteiner group and another 12 or so riders have made it across. De la Cruz still has time though, 1'10 to be exact. 

The pace has slowed in the second group though and Andreas Leknessund has gone on the attack. Can he make up 1'10 on de la Cruz with 32km to go? 

30km to go

De la Cruz's shoulders are starting to rock but he's still not at the top of the climb. He is doing a nice job of maintaining this gap though. 1'12 with 29.9km to go.

Andreas Leknessund was caught though, and it's Fabbro who is leading the chase group. It looks like a Movistar rider is now in there. It's Sergio Samitier.

De la Cruz crests the top of the climb with 1'11 however the road doesn't go downhill  just yet and he continues to climb.

Powless is the second rider on the road but that third group that contains Sergio Samitier and Rui Costa have him in their sight. De la Cruz, meanwhile has 1'07 with 20km to go. The bunch our out of this, they're at 3'49. 

Powless only has about two or three seconds on the rest of the chase. De la Cruz has 1'01 with one more climb to come. It's touch and go.

The gap is coming down... it's 54 seconds for de la Cruz and the large chase group can almost see him. 

We're still descending but most of the final 10km is uphill. 

There's a strong kick from the chasers as we start the final climb and with 9.8km to go de la Cruz only has 25 seconds left. 

Powless and about 8 more riders are in the chase now and the gap is at 24 seconds as de la Cruz starts to climb with 8.9km to go. Everything to play for at this point.

De la Cruz just has to ride his own race at this point but we have six chasers that Wright, Costa, Powless and two more riders. Fabbro is one of them but now about ten more rider make it up to the chase group. De la Cruz has just 18 seconds left with 8.1km to go.

Fabbro has attacked with 8km to go.

Just 10 seconds for the lone leader, it's almost all over for the UAE rider.

6km to go

Astana and Movistar are attacking too from the second group as Hermann Pernsteiner and Rui Cosata go on the attack and catch de la Cruz. 6km to go.

So the three leaders now are Hermann Pernsteiner, Rui Costa and de la Cruz. La Tour, Powless are part of a five rider chase group but riders are all over the place on this climb. De la Cruz has been dropped. 

Kron is now in the lead group so we have three riders up front with 4.7km to go.

Rui Costa, Kron and Hermann Pernsteiner lead but the gap is just a few seconds with 4.5km to go.

Back down the climb and Carapaz looks cool, calm and collected. 

All three leaders are sharing the workload and the gap is around 15 seconds.

Five chasers include Latour Serrano, Fraile Powless and Antwan Tolhoek. They have to make up 14 seconds with 3.4km to go.

Hermann Pernsteiner attacks with 2km to go but he's brought back by Kron and Rui Costa.

The three leaders are back together 1.7km to go.

They're starting to look at each other and riders from the second group start to pick up the pace.

1km to go for Pernsteiner, Kron and Rui Costa.

No one wants to lead out...

They have to be careful. 

Hermann Pernsteiner leads.

The Powless group are coming back!

Hermann Pernsteiner leads now.

Rui Costa opens his sprint.

Hermann Pernsteiner is going backwards. 

Kron is coming through but Rui Costa closes the gap. 

Rui Costa crosses the line first but Kron is not happy at all with the UAE rider's choice of line... Rui Costa doesn't put his hands up.

We will have to see if that win stands...

Carapaz and the rest of the GC contenders come over the line 2'49 down. 

Now... Rui Costa has made his way to the podium...

Rui Costa did deviate from his line but he left enough room. He'll keep that win. 

Kron wasn't happy that's for sure and no results have flashed up yet.

The race jury are clearly looking at this. Kron does have a case, that's for sure but provisionally Rui Costa has taken the win. 

1Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates3:14:52
2Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal0:0:00
3Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain Victorious0:0:01
4Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar Team0:0:03
5Pierre Latour (Fra) Total Direct Energie0:0:03
6Hugo Houle (Can) Astana-Premier Tech0:0:03
7Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo0:0:03
8Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Jumbo-Visma0:0:03
9Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe0:0:50
10Andreas Leknessund (Nor) Team DSM0:01:00

There was enough room for Kron but he was forced to check his sprint because of Rui Costa changing his line. 

There was a deviation that's clear. Was it dangerous? It wasn't a natural sprinting line that's for sure. 

Rui Costa is changing in the tent, with de la Cruz, so for now he's still the stage winner.

Here's our brief report and results as they stand. 

They jury are clearly looking at this because Carapaz has come out for the yellow jersey presentation first. 

He clearly checks him in the sprint. I think they're about to overturn this stage result.

Eddie Dunbar is on the podium for the young rider's jersey. He'd be going to the Tour if he was on any other team. IMO.

Relegated. Rui Costa has been relegated. That's what we're hearing. and Kron has now won the stage. The thing is, I don't think that move from Rui Costa was even needed. 

Here's our story on the Rui Costa relegation. 

DISENTIS SEDRUN SWITZERLAND JUNE 11 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa of Portugal and UAE Team Emirates Andreas Lorentz Kron of Denmark and Team Lotto Soudal sprint at arrival during the 84th Tour de Suisse 2021 Stage 6 a 1301km stage from Andermatt to DisentisSedrun 1413m UCIworldtour tds tourdesuisse on June 11 2021 in DisentisSedrun Switzerland Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Here's our new top ten for the stage.

1Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal3:14:52
2Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates0:0:00
3Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain Victorious0:0:01
4Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar Team0:0:03
5Pierre Latour (Fra) Total Direct Energie0:0:03
6Hugo Houle (Can) Astana-Premier Tech0:0:03
7Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo0:0:03
8Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Jumbo-Visma0:0:03
9Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe0:0:50
10Andreas Leknessund (Nor) Team DSM0:01:00

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