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As it happened: UAE Team Emirates continue to dominate Tour de Suisse on stage 6

Tour de Suisse stage 6 shortened profile

Tour de Suisse stage 6 shortened profile (Image credit: Tour de Suisse)

Tour de Suisse 2024

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Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 6 of the Tour de Suisse!

We're just under an hour from the start of stage 6 but if you're wondering why it's so late, stage 6's route had to be altered due to snow. The original 151.1km had to be significantly cut down ahead of the race because snow-clearing crews were not able to guarantee a safe crossing of the Furka and Nufenen passes.

Big feeding schedule on the Lotto Dstny rider's stems today...

While we won't get the queen stage that was proposed, there should be an explosive hour of racing on stage 6, with the whole bunch arriving fresh at the foot of the final and only climb of the day up to Blatten-Belalp.

Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) is leading the Tour de Suisse after two big GC days and his stage win yesterday. 

Under 15 minutes from the start in Ulrichen now.

For many riders this will be a completely odd stage with such a short distance, here's how current best young rider and 5th overall Matthew Riccitello saw it:

Stage start

42.5KM TO GO

It's a mass sprint right from the flag, with so many riders interested. 

Cofidis, EF, DSM and Jayco so far making the best impression off the front.

Frank van den Broek (DSM-Firmenich PostNL) Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-EasyPost), Alexis Renard (Cofidis) and Anders Foldager (Jayco AlUla) are the original quartet who have managed to pull away.

40KM TO GO

Renard has dropped from the break, perhaps aware a four-man group likely won't be big enough to make it. Bissegger, Van den Broek and Foldager lead for now but with Arkéa-B&B Hotels trying to bridge across with two riders. 

With some big downhill sections, speeds are up close to 90kph. 12 seconds gap to the three leaders.

It's Kevin Vauqeulin for Arkéa who has left his teammate behind and is now trying to bridge across. He has a Corratec Vini Fantini rider and Astana Qazaqstan man for help in his chase. 

The gap to the lead riders has gone out to 47 seconds. The trio in front is still Bissegger, Van den Broek and Foldager. 

UAE Team Emirates are on the front as controllers of the yellow jersey. The chasing trio haven't made much of an impression on the leaders and look like they will be reeled back soon.

Correction, it was Garcia Pierna in the chase for Arkea, however, that doesn't matter with him, Cees Bol and Ayco Bastiens all back in the bunch now. 

30KM TO GO

Some stunning terrain on today's stage. But with speeds up past 80kph, I doubt the riders will have seen many of the views along valley road they are flying down.

We're approaching the halfway point of the stage which is rather comical to type so quickly. Gap is at 55 seconds.

UAE Team Emirates are pulling a very high pace on the front of the peloton. 

20KM TO GO

Here's the breakaway on stage 6, led by Van den Broek with Foldager and Bissegger swapping turns in the move. They have just passed the intermediate sprint point with a lead of 1:07 on the UAE-led peloton. 

We're into a downhill section now and the speeds are up. Not far to go until we start climbing on this very odd stage. 

Peloton is completely stretched out on this long and thankfully not too technical portion of descending. Average speed is 58kph for the day so far. 

Gap is out to 1:12 with 7km until the foot of the final climb up to Blatten. 

Bissegger is showing his TT prowess in the breakaway, riding in his full aerodynamic setup and completing massive turns on the front. 

10KM TO GO

The break has gone through the town of Naters and turned right onto the lower slopes which lead into the final climb. It's a tough drag right to the line but with such fresh legs, we should see some stunning climbing speeds. 

Ineos Grenadiers have taken over the pacing on the front and are clearly fancying the day with one of Tom Pidcock or Egan Bernal. 

Almost half of the peloton have now pulled the plug as soon as the race hit the foot of the climb. Lots of riders now knocking off their effort knowing it isn't a day for them. 

Bissegger and Van Den Broek have left Foldager after an all out day in the break. The duo in front have 1:00 of an advantage still. 

5KM TO GO

Bissegger has attacked away from Van den Broek after looking the clear strongest in the breakaway. He's set off in pursuit of glory with 5km to go and a 55-second lead.

Yates has marshalled the troops and UAE are setting a very tough pace now through Jan Christen. The yellow jersey is sat third in the train with Almeida actually behind him now. 

Bissegger was actually just confirming the Tissot watch win at the sponsored kilometre, with Van den Broek now making more of an attack away from the Swiss man after he confirmed a spot on the day's podium. 

Yates looks incredibly smooth in his effort for now.

Yates is down to just two teammates now with Del Toro setting the pace and reducing Van den Broek's lead to just 25 seconds now. 

UAE are shredding this front group even on such a short effort. 4km to go to the top and there are only a handful of riders still in the GC group. 

Van den Broek's lead is melting away as the Emirati team shred the climb to Blatten. Now under 10 seconds and his day will soon be over. 

Attack

Van den Broek is overtaken as Yates flys by him. Skjelmose is leading the chase with Almeida the closest to him and Bernal also there. Everyone else unable to follow.

3KM TO GO

Riccitello, Pidcock, Gall and Lenny Martinez are all in the next chasing group behind the Skjelmose group on the road. 

Yates is still pushing on in front with Skjelmose not quite bridging the gap for now but his tempo still looks strong.

Yates is in the big chainring again as he monsters his way up this steep climb. Still Almeida sits in waiting with Skjelmose and Bernal in a group 7 seconds down from Yates. 

Just as I typed, Bernal was unhappy with the pace and launches his own move to try and catch Yates. 

Bernal is making a good impression on Yates' gap with the top of the climb approaching. It will level out towards the top. Almeida has taken over from Skjelmose with Bernal making inroads on Yates' lead. 

Bernal has been caught by Almeida and Skjelmose, with the Portuguese man attacking the duo!

1KM TO GO

Almeida making contact has put Bernal and Skjelmose on the back foot again. Yates has taken over and started pulling on the front with the teammates again showing themselves as the strongest two riders at this race. 

Coming into the barriers section now with the UAE duo working well together ahead of those chasing. Will Yates allow his teammate the win?

It looks as though there are no gifts at all with Almeida powering away to the win now! Yates is gapped even in the finale.

Stage Finish

It's only small gaps over the top but it was another very successful day for the Emirati team who have dominated the GC action so far at this year's Tour de Suisse. Almeida has reduced the gap between him and Yates for 1-2 on GC having gained eight seconds thanks to his four-second lead over the line and four second bonus second advantage earned for the win. 

UAE Team Emirates is looking in very good stead with the Tour de France approaching later this month. Both Almeida and Yates will form part of their super team formed to support Tadej Pogačar in France as looks to complete a historic Giro-Tour double. 

Here's the moment João Almeida crossed the line to take victory at the Tour de Suisse, his first of the 2024 season, with teammate Adam Yates in the background. Yates leads the GC from his teammate by 27 seconds heading into the finale weekend.

Here's what Almeida had to say after his powerful solo win, squashing any talk of infighting between him and Yates in the coming days:

The GC standings after stage 6 of the Tour de Suisse, powered by FirstCycling. Strong work from Skjelmose to get back into the top five but the UAE duo are clearly in a different league at this race with over a minute lead on the next best rider Bernal.

Make sure to check out Cyclingnews' full stage report and growing gallery of a bizarre day's action at the Tour de Suisse:

Here's a look at the profile of the penultimate stage of the Tour de Suisse, with 118.2km route providing the finale change for the GC riders to make up time on the climbs before the stage 8 ITT on Sunday.

That wraps things up for our live coverage of stage 6 at the Tour de Suisse. Check back tomorrow for our live coverage of stage 7 alongside race reports, news and features from the cycling world.

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