General classification shake up after stage 6 in Critérium du DauphinéFri 9 Jun 2017
ORICA-SCOTT’s general classification contenders Simon Yates and Esteban Chaves finished 16th and 17th respectively on today’s first real mountain stage in Criterium du Dauphiné.
The fireworks began on the final climb of the day, the Mont du Chat, which created significant splits and a move of four-riders left fighting it out for the stage victory.
Yates and Chaves found themselves in the fourth small group across the line at two minutes and 17seconds and two minutes 19seconds behind the stage winner Jakob Fugslang (Astana) who took a close sprint victory from Richie Porte (BMC Racing), the new overall race leader.
After today's stage, Yates moves up a few places to 12th overall and is now looking to the final two stages to try and claw back some time.
"I know the climb well but when you don't have the legs that doesn't make the difference. I hope it was just a bit of an off day but in this race there's no where to hide," Yates explained.
"We think the form is there and I'm looking forward to the weekend. They are hard days but maybe not as hard as today's climb."
Two-time grand tour podium finisher Chaves tested the legs by reacting to a move half-way up the climb but afterwards realised that maybe cost him when the winning move of the day went.
"The race was hard from the very start and the big guys went fast on the climb, faster than we could," Chaves said. "We lost a bit of time today but not too much. I reacted to the move of Valverde, maybe I was a bit excited, but that killed me a little."
"I know I can use change of speed on climbs but right now I can't. This is my first day of racing in the mountains since Lombardía last year, so we know this.
"Normally I feel better with every day that passes so hopefully we continue like this for the next two days."
How it happened:
After five day’s of racing, today’s stage six of the tour provided the team’s with their first mountainous test and opportunity for the Tour de France general classification contenders to battle it out.
The 147.5kilometre stage features a third and fourth category climb followed by a tough Hors Category climb, Mont du Chat, 8.7kilometres in length with an average gradient of 10.3%, summiting just 15kilometres from the finish.
Within the first 35kilometres of the stage, six riders broke away and established a sizeable advantage of seven and a half minutes.
The group made it out to a maximum advantage of eight minutes 20seconds before the peloton picked up the tempo and began to draw the leaders back in.
By the time the race hit the HC category climb, the leaders advantage dropped to just three minutes with BMC Racing team setting a fierce pace on the initial steep slopes.
Mid-way up the climb the breakaway reduced to just three riders at one minutes 20seconds as Valverde (Movistar) jumped away from the main chase group and was quickly followed by Chaves, Rafael Valls (Lotto-Soudal) and Fabio Aru (Astana).
The action continued as the group soon returned and further attacks came causing the chasing group to split once again with Yates and Chaves finding themselves back in the second small chase group on the road.
Aru finally caught the remaining leaders and led over top of the climb and was joined by Chris Froome (Team Sky), Richie Porte (BMC Racing) and Jakob Fugslang (Astana) on the descent, leaving the quadruplet to battled it out for the stage finish.
Fugslang came out on top in a close sprint with Yates now moving into 12th place overall and Chaves up to 17th with two more tough stages remaining.
Critérium du Dauphiné stage 6 results:
1. Jakob Fugslang (Astana) 3:41:48
2. Richie Porte (BMC Racing) ST
3. Chris Froome (Team Sky) ST
16. Simon Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) +2:17
General classification after stage 6:
1. Richie Porte (BMC Racing) 20:52:34
2. Chris Froome (Team Sky) +0:39
3. Jakob Fugslang (Astana) +1:15
12. Simon Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) +3:26
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com