Yates 6th on stage 6 as more favourites suffer misfortune at the Tour de France

Thu 12 Jul 2018

Touted as the first day for the general classification riders of this year’s Tour de France, stage six ended up as such, with Mitchelton-SCOTT’s Simon Yates finishing strongly in sixth position to move up to 13th overall.

The finish up the Mur de Bretagne saw Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) attack from one kilometre to go to take a solo victory, with Yates finishing with a select group of riders at six-seconds adrift.

First echelons
It was another easy escape for five riders who formed the day’s breakaway from the flag. They rode out to a nine-minute advantage before Quickstep Floors took advantage on the wind to put it in the gutter and create the first echelons of this year’s Tour de France with 100km to go.

Leader Yates made the first group with four teammates, whilst a number of other favourites were forced to chase back on. It eventually re-grouped but the gap to the breakaway had been demolished to just over two minutes with 75km to go. 

First time up the Mur de Bretagne
Four remaining leaders approached the first ascent of the Mur de Bretagne with a 30seconds advantage but they were caught before the peak as the peloton pushed the pace. 

New Zealand’s Jack Bauer pushed the pace over top and down the descent to make it difficult for the bunch and help support leader Yates by reducing the size of the bunch in contention for the final ascent.

The final climb
With two-time stage winner Peter Sagan still in the bunch Bora-Hangrohe led the reduced bunch in the final 10km, and they ended the move of Bauer with four kilometres remaining.

Sky took over the head of affairs in the three kilometres and towards the bottom of the climb.  Richie Porte (BMC Racing Team) attacked with 1.2km to go but was immediately shut down before a counter attack from Martin proved the perfect tactic. 

The chase was on but Martin held on by one second to Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) and three seconds to a group of 13 riders, including Yates. 

Misfortune for some:
As with every stage so far, there was some losers. 

2017 Giro d’Italia champion Tom Dumoulim (Team Sunweb) suffered a puncture on the approach to the final climb, as did Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) shortly after. The pair lost 31 and 53seconds respectively. 

Adam Yates:
“It was a pretty short climb so you’ve only got one shot and I followed Richie (Porte) and G (Geraint Thomas) there but Dan Martin was just too strong. He put in a really strong attack and held it all of the way to the line. Congratulations to him, no one could follow him.

“Richie did another big pull in the end on the front of our group, but really it was just all of the GC guys together, no one lost time except for those who had bad luck. 

“It’s another day done, and now we have to wait another three or four days for another mountain stage.”

Tour de France – Stage 6 Results:
1. Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates) 4:13:43
2. Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) +0:01
3. Alexandre Valverde (Movistar Team) +0:03
6. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:03

Tour de France – General Classification after Stage 6:
1. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) 22:35:46
2. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) +0:03
3. Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) +0:05
13. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:02

Photo courtesy Getty Images.