The first mountain stage in this year’s Dauphiné, saw also the first big battle between the GC contenders. Emanuel Buchmann showed another impressive ride, battling with the best on the last climb. In the end he took 10th place and also leads the young rider classification now.
From today on, the Dauphiné hits the mountains, and for Emanuel Buchmann the decisive days for the GC start. The 6th stage over 147.5k between Parc des Oiseaux and La Motte-Servolex, was marked by the first HC climb, 15k before the finish. With a length of 8,7k and an average gradient of 10.3%, the Mont du Chat was the first real test for the climbers in the peloton.
For BORA – hansgrohe leader Emanuel Buchmann, everything worked out well so far. In the first stage, he gained some seconds on the main GC rivals with a late attack. In the time trial, he did even better than expected. Overall, he but himself in a perfect position before entering the decisive part of the race.
Early in the stage, 6 riders went away from the peloton. With a gap of almost 8 minutes, quite some advantage after one hour of racing. But the GC favorites in the bunch all focused on the final climb of the day, and there was no panic at all among them. Also BORA – hansgrohe just stayed together in the bunch to protect Emanuel Buchmann.
First BMC set the pace in the peloton, but it was AG2R who really started to chase the leaders on the last 40k. On the penultimate KOM of the day, the advantage of of the leading riders was still 5:30, but AG2R pulled hard to prepare an attack of R. Bardet.
On the foot of the Mont du Chat Emanuel Buchmann had still Christoph Pfingsten and Silvio Herklotz with him. When BMC hit the front again to set a magnificent pace, the BORA – hansgrohe leader was well placed in a diminished bunch, while the yellow jersey was dropped already.
With 20k to go, A. Valverde surprisingly early made a move, as Emanuel Buchmann first chased him down, before the German launched another attacked together with J. Fuglsang. 3k from the KOM, Buchmann couldn’t follow Fuglsang anymore. After being overtaken from Porte, Froome and Aru, he started the final decent in 7th place, but made a small mistake in a corner, and had to settle for 10th place in the end, while Fuglsang took the stage win. For Buchmann this result means also the lead in the young rider classification.
“I felt really strong again today. Unfortunately, I couldn’t hang on Fuglsangs’ wheel until the top of the climb. I rode my own pace then. In the downhill Valverde and Bardet took a lot of risk. I made a small mistake in one corner and couldn’t close the gap anymore. Therefore, I was 10th in the end. I am really happy with this result. Now we have to see what’s possible in the next days.” – Emanuel Buchmann
“Another impressive performance from Emu today. Being up there with the best on the last climb, was really strong. But also all the other guys did a great job. Especially before the last climb, the positioning was important today. If Emu recovers well and stays healthy, we will get more chances the next days.” – Enrico Poitschke, sports director.