(c) TDWSport.com
Stage 6 of the Tour de France provided another opportunity for the sprinters with a bunch sprint playing out and Richie Porte staying out of trouble on the 216km stage.
After the first General Classification battle and summit finish on stage 5, the peloton was happy to sit up immediately as the flag dropped at KM 0 and three riders went clear to form the day’s breakaway.
With a sprint victory up for grabs, the sprinters’ teams kept the trio’s advantage to within four minutes in the first half of the stage.
The peloton timed the catch to perfection and the race was brought together with 3km to go, by which time the sprint trains were already formed.
BMC Racing Team retained a strong presence at the front of the bunch until this point to protect Richie Porte and in doing so, Porte crossed the line safely in the bunch behind stage winner Marcel Kittel (Quickstep Floors).
Porte retains fifth on the General Classification, 39 seconds behind race leader Chris Froome, going into stage 7 which is expected to be another day for the sprinters.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Richie Porte:
“It was nice to get that one out of the way. Today was such a long day. We probably could have had the same result with half the distance so it’s just nice to get it done. As we say, there is nothing to gain but so much to lose. It was quite a hectic finish but the guys were once again absolutely incredible. Tomorrow will be another long day.”
Fabio Baldato, Sports Director:
“It was a good day but a bit nervous at the end because we saw the thunderstorm was just over the peloton. The wind was changing so that was a bit stressful as you never know what to expect when it changes direction. The guys were really good to keep Richie in front, protected, all together. I expect a little bit the same tomorrow. It’s just another transfer day for the GC guys.”