|After climbing to the best young rider lead on yesterday’s summit finish, Paris-Nice and Tour of Romandie stage winner Simon Yateshas successfully retained the white jersey after stage six of the Tour de France today.
A long and hot day on the road finished with an expected bunch sprint won by Marcel Kittel (Quickstep Floors). Behind, after being protected by his ORICA-SCOTT teammates throughout the day, Yates rolled safely across the line in 60th place.
“On a day like this it’s not so difficult on the body, it’s more in the head with the stress of fighting for position and making sure you’re in the front and not behind any crashes or splits in the bunch,” Yates explained after a five-hour day in the saddle at over 35degrees.
“The heat wasn’t too bad until the end in the last hour when the paced picked up to catch the break.
“Before then it was OK. You could manage yourself and take on the fluids you need to. In the final it’s more stressful and it’s difficult to cool yourself down.”
Sport director Matt White said the stage ended up being an reasonably stable one.
“At the start of the day we knew there was some open roads and the potential for winds so we needed the guys to be attentive all day,” White explained. “In the end the wind died down and really didn’t have any impact on the race.”
“It’s another day done. On these days our aim is to get through safely and use as little energy as possible.”
How it happened:
After yesterday’s summit finish, the roads on stage six returned to flat terrain with another sprint finish expected.
Proceedings followed suit with three riders forming the break of the day and the peloton allowing them a maximum four-minute and average of two-minute advantage for the majority of the 200+km stage.
Perfectly controlled, the sprint teams left the trio out in front before sweeping them up with just three kilometres to go ahead of the bunch sprint.
Kittel was too strong, coming from almost ten riders back to take a clear victory as the peloton rolled in safely behind.
Tour de France – Stage 6 Results:
1. Marcel Kittel (Quickstep Floors) 5:05:34
Tour de France – General Classification after stage 6:
1. Chris Froome (Team Sky) 23:44:33