George Bennett produced a brilliant performance to jump up the general classification and take 11th on the stage, photo Sirotti

George Bennett produced a strong breakaway performance in the Criterium du Dauphiné stage 6 to rocket up the general classification, while Chris Froome moved into a commanding position in the general classification as Thibaut Pinot claimed the stage for France.

There was no let up for the field in today’s stage of 141km between La Rochette and Méribel.  It was a hard day in the saddle from the start with five categorised climbs to contend with including the HC Col de la Madeleine and the category 1 rise to Méribel.  George Bennett of LottoNL-Jumbo made his way into a strong breakaway group containing a number of big names early on as a group of 27 eventually formed at the front of the field.  In the move were Tinkoff’s Roman Kreuziger and Robert Kiserlovski, FDJ’s Thibaut Pinot and Jérémy Roy, Etixx-Quick Step’s Laurens De Plus and Tony Marty, Astana’s Luis Leon Sanchez and Andriy Grivko, Daniel Teklehaimanot and Serge Pauwels of Dimension Data, Thomas Voeckler, Perrig Quémeneur and Romain Sicard of Direct Energie and Katusha’s Jurgen van den Broeck amongst others.

Interestingly Team Sky were the big losers in the break, not having a single rider in the move, so it would be up to them to take up the chase effort behind.  At the top of the first climb the peloton were 3.15mins behind the breakaway, with Teklehaimanot sweeping up maximum points.  He would take maximum points at the second climb of the day, the Col du Grand Cucheron, before fading on the Col de la Madeleine.

Perhaps because of the calibre of the riders in the break, Team Sky were unwilling to give the break a lot of rope to work with, and with 35km covered the break’s lead held at just 3.00mins.  The climb of the Madeleine saw Alberto Contador of Tinkoff attack from the main field.  It was an audacious attack, with the climb peaking with half the race still to cover.  The move drew Fabio Aru of Astana and Joaquim Rodriguez of Katusha, along with Contador’s teammate Jesper Hansen, Wanty Groupe Gobert’s Bjorn Thurau and Movistar’s Dayer Quintana out of the bunch and on the offensive as well.

Team Sky and BMC were left to chase behind them as Contador put the hurt on his breakaway companions and gained 30 seconds on the Froome group.  Up ahead with a lead of 1.45mins was the breakaway, but that group was also beginning to reshape itself with a number of riders – including king of the mountains leader Teklehaimanot – cracking under the pressure.  Thankfully though, George Bennett was being resilient, with their lead still standing for now.

What began as a strong attack from Contador floundered though as Team Sky set a steady pace to draw the Spaniard back; clearly aware that the stage still had plenty of racing left in it.  The catch was made with 4km left to the summit of the climb; and one had to wonder how much the move had taken out of him.  He gave an answer further up the climb with another attack that went in pursuit of a move by Fabio Aru of Astana, but that was countered by Romain Bardet of AG2R La Mondiale who did succeed in joining the Italian, with the two of them going after what was left of the break.

While many of the riders in the break, although good climbers, weren’t threats to the GC, the inclusion of Romain Bardet was one that had to be noted; as the Frenchman started the day 1.34mins back on the yellow jersey of Chris Froome.  The catch to the break was made by the Aru-Bardet pairing and at this point the break’s advantage was such that it put Bardet in the virtual race lead.  But the effort seemed to tell for Aru who then quickly fell back on the climb of Monteé des Frasses.  Up ahead George Bennett was still in the leading group which was breaking up still further with Thibaut Pinot, Jan Bakelants, Jurgen van den Broeck, Romain Bardet, Roman Kreuziger, Robert Kiserlovski, Laurens De Plus and Mickaël Chérel the only ones remaining.

 

Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet fought each other tooth and nail up the final climb, photo Sirotti
Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet fought each other tooth and nail up the final climb, photo Sirotti

 

But interestingly the gap to the Froome group was growing once again, with the leaders holding a 3.20mins lead with 26km to go.  Going down the descent of the Frasses Team Sky were lent a hand by Tony Martin who was working for teammate Julian Alaphilippe.

The final climb of the day, up Méribel-Les-Allues was some 12km in length with the sting in the tail.  Averaging 6.6% in gradient it went up to 11.2% right at the very end.  On the lower slopes Romain Bardet launched an attack and Thibaut Pinot was the only one to respond.  Pinot had a battle on his hands to bridge across, but he made it as the remnants of the break fragmented behind them.  George Bennett kept going though, determined to push onwards.  With 5km to go it was Team Sky once again regaining control of the race lead with the leaders now 1.45mins ahead and decreasing.

The two leaders were at loggerheads as to who would win the stage then, with Bardet attacking strongly and daring Pinot to join him.  With 1.9km to go they still had 1.27mins in hand but they were playing an attacking game as behind them George Bennett – in the company of Roman Kreuziger – was finally being caught by the Froome group.  It was a valiant effort out the front of the race, and a great sign for the Kiwi who has been named on the Tour de France long list.  But having been caught Bennett then dug deep to hold the wheels in the group; and he managed to do just that for almost the entire rest of the stage.

Sergio Henao continued to lead the group and pile on the pace with Chris Froome poised behind him.  Up ahead Thibaut Pinot left it up to Bardet to set the pace, unwilling to contribute to the rider who had repeatedly attacked him.  In the Froome group Bennett held his place towards the back of the group with Adam Yates of Orica GreenEDGE and Louis Meintjes of Lampre-Merida.  Coming towards the flamme rouge with 1km to go Bennett finally lost contact with the group but continued to fight onwards as a strong position on the general classification beckoned.

While Bardet and Pinot continued to joust, Froome was now left alone to set the pace.  With 200m to go Bardet and Pinot were matching each other as Bardet was forced to lead out the sprint for the win.  After a valiant effort it was compatriot Pinot who came past to take the stage.  Behind him an attack from Dan Martin triggered a response from Chris Froome and the pair of them put some time into Alberto Contador and Louis Meintjes who in turn distanced the rest of the group consisting of Richie Porte, Diego Rosa of Astana, Adam Yates and Julian Alaphilippe.

George Bennett crossed the line in 11th place to move up to 15th overall after a brilliant day in the breakaway.  Behind them Jack Bauer of Cannondale arrived hom in a large group containing Simon Gerrans of Orica GreenEDGE which Shane Archbold of Bora-Argon18 also in the group.

 

Stage results:

Rank Name Nat. Team Result
1 Thibaut PINOT FRA FDJ 4:24:16
2 Romain BARDET FRA ALM +0
3 Daniel MARTIN IRL EQS +1:04
4 Christopher FROOME GBR SKY +1:07
5 Louis MEINTJES RSA LAM +1:15
6 Alberto CONTADOR VELASCO ESP TNK +1:15
7 Diego ROSA ITA AST +1:17
8 Adam YATES GBR OGE +1:17
9 Julian ALAPHILIPPE FRA EQS +1:21
10 Richie PORTE AUS BMC +1:21
11 George BENNETT NZL TLJ +1:47
12 Roman KREUZIGER CZE TNK +1:55
13 Ben HERMANS BEL BMC +2:05
14 Pierre ROLLAND FRA CPT +2:07
15 Sergio Luis HENAO MONTOYA COL SKY +2:11
16 Mikel LANDA MEANA ESP SKY +2:29
17 Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK BEL KAT +2:35
18 Daniel NAVARRO GARCIA ESP COF +3:07
19 Jan BAKELANTS BEL ALM +4:05
20 Stef CLEMENT NED IAM +4:13
21 Emanuel BUCHMANN GER BOA +4:13
22 Damiano CARUSO ITA BMC +4:13
23 Robert KISERLOVSKI CRO TNK +5:14
24 Joaquin RODRIGUEZ OLIVER ESP KAT +5:54
25 Bart DE CLERCQ BEL LTS +5:54
26 Jesus HERRADA LOPEZ ESP MOV +5:54
27 Mikael CHEREL FRA ALM +5:54
28 Laurens DE PLUS BEL EQS +6:13
29 Dario CATALDO ITA AST +10:16
30 Guillaume MARTIN FRA WGG +11:13
31 Daryl IMPEY RSA OGE +11:13
32 Andre Fernando S. Martins CARDOSO POR CPT +11:13
33 Jerome COPPEL FRA IAM +11:13
34 Romain SICARD FRA DEN +11:30
35 Perrig QUEMENEUR FRA DEN +14:00
36 Cesare BENEDETTI ITA BOA +15:08
37 Valerio CONTI ITA LAM +15:47
38 Jack HAIG AUS OGE +15:47
39 Daniel MORENO FERNANDEZ ESP MOV +15:47
40 Bjorn THURAU GER WGG +15:47
41 Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE ESP TFS +15:47
42 Serge PAUWELS BEL DDD +15:47
43 Dayer Uberney QUINTANA ROJAS COL MOV +15:47
44 Stephen CUMMINGS GBR DDD +15:47
45 Tony GALLOPIN FRA LTS +15:47
46 Wout POELS NED SKY +15:47
47 Luis Leon SANCHEZ GIL ESP AST +15:47
48 Fabio ARU ITA AST +15:47
49 Tony MARTIN GER EQS +18:31
50 Stijn VANDENBERGH BEL EQS +19:33
51 Alexis VUILLERMOZ FRA ALM +19:33
52 Ben GASTAUER LUX ALM +19:33
53 Steve MORABITO SUI FDJ +19:41
54 Sébastien REICHENBACH SUI FDJ +19:41
55 Tsgabu Gebremaryam GRMAY ETH LAM +19:41
56 Benjamin KING USA CPT +19:41
57 Nelson Filipe SANTOS SIMOES OLIVEIRA POR MOV +19:41
58 Jérémy ROY FRA FDJ +19:41
59 Louis VERVAEKE BEL LTS +19:41
60 Alexey VERMEULEN USA TLJ +22:47
61 Anthony ROUX FRA FDJ +22:47
62 Amaël MOINARD FRA BMC +22:47
63 Brent BOOKWALTER USA BMC +22:47
64 Rohan DENNIS AUS BMC +22:47
65 Marc SOLER ESP MOV +22:47
66 Andriy GRIVKO UKR AST +22:47
67 Maxime BOUET FRA EQS +25:22
68 Manuele MORI ITA LAM +25:22
69 Thomas DE GENDT BEL LTS +25:22
70 Marinus Cornelis MINNAARD NED WGG +25:22
71 Patrick KONRAD AUT BOA +25:22
72 Michael VALGREN DEN TNK +25:22
73 Fabrice JEANDESBOZ FRA DEN +25:22
74 Dylan VAN BAARLE NED CPT +27:57
75 Roy CURVERS NED TGA +27:57
76 Mike TEUNISSEN NED TLJ +27:57
77 Tom Jelte SLAGTER NED CPT +27:57
78 Simon GERRANS AUS OGE +27:57
79 Koen DE KORT NED TGA +27:57
80 Christian MEIER CAN OGE +27:57
81 Luka PIBERNIK SLO LAM +27:57
82 Jonathan FUMEAUX SUI IAM +27:57
83 Julien BERNARD FRA TFS +27:57
84 Alexey LUTSENKO KAZ AST +27:57
85 Gert DOCKX BEL LTS +27:57
86 Paolo TIRALONGO ITA AST +27:57
87 Clement CHEVRIER FRA IAM +27:57
88 Enrico GASPAROTTO ITA WGG +27:57
89 Oliver NAESEN BEL IAM +27:57
90 Marcus BURGHARDT GER BMC +27:57
91 Bauke MOLLEMA NED TFS +27:57
92 Dimitri CLAEYS BEL WGG +27:57
93 Alex HOWES USA CPT +27:57
94 Matthieu LADAGNOUS FRA FDJ +27:57
95 Paul VOSS GER BOA +27:57
96 Alberto LOSADA ALGUACIL ESP KAT +27:57
97 Salvatore PUCCIO ITA SKY +27:57
98 Jesper HANSEN DEN TNK +27:57
99 Jack BAUER NZL CPT +27:57
100 Greg VAN AVERMAET BEL BMC +27:57
101 Bartosz HUZARSKI POL BOA +27:57
102 Ian STANNARD GBR SKY +27:57
103 Thomas VOECKLER FRA DEN +27:57
104 Shane ARCHBOLD NZL BOA +27:57
105 Sergio Miguel MOREIRA PAULINHO POR TNK +27:57
106 Edvald BOASSON HAGEN NOR DDD +27:57
107 Daniel TEKLEHAIMANOT ERI DDD +27:57
108 Francisco José VENTOSO ALBERDI ESP MOV +30:19
109 Victor CAMPENAERTS BEL TLJ +30:19
110 Frederik VEUCHELEN BEL WGG +33:58
111 Brian NAULEAU FRA DEN +33:58
112 Lars VAN DER HAAR NED TGA +33:58
113 Martin VELITS SVK EQS +33:58
114 Markel IRIZAR ARANBURU ESP TFS +33:58
115 Frederik BACKAERT BEL WGG +33:58
116 Rudy MOLARD FRA COF +33:58
117 Jens KEUKELEIRE BEL OGE +33:58
118 Thomas DEGAND BEL WGG +33:58
119 Samuel DUMOULIN FRA ALM +33:58
120 Mattia CATTANEO ITA LAM +33:58
121 Dennis VAN WINDEN NED TLJ +33:58
122 Cyril LEMOINE FRA COF +33:58
123 Antoine DUCHESNE CAN DEN +33:58
124 Jacopo GUARNIERI ITA KAT +33:58
125 Sondre HOLST ENGER NOR IAM +33:58
126 Lilian CALMEJANE FRA DEN +33:58
127 Youcef REGUIGUI ALG DDD +33:58
128 Moreno HOFLAND NED TLJ +33:58
129 Martijn KEIZER NED TLJ +33:58
130 Omar FRAILE MATARRANZ ESP DDD +33:58
131 Sam BENNETT IRL BOA +33:58
132 Cyril GAUTIER FRA ALM +33:58
133 Niki TERPSTRA NED EQS +33:58
134 Carter JONES USA TGA +33:58
135 Ramon SINKELDAM NED TGA +33:58
136 Edward THEUNS BEL TFS +33:58
137 Luke ROWE GBR SKY +33:58
138 Tony HUREL FRA DEN +33:58
139 Tomasz MARCZYNSKI POL LTS +33:58
140 Arthur VICHOT FRA FDJ +33:58
141 Zico WAEYTENS BEL TGA +33:58
142 Jens DEBUSSCHERE BEL LTS +33:58
143 Federico ZURLO ITA LAM +33:58
144 William BONNET FRA FDJ +33:58
145 Angel VICIOSO ARCOS ESP KAT +33:58
146 Ryder HESJEDAL CAN TFS +33:58
147 Michael MORKOV DEN KAT +33:58
148 Sebastian LANGEVELD NED CPT +33:58
149 Alexander KRISTOFF NOR KAT +33:58
150 Michael GOGL AUT TNK +33:58
151 Marco HALLER AUT KAT +33:58
152 Antonio PEDRERO LOPEZ ESP MOV +33:58
153 John DEGENKOLB GER TGA +33:58
DNF Borut BOZIC SLO COF  
DNF Igor ANTON HERNANDEZ ESP DDD  
DNF Nathan HAAS AUS DDD  
DNF Fumiyuki BEPPU JPN TFS  
DNF Aleksejs SARAMOTINS LAT IAM  
DNS Dominik NERZ GER BOA

 

 

General classification after stage 6:

Rank Name Nat. Team Result
1 Christopher FROOME GBR SKY 25:50:22
2 Richie PORTE AUS BMC +21
3 Romain BARDET FRA ALM +21
4 Daniel MARTIN IRL EQS +30
5 Alberto CONTADOR VELASCO ESP TNK +35
6 Julian ALAPHILIPPE FRA EQS +56
7 Adam YATES GBR OGE +1:02
8 Diego ROSA ITA AST +1:18
9 Louis MEINTJES RSA LAM +1:35
10 Thibaut PINOT FRA FDJ +2:12
11 Pierre ROLLAND FRA CPT +2:39
12 Mikel LANDA MEANA ESP SKY +3:02
13 Daniel NAVARRO GARCIA ESP COF +3:16
14 Sergio Luis HENAO MONTOYA COL SKY +3:34
15 George BENNETT NZL TLJ +4:16
16 Ben HERMANS BEL BMC +5:10
17 Damiano CARUSO ITA BMC +5:23
18 Emanuel BUCHMANN GER BOA +5:39
19 Stef CLEMENT NED IAM +5:44
20 Jan BAKELANTS BEL ALM +5:47
21 Joaquin RODRIGUEZ OLIVER ESP KAT +6:22
22 Roman KREUZIGER CZE TNK +6:36
23 Jesus HERRADA LOPEZ ESP MOV +6:43
24 Bart DE CLERCQ BEL LTS +7:52
25 Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK BEL KAT +8:27
26 Laurens DE PLUS BEL EQS +9:21
27 Mikael CHEREL FRA ALM +10:49
28 Guillaume MARTIN FRA WGG +13:38
29 Robert KISERLOVSKI CRO TNK +13:56
30 Romain SICARD FRA DEN +14:06
31 Andre Fernando S. Martins CARDOSO POR CPT +15:34
32 Valerio CONTI ITA LAM +16:45
33 Serge PAUWELS BEL DDD +17:34
34 Daniel MORENO FERNANDEZ ESP MOV +17:45
35 Fabio ARU ITA AST +17:58
36 Luis Leon SANCHEZ GIL ESP AST +18:15
37 Dayer Uberney QUINTANA ROJAS COL MOV +18:22
38 Wout POELS NED SKY +18:37
39 Jerome COPPEL FRA IAM +19:24
40 Bjorn THURAU GER WGG +19:36
41 Dario CATALDO ITA AST +21:19
42 Sébastien REICHENBACH SUI FDJ +23:03
43 Tony GALLOPIN FRA LTS +24:51
44 Nelson Filipe SANTOS SIMOES OLIVEIRA POR MOV +26:29
45 Andriy GRIVKO UKR AST +27:01
46 Steve MORABITO SUI FDJ +27:36
47 Bauke MOLLEMA NED TFS +28:11
48 Alexis VUILLERMOZ FRA ALM +29:02
49 Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE ESP TFS +29:08
50 Fabrice JEANDESBOZ FRA DEN +30:30
51 Jack HAIG AUS OGE +31:02
52 Daryl IMPEY RSA OGE +32:37
53 Patrick KONRAD AUT BOA +32:38
54 Stephen CUMMINGS GBR DDD +32:59
55 Perrig QUEMENEUR FRA DEN +34:50
56 Tsgabu Gebremaryam GRMAY ETH LAM +35:19
57 Enrico GASPAROTTO ITA WGG +36:15
58 Brent BOOKWALTER USA BMC +37:00
59 Clement CHEVRIER FRA IAM +37:14
60 Cesare BENEDETTI ITA BOA +37:15
61 Manuele MORI ITA LAM +37:36
62 Greg VAN AVERMAET BEL BMC +37:52
63 Amaël MOINARD FRA BMC +37:53
64 Cyril GAUTIER FRA ALM +38:58
65 Ben GASTAUER LUX ALM +39:09
66 Alberto LOSADA ALGUACIL ESP KAT +39:48
67 Paul VOSS GER BOA +40:09
68 Jérémy ROY FRA FDJ +40:36
69 Paolo TIRALONGO ITA AST +41:30
70 Oliver NAESEN BEL IAM +41:34
71 Jesper HANSEN DEN TNK +42:02
72 Benjamin KING USA CPT +42:05
73 Simon GERRANS AUS OGE +42:18
74 Ryder HESJEDAL CAN TFS +42:55
75 Arthur VICHOT FRA FDJ +44:30
76 Edvald BOASSON HAGEN NOR DDD +45:29
77 Tony MARTIN GER EQS +45:32
78 Anthony ROUX FRA FDJ +45:40
79 Thomas VOECKLER FRA DEN +45:53
80 Maxime BOUET FRA EQS +46:03
81 Bartosz HUZARSKI POL BOA +46:04
82 Rudy MOLARD FRA COF +46:22
83 Luka PIBERNIK SLO LAM +46:59
84 Rohan DENNIS AUS BMC +47:29
85 Tom Jelte SLAGTER NED CPT +49:07
86 Marcus BURGHARDT GER BMC +52:06
87 Jens KEUKELEIRE BEL OGE +53:15
88 Stijn VANDENBERGH BEL EQS +53:17
89 Louis VERVAEKE BEL LTS +53:26
90 Koen DE KORT NED TGA +53:38
91 Julien BERNARD FRA TFS +53:49
92 Alexey LUTSENKO KAZ AST +54:44
93 Tomasz MARCZYNSKI POL LTS +54:45
94 Marc SOLER ESP MOV +54:53
95 Gert DOCKX BEL LTS +56:29
96 Jonathan FUMEAUX SUI IAM +58:41
97 Salvatore PUCCIO ITA SKY +58:42
98 Luke ROWE GBR SKY +58:52
99 Christian MEIER CAN OGE +59:33
100 Daniel TEKLEHAIMANOT ERI DDD +59:57
101 Francisco José VENTOSO ALBERDI ESP MOV +1:00:38
102 Thomas DE GENDT BEL LTS +1:00:39
103 Alexey VERMEULEN USA TLJ +1:02:16
104 Marinus Cornelis MINNAARD NED WGG +1:02:26
105 Antonio PEDRERO LOPEZ ESP MOV +1:03:21
106 Alex HOWES USA CPT +1:03:23
107 Matthieu LADAGNOUS FRA FDJ +1:03:24
108 Samuel DUMOULIN FRA ALM +1:03:30
109 Dimitri CLAEYS BEL WGG +1:04:24
110 William BONNET FRA FDJ +1:05:03
111 Ian STANNARD GBR SKY +1:05:58
112 Frederik BACKAERT BEL WGG +1:07:04
113 Frederik VEUCHELEN BEL WGG +1:07:21
114 Lilian CALMEJANE FRA DEN +1:08:45
115 Shane ARCHBOLD NZL BOA +1:08:48
116 Lars VAN DER HAAR NED TGA +1:09:17
117 Tony HUREL FRA DEN +1:09:20
118 Angel VICIOSO ARCOS ESP KAT +1:09:37
119 Zico WAEYTENS BEL TGA +1:09:58
120 Michael VALGREN DEN TNK +1:10:50
121 John DEGENKOLB GER TGA +1:11:34
122 Dylan VAN BAARLE NED CPT +1:12:06
123 Omar FRAILE MATARRANZ ESP DDD +1:12:37
124 Sondre HOLST ENGER NOR IAM +1:13:09
125 Cyril LEMOINE FRA COF +1:14:13
126 Jack BAUER NZL CPT +1:14:44
127 Victor CAMPENAERTS BEL TLJ +1:14:55
128 Youcef REGUIGUI ALG DDD +1:15:11
129 Antoine DUCHESNE CAN DEN +1:15:13
130 Alexander KRISTOFF NOR KAT +1:15:59
131 Roy CURVERS NED TGA +1:16:05
132 Markel IRIZAR ARANBURU ESP TFS +1:16:57
133 Thomas DEGAND BEL WGG +1:17:38
134 Sam BENNETT IRL BOA +1:17:50
135 Sergio Miguel MOREIRA PAULINHO POR TNK +1:18:46
136 Mike TEUNISSEN NED TLJ +1:19:01
137 Martijn KEIZER NED TLJ +1:19:44
138 Martin VELITS SVK EQS +1:20:13
139 Brian NAULEAU FRA DEN +1:20:28
140 Marco HALLER AUT KAT +1:20:37
141 Moreno HOFLAND NED TLJ +1:22:31
142 Jens DEBUSSCHERE BEL LTS +1:23:11
143 Michael MORKOV DEN KAT +1:23:38
144 Edward THEUNS BEL TFS +1:23:40
145 Michael GOGL AUT TNK +1:24:54
146 Ramon SINKELDAM NED TGA +1:27:47
147 Sebastian LANGEVELD NED CPT +1:28:03
148 Carter JONES USA TGA +1:28:18
149 Jacopo GUARNIERI ITA KAT +1:28:56
150 Federico ZURLO ITA LAM +1:29:44
151 Mattia CATTANEO ITA LAM +1:30:47
152 Dennis VAN WINDEN NED TLJ +1:33:32
153 Niki TERPSTRA NED EQS +1:33:34

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