Pello Bilbao wins sixth stage, Geraint Thomas consolidate GC lead at Dauphine
Jun 09 2018 09:06 pm CET

Pello Bilbao wins sixth stage, Geraint Thomas consolidate GC lead at Dauphine
Pello Bilbao wins sixth stage, Geraint Thomas consolidate GC lead at Dauphine

Astana's Pello Bilbao has taken the victory of the sixth stage at the Criterium du Dauphine. The Spaniard crossed the finish line on his own following a day in the breakaway group.

The seventh day of racing of the French race was over a 110-kilometre route between Frontenex and La Rosiere Espace San Bernardo that included two Hors catégorie climbs, one of the second category and a mountain finish on a first category ascent. Early on the stage, a group of three attackers went away from the peloton and soon grew until 27 riders were in front.

Riders like Pello Bilbao (Astana), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Carlos Verona (Mitchelton-Scott), Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic), Brent Bookwalter (BMC) and Neilson Powless (LottoNL-Jumbo) created a gap of more than two minutes over the pack. As the climbs passed, this front group dropped members until only eight of them remained in the lead.

Behind, the steepness of the climbs also took a toll on the pack and riders like Gianni Moscon (Sky), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) and Michael Valgren (Astana) lost contact with the rest.

On the last descent of the day, Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) accelerated from the pack and created a good gap but a couple of kilometres later he was caught back by the peloton. At the last ascent, Marc Soler (Movistar) attacked from the peloton and at the same time, AG2R La Mondiale's Pierre Latour continued his attacking mode by accelerating again at the front.

Soler got the company of his teammate Hector Carretero and soon created a considerable gap with the reduced group. The duo caught Barguil and the three of them continued to try to catch the rest of the escapees that were already compact again after the unsuccessful attack of Latour.

At nine kilometres to go, Ian Boswell (Katusha-Alpecin) changed the rhythm at the front and went solo while Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-hansgrohe) did the same from the reduced group. With eight kilometres remaining, Bilbao re-joined Boswell and seemed stronger than the American, leaving him riding behind to be reeled back in by the chasers.

Behind in the very reduced pack, Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) launched an attack and was followed by Yellow Jersey wearer Geraint Thomas (Sky), Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale). The trio soon arrived to the chasers and overtook them almost straight away.

A change of rhythm by Martin with six kilometres remaining left Yates struggling behind, while Thomas and Bardet were able to handle it. A kilometre later, Yates made contact again with the Yellow Jersey group and the four of them continued together in the last meters until Thomas attacked with 300 metres to go.

Bilbao crossed the finish line on his own and 21 seconds later, Thomas did the same, increasing his advantage in the General Classification with one day to go. Yates is the second in the overall classification at one minute and 29 seconds from the Sky rider and Bardet is third, two minutes and one second behind.




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