Dylan Groenewegen of Jayco–AlUla team bags win at 6th stage of Tour

In a development that astonished precisely nobody, the sprinters took centre stage in stage 6. The race ventured into Burgundy, travelling from Mâcon to Dijon, marking the Tour‘s return after a 27-year absence. The Dutch champion, Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco–AlUla), narrowly bested Jasper Philipsen at the finish. The Belgian fell short of victory for the second consecutive day, with Biniam Girmay securing third place. Groenewegen claimed his sixth Tour stage win, his first since stage 3 of the 2022 edition in the Danish town of Sønderborg. It was also the sixth straight Tour bunch sprint won by a different rider. The day passed without a noteworthy breakaway, but intermittent rain and persistent crosswinds kept the cyclists alert throughout the 163.5 km route. After barely avoiding a crash on Wednesday, Tadej Pogačar faced another close call today when Jonas Vingegaard’s teammates managed to split the peloton with 82 km remaining. The leader found himself as the lone UAE Team Emirates representative in the 50-strong lead group, but it proved inconsequential when the second group rejoined about 10 km later. It was another near miss for the Slovenian, who will begin the first time trial in the yellow jersey tomorrow.

The group departed from Mâcon —birthplace of poet Alphonse de Lamartine and footballer Antoine Griezmann— at 1:52 pm. Mads Pedersen, wrapped in bandages after a nasty tumble in the previous stage’s finale, pressed on, keeping the peloton at 174 riders before the 163.5 km long stage 6. No one made a move as the flag dropped, but the pace was brisk from the start, with the top contenders, including the chap in yellow, Tadej Pogačar, alert at the front. It was a clear sign that the main rivals were wary of the moderate crosswinds set to buffet the peloton almost non-stop across the Saône-et-Loire and Côte-d’Or regions.

Every bit counts for Abrahamsen

The king of the mountains, Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X Mobility), quickened the pace on the Col du Bois Clair, the day’s only climb, 9 km into the stage. Axel Zingle (Cofidis) stuck to his wheel but couldn’t stop the Norwegian from crossing the category 4 ascent first and boosting his lead in the mountains classification (26 points, six ahead of Pogačar). The pair pushed on over the top, stretching their lead over the peloton to 1’15” before easing up on the approach to the intermediate sprint in Cormatin, 31 km into the stage, where Jasper Philipsen nabbed top points. The Belgian outsprinted Biniam Girmay, who became the first African rider to don the green jersey that morning, and Mads Pedersen.

Pogačar briefly isolated

The peloton trundled along until Lotto Dstny tried —and failed— to force a split in the pack. In the end, it was the European champion, Christophe Laporte (Visma | Lease a Bike), who managed to break up the group with 81 km to go, just as Mark Cavendish got a puncture. The yellow jersey, Tadej Pogačar, found himself alone in the lead group after all his teammates were caught off guard, but the peloton regrouped 70 km from the finish.

Groenewegen clinches it in a photo finish

The tension in the peloton was palpable, so the leaders huddled at the front of the race to avoid any unpleasant surprises before letting the sprinters battle it out in sunny Dijon, where the Tour had last visited in 1997. Alexander Kristoff’s Uno-X Mobility sprint train led the charge under the red kite, but Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco–AlUla) derailed it to claim the first stage win by a reigning Dutch champion since Léon van Bon triumphed in Tours in 2000. The photo finish was conclusive: Groenewegen was the victor, while Jasper Philipsen had to settle for second, as he had done in Saint-Vulbas the day before.

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