Bozic Takes Stage 6 of Vuelta
Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil) is the first Slovenian to win a stage of the Vuelta a Espana. Bozic took a bunch sprint to win the rolling, 176.8-km ride in and around Xativa in 4:40:50. Tyler Farrar (Garmin) finished second, and Daniele Bennati (Liquigas) took third. Andre Greipel (Columbia) remains the overall leader.
As was the case in Stage 5, the riders labored in 100-degree Fahrenheit heat. The heat, however, did not deter Mattheus Pronk (Vacansoleil), Jose Antonio Lopez (Andalucia), Bingen Fernandez (Cofidis), and Aitor Perez Arrieta (Contentopolis). The quartet sallied off of the front in the opening km and led the field by seven minutes at 30 km. Columbia charged to the front and pegged the lead at five minutes.
On the Alto de Beniganim, Pronk and Perez were dropped. Paolo Tiralongo (Lampre) bridged up to the two remaining leaders with 20 km left. Behind, Quick Step and Liquigas organized the pursuit.
With 16 km remaining, the bunch reeled in the break. Six km later, world road race champion Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) attacked. Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) joined him, and the pair forged a 15-second lead. Davide de la Fuente joined them, but Columbia was having none of it. Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) and David Moncoutie (Cofidis) made solo moves, but the peloton was together at the one-km banner.
With 250 m remaining, Bozic burst past Tom Boonen (Quick Step), Bennati, and Farrar. Farrar gave chase but came up a bike length short.
In the overall, Greipel leads Boonen by 0:06 and Bennati by 0:09. None of these riders will lead the race after Stage 7. The flat, 30-km individual time trial will start and end in Valencia. Expect Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) to win it. Because he is only 0:18 out of the race lead, do not bet against him regaining the overall lead. Check in at www.roadcycling.com and see how he does. Located in the US? Visit out videos section at www.roadcycling.com/video to watch our daily La Vuelta Video highlights.