Rodriguez Wins Stage 6 of Dauphine Libere
Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) has won Stage 6 of the Dauphine Libere.
Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) has won Stage 6 of the Dauphine Libere. The Spaniard soloed away from the field in the last five km to win the mountainous, 192.5-km ride from Les Gets to Le Collet d'Allevard in 5:12:47. Robert Gesink (Rabobank) finished second at 0:31, and Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Quick Step) took third at 0:39. Bradley Wiggins remains the overall leader.
The hostilities began early, and many riders attempted to escape. Not until 57 km, however, did a successful break form. In the break were Juan Manuel Garate (Rabobank), Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel), Mauro Finetto (Liquigas), Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Andrei Amador (Movistar), Kevin Seeldrayers (Quick Step), Yuri Trofimov (Katusha), and Sandy Casar (Française des Jeux). The eight fugitives made their getaway on the Category 3 Col des Aravis, but the peloton kept them on a short leash, with their lead maxing out at 3:45.
Sky led the chase. At the base of the Category 1 Col de Grand Cucheron, the break led the bunch by about two minutes. The gap had narrowed to 0:30 at the base of the Hors Categorie ascent of the climb to the finish.
Astana and Sky took over the pacemaking. Riders slid out of the back, and the yellow jersey group reeled in the break with 10 km left. Three km later, Vinokourov attacked out of the yellow jersey group, and Rodriguez followed him. Rodriguez attacked and dropped Vinokourov.
The yellow jersey group was reduced to Gesink, Vinoukourov, Stage 5 winner Christophe Kern (Europcar), Van Den Broeck, Cadel Evans (BMC), and Sorensen. Gesink set out after Rodriguez, and Van Den Broeck and Kern followed him. Evans dropped off of the pace and would lose 0:17 to Wiggins. With one km remaining, Rodriguez led Gesink by 0:40.
In the overall, Wiggins leads Evans by 1:26 and Vinokourov by 1:52. Stage 7, the race's final stage, will provide one final challenge for Wiggins. The 117.5-km climb from Pontcharra to La Toussuire will feature the Hors Categorie Col de la Croix de Fer and the Category 1 climb to the finish. Will the Briton successfully defend his yellow jersey against the attacks that are sure to come? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!