Voeckler Wins Stage 6 of Criterium du Dauphine Libere 2013
Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) has won Stage 6 of the Dauphine Libere. He won in his trademark fashion, from a breakaway. The French veteran jumped into a four-man break and then took a four-up sprint to win the hilly, 143-km run from La Lechere-les-Bains to Grenoble in 3:24:13.
Jose Herrada (Movistar) finished second, and Kevin Seeldrayers (Astana) took third. Chris Froome (Sky) remains the race leader.
At the beginning of the stage, the peloton kept a tight lid on things to prevent escapes. At 22 km, Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) got free and took Thomas Rohregger (RadioShack-Leopard), Jerome Coppel (Cofidis), Pierre Rolland (Europcar), Sebastien Duret (Bretagne-Seche Environnement), and Jan Barta (NetApp-Endura) with him. The bunch reeled in the move, but at 46 km, Azzan Basayev (Astana), Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM), and Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp-Endura) went clear. Europcar kept the break on a short leash, and the escapees never led the field by more than 1:30. The fugitives were reeled in on the day's first climb, the Category 4 Cote d'Arvillard.
On the next ascent, the Category 1 Col du Barioz, Voeckler, Alexandre Geniez (Francaise des Jeux), Seeldrayers and Egor Silin (both from Astana), Herrada, Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM), Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Tim Wellens (Lotto-Belisol) got clear. Sky pegged the lead but did not make a determined attempt to reel in the octet. The break's advantage maxed out at 2:50 on the Category 2 Col des Ayes (90.5 km).
Omega Pharma-Quick Step, later assisted by BMC, attempted to reel in the fugitives. With 30 km left, the bunch was within two minutes of the break. Seeldrayers, Herrada, Voeckler, and Silin dropped their companions. With 10 km to go, it was obvious that the break would stay away.
In the last two km, the break members began to play cat and mouse. Silin attacked, but Herrada rode him down. With 400 m left, Seeldrayers made his move. Voeckler countered and held on for the win.
In the overall, Froome leads teammate Richie Porte by 0:52 and Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) by 0:54. Stage 7, a 187.5-km ride from Le Pont-de-Claix to Superdevoluy, will be a standing shaker. The race's queen stage will feature the hors categorie Alpe d'Huez, the Category 1 Col d'Ornon, and the Category 1 Col du Noyer before ending on the Category 3 Montee de Superdevoluy. Who will win? Froome? Porte? Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!