The 6th stage is a relatively flat one that allowed the riders to get over the fun and games of the previous day and prepare for tomorrow's biggie. At 200km long they took off from Semur-en-Auxois, travelled through the Burgundy region and finished at Bourg-en-Bresse which is situated between Lyon and Geneva at the foothills of the Alps.
So, with 3 tortuous days through the Alps ahead of you, what would be the single most suicidal thing to try? Hmmm, perhaps a lone breakaway that would last the best part of 200km on the warmest day of the Tour so far. But surely there's no-one crazy enough to try that... Oh yes there is and his name is Bradley Wiggins.
Yes that's right Madly Wiggins took off, opened up a 17 minute break, picked up every sprint and mountain bonus and then was caught and spat out the back 7km from the finish line.
It all came down to a final day for the sprinters before they go into hiding and Tom Boonen proved too strong winning the stage and the Green Jersey. He was too strong for Oscar Freire and Erik Zabel on the line.
Silvain Chavenal extended his lead for the Polka Dot Jersey a tad more -- but expect this competition to take on a whole different look over the next few days. No surprise that Mad Brad (Wiggins) was given the honour of sporting a nifty set of red numbers for his combativeness and the White Jersey for Best Young Rider has moved across to Romain Feillu of AG2R.
Cadel Evans was able to stay out of trouble today and chose the wise option of steering well clear of the final sprint - smart move. He's in 16th place, still 56 seconds behind the leader. So little change today but all the big guns would have been keeping their powder dry for stage 7. The Tour is about to go vertical!!!
2 Andreas Kloden (Astana) 33 secs
6 George Hincapie (Discovery) 43 secs
18 Michael Rogers (Team Mobile) 57 secs
19 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Caisse D’Epargne) 57 secs
22 Levi Leipheimer (Discovery) 1 min
23 Denis Menchov (Rabobank) 1 min
36 Christophe Moreau (AG2R) 1 min 9 secs
47 Carlos Sastre (CSC) 1 min 16 secs
49 Haimar Zulbeldia (Eukatel) 1 min 17 secs
53 Iban Mayo (Saunier) 1 min 20 secs
63 Juan Miguel Mercado (Agritubel) 1 min 26
81 Alexander Vinokourov (Astana) 2 min 10 secs
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Saturday, July 14, 2007