Will Sagan be this year’s nearly man? So close but yet so far to winning a stage.
Today’s stage saw the Polka Dot jersey (King of the Mountains) on the shoulders of an African for the first time in history. Etirean, Daniel Teklehaimanot, riding for MTN-Qhubeka steadily plugged away in a three-man break to mop up each of the points that was available today.
Tony Martin’s day was not that great though. Going into the final couple of kilometers Martin clipped the wheel of a Europcar rider and went down. On his way down he also took out some of the Tour favorites in Quintana and Nibali with Froome just managing to stay on his bike. As bodies started to pick themselves up from the ground Martin was sitting with his left arm in that position that tells every cyclist “I’ve got a broken collarbone”. This was later confirmed by the team.
Making the most of the carnage behind him was Martin’s team mate Czech rider Zdenek Stybar. With a perfectly timed surge Stybar went clear of the chasing peloton to claim stage 6.
- Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN) made history today, by becoming the first ever African cyclist to wear the King of the Mountains red polka dot jersey, in the world’s the greatest cycle race.
- Drama and excitement continues in this action packed cycling thriller. Will the current race leader, Tony Martin (EQS) start the stage tomorrow after crashing in the final 800m and damaging his shoulder? He retains his position, and collected his yellow jersey on the podium. His teammate Zdenek Stybar (EQS) won the stage, which may lead to some mixed emotions in the Etixx-Quick Step camp tonight.
- A pre-Tour race favourite and defending champion, Vincenzo Nibali (AST) crashed in the same accident as Martin (EQS) today. He resumed, and completed the race without any visible injuries. Any crash leaves painful side effects though: could this affect his future performance in the Tour?
Day in data:
- Stage 6 of the 102nd Tour de France travelled from Abbeville (2nd time stage town), through Normandy, to Le Havre.
- 191.5 km – the length of today’s course with three Category 4 climbs.
- 120 km – the stretch of windy coastline along today’s route.
- 20 – the number of times Le Havre has been a stage town, making it one of the top five hosts of le Tour…after Pau (67), Paris (41), Alpe D’Huez (29), and GAP (23).
- 7% – steepest gradient of today’s stage: an 850m uphill climb of Côte d’Ingouville to the finish.
- 943.8 km – distance cyclists have travelled from the start in Utrecht.
- 36 – number of Tour de France victories by a French rider, the highest number of victories by a single nation.
- 25,000 – total number of refuse bags given out to the spectators and motor-home owners to ‘help le Tour protect the mountains’.
- 8 – the number of stages that are broadcast in full. @DimensionData’s BETA site is live during broadcast hours.
- 188 riders started today’s race.
- 39.108 km/h – the average speed on the stage.
- 33.63 km/h – average speed of fastest rider up Côte du Tilleul, Gregory Henderson (LTS).
- 75.89 km/h – top recorded speed on the stage by John Dagenkolb (TGA) at km 186.5.
- 00’02” – the time gap between the first and last rider.
- 49.09 km/h – top speed Teklehaimanot (MTN) reached just before the King of the Mountains point on Côte de Pourville-sur-Mer as the climb leveled out.
- 56.77 km/h – top speed on the intermediate sprint by Degenkolb (TGA) in the km before the Saint Leonard checkpoint.
- 36.13 km/h – speed of Van Bilsen (COF), who was ahead in the break, winning the intermediate sprint comfortably.
- 28.19 km/h – speed at which Tony Martin (EQS), crashed less than 1km from the finish line.
Average speeds up the Category 4 climbs:
- Climb 1 – Côte de Dieppe: Teklehaimanot (MTN) 23.40 km/h; Quemeneur (EUC) 23.39 km/h; van Bilsen (COF) 23.33 km/h.
- Climb 2 – Côte de Pourville-sur-Mer: Teklehaimanot (MTN) 25.36 km/h; Quemeneur (EUC) 25.48 km/h; van Bilsen (COF) 25.37 km/h.
- Climb 3 – Côte du Tilleul 25.02 km/h – average speed of Teklehaimanot (MTN) up the 3rd climb, claiming the maillot à pois rouges!
CZE | Zdenek Stybar | EQS
Stage time: 04h 53′ 46″
Average speed: 39.113 km/h
Tomorrow the riders tackle stage 7 of the Tour from Livarot to Fougères covering a total of 190.5KM. With only one Catagory 4 climb at the begining of the stage it will be one for the sprinters. The question for tomorrow is surely how Cav will do without Martin (assuming Martin does ride but does not want to get involved in the sprint) in the leadout train. Will Greipel make it a 3rd win or will we see Sagan take a stage?