Sure enough, Ireland’s Nicolas Roche is the first man over the Cap de Coste and takes the two king of the mountains points on offer.
There is another two on offer for the first rider over the Col des Mourezes and 10 at the category one Col de la Lusette.
The break are onto the first climb of the day – the category three Cap de Coste.
Nicolas Roche is the only one of this leading group with interest in the king of the mountains classification so far.
If he wins the two points on offer for the first man over the summit here then he’ll move up to fifth in that competition.
1. Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale) – 23 points
2. Michael Gogl (Aut/NTT Pro) – 12
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) – 10
4. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) – 8
5. Quentin Pacher (Fra/B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) – 6
6. Guillaume Martin (Fra/Cofidis) – 6
7. Toms Skujins (Lat/Trek-Segafredo) – 6
8. Kasper Asgreen (Den/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) – 6
9. Nicolas Roche (Ire/Team Sunweb) – 5
10. Nairo Quintana (Col/Arkea-Samsic) – 4
The eight riders out front are Nicolas Roche (Sunweb), Neilson Powless (EF), Edvald Boasson Hagen (NTT), Daniel Oss (Bora-Hansgrohe), Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Greg Van Avermaet (CCC), Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana).
They have a lead of 5mins 42secs with 50km left to race.
This is the other
seemingly perfect stage for Adam Yates, after Tuesday’s climb up to Orcieres-Merlette, which saw Primoz Roglic show his muscle.
Powering up to Mont Aigoual’s category 1 climb and stealing a
few seconds on his rivals would be good for him ahead of the weekend’s hard
slog in the Pyrenees, where he might have to hang on more than the pure
climbers such as Ineos’ Egan Bernal.
Is Adam Yates one of the strongest all-rounders never to
have won a Grand Tour stage? His twin brother and Michelton-Scott team-mate
Simon has won seven in total and the Vuelta a Espana outright. His two Tour
stage wins were last year.
That must be winding Adam up now. And there’s a “bit of banter” between the two over how much
more decorated Simon is, according to the team.
Boss Matt White really wants it to happen for Adam.
“This Tour team is a good one around Adam Yates. A bit of an outsider, really. He
had a big breakthrough in 2016 and we want to get him back at the level that he
has proved he can be at.”
Copyright: Getty Images
Poor Dayer Quintana has taken a tumble after riding over a bottle while looking over his shoulder for his team car.
The Arkea-Samsic rider is back up and riding soon enough fortunately.
And once again Sam Bennett is just too fast for Peter Sagan.
The Irishman takes 10th and six points at the intermediate sprint.
Sagan was 13th and gets just three.
So Bennett extends his lead in the green jersey to 12 points.
To be honest, it took my brain a second to realise that Sagan wasn’t in the green jersey there, I’ve become so accustomed to seeing him in it.
Kluge stays clear over the intermediate sprint point. So only a maximum of six points remain now.
Here come the sprinters off the front of the peloton.
Roger Kluge has popped off the front of the peloton for…….some reason.
Maybe he’s trying to take some intermediate sprint points off the table for team-mate Caleb Ewan’s rivals?
Or maybe he reckons he can bridge across to the breakaway to compete for the stage win.
Maybe he just got bored.
No one in this break is really interested in green jersey points but a few have some sprint pedigree.
Edvald Boasson Hagen, Daniel Oss and Greg van Avermaet all test out their legs, with the latter soon dropping back.
And Boasson Hagen holds off Oss to take the 20 points on offer for first over the line.
A fairly unremarkable parcous until the race tackles two category three climbs before the category one Col de la Lusette, followed by a tricky 15km to the finsih at Mont Aigoual.
The break are about 5km away from the intermediate sprint point now.
Copyright: Tour de France
One rider who is very happy that an eight-man break has gone up the road is green jersey leader Sam Bennett.
Those eight riders will take the first eight positions at the intermediate sprint point in about 10km.
That means a maximum of seven points will be left for ninth place. So even if Peter Sagan gets that and Bennett fails to score, the Slovakian will not overtake the Irishman in the standings.
The final climb is likely too tough for Sagan to stay in contention with the GC favourites so Bennett shouldn’t worry about Sagan competing for the points at the finish either.
Watch Sagan win the stage now I’ve said that.
1. Sam Bennett (Ire/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) – 123 points
2. Peter Sagan (Svk/Bora-Hansgrohe) – 114
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor/UAE Team Emirates) – 93
4. Caleb Ewan (Aus/Lotto Soudal) – 75
5. Matteo Trentin (Ita/CCC Team) – 70
6. Bryan Coquard (Fra/B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) – 66
7. Cees Bol (Ned/Team Sunweb) – 62
8. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita/NTT Pro) – 61
9. Wout van Aert (Bel/Jumbo-Visma) – 50
10. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) – 47
So it sounds like Adam Yates is pretty relaxed about this situation – if a strong break form and stay away to compete for the stage win, then so be it, he’ll just try to defend yellow instead.
It is a strong eight-man break out front currently, though their advantage has just dipped back under six minutes now.
Race leader Adam Yates, speaking to ITV4 before the start of stage six: “I was in the bus ready to go, showered, then got the call to say I might be in yellow so went to the podium straight away.
“It’s not every day you get to ride in the yellow jersey so even though it’s happened under strange circumstances, we’ll ride with pride and try to win the stage today.
“It depends what teams want to do and who wants to control it. Either option – if it stays together then I can try for the stage, if not we can try to keep the jersey for another day.”
Though in fairness to Yates, it wasn’t a post-stage interview he would’ve been prepared for…
It sounds like the race organisers were very fortunate to catch him in time to go onto the podium to accept the yellow jersey.
If Yates and Mitchelton-Scott are indeed happy to let the breakaway contest the stage win then I wonder when that got decided.
After his shock promotion into the race lead yesterday, Yates said: “I was looking to take the jersey on stage six anyway so I’ll go in with the same tactic – try to win the stage and see what happens.”
Yates is aiming for stage wins instead of general classification as this year’s Tour but being in yellow could limit his chances of stage wins as his rivals won’t allow him up the road.
Perhaps he is just looking to hold on to yellow for now, see what happens and perhaps target stages later in the race. The hilly ones this weekend could even provide opportunities.
The gap to the breakaway has gone out to 6mins 36secs with 100km to go.
With Mitchelton-Scott on the front of the peloton and seemingly happy to let the break have that advantage, it’s looking increasingly likely the peloton are happy for the stage winner to come from the break today.
Still a long way to go and the peloton will of course not let them have the full six minutes by the finish. But we could well be in for two races today – one for the stage win and one for the GC a couple of minutes further back.
A result of Adam Yates moving into the yellow jersey is his Mitchelton-Scott team have to do the work on the front of the peloton today.
Ineos Grenadiers are the second in line, with Jumbo-Visma third.
Deceuninck-Quick-Step will be gutted to have lost the race lead yesterday with such a poor mistake but they do at least get a day off dictating the pace.
And they’ll be happy that Remi Cavagna managed to make the break and has the chance to compete for the stage win.
Adam Yates is the ninth different British rider to lead the Tour de France.
I’ll be surprised if twin brother Simon doesn’t add his name to that list in the next few years.