Groenewegen wins stage six in dramatic sprint finish at Tour de France

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Dylan Groenewegen claimed victory in the sixth stage of the Tour de France after a nail-biting photo finish in Dijon. The Dutch rider secured his sixth career stage win in cycling’s biggest race, narrowly beating Jasper Philipsen and Biniam Girmay. The day’s race began in Macon, covering 163.5 kilometres through the scenic Burgundy vineyards. Jonas Abrahamsen and Axel Zingle initiated an early breakaway, but the duo was soon reeled back in by the peloton.

The stage was characterised by nervous energy and the threat of crosswinds, which caused the peloton to split and reform multiple times. With eighty kilometres to go, Team Visma-Lease a Bike took control, but the peloton eventually came back together, setting the stage for a mass sprint.

In the final kilometres, the sprinters’ teams jockeyed for position. Mathieu van der Poel provided an excellent lead-out for Philipsen, but it was Groenewegen who timed his effort perfectly to take the win by inches. Reflecting on his victory, Groenewegen said, “I actually don’t know what happened but I was first.”

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Philipsen’s relegation and Van Aert’s frustration

The sprint finish was not without controversy. Jasper Philipsen, who crossed the line second, was relegated to 107th place for blocking Wout van Aert. Van Aert, visibly upset, criticised Philipsen’s manoeuvre, telling Sporza, “I was once again boxed in by Jasper Philipsen in the sprint, everyone saw that. That is a bad habit of his.”

Van Aert continued, “It wasn’t necessarily super dangerous, because I was just able to brake in time. But I sprinted up to his level, and I don’t understand why he then swerved towards the barriers.”

Cavendish’s mechanical woes

Mark Cavendish faced his own set of challenges during the stage. A mechanical problem with his chain and interference from a TV motorbike disrupted his race. Cavendish expressed his frustration to Peacock, stating, “I had a mechanical problem – my chain wrapped and locked under my bottom bracket. I started to panic when the TV camera – it’s the second time this particular camera’s done it – he goes in the middle of the road and stops the convoy coming. That creates – you’re out the back.”

Looking ahead to the time trial

Attention now shifts to Friday’s time trial, a 25-kilometre race against the clock featuring a challenging climb. Van Aert, reflecting on the upcoming stage, said, “Tomorrow’s time trial is going to be a very important day in this Tour. It’s a course for the typical time trial riders with long straights and beautiful and hilly roads. The climb in the middle is going to provide the most differences. I want to go full gas and see how far I can get.”

Jonas Vingegaard, also looking forward to the time trial, commented, “It was a stressful day because of the wind. We saw our chance as a team along the way to give it a try. Very briefly there actually were echelons. As a team we rode a strong stage today.” He added, “Tomorrow I expect it to be a fast time trial. I definitely put Remco Evenepoel and Tadej Pogacar among the favourites for tomorrow. I’m going to do my very best to get the best possible result.”

2024 Tour de France Stage 6 result

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All photo credits: Getty

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