Teuns wins Stage 6 of Tour de France, Ciccone takes race lead

Peter Sagan

Teuns won the ultra-tough mountain stage to Planche des Belles Filles when he and Ciccone, a relatively unknown duo, crossed the summit finish line as the sole survivors of a mass breakaway.

Defending champion Geraint Thomas wakes up this morning the odds-on favourite to win the Tour De France, after the race's first major climb produced an equally mammoth shake-up in the betting. By the end of it all though, there was a new man in possession of the yellow jersey, Giulio Ciccone, the 269th in it's 100-year history.

"My task on the Tour de France was to gain experience and help Richie so that's what I'm going to do now", he said.

The longest stage of this year's race, 230km from Belfort to Chalon-sur-Saône, was eventually won by Jumbo-Visma sprinter Dylan Groenewegen.

After finishing runner-up at the Criterium du Dauphine, a traditional warmup race for the Tour, the 30-year-old van Garderen high expectations at the Tour, where he finished fifth twice during his years with the BMC team.

"I was not at the required level today, and as hard as it is I have to face it", Bardet told reporters.

The previous wearer of the iconic shirt, French rider Julian Alaphilippe, did everything he could to keep it, battling behind up the ascent, through clouds of dust kicked up by Teuns and Ciccone on a section without tarmac.

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"I think maybe everyone is getting a bit carried away with Egan", he said.

"It is one of those climbs where you have to patient".

One of the fastest sprinters in the world and on one of the most powerful teams, the Dutch sprinter was expected to win the opening stage and seize the yellow jersey. "He's the best rider there is for Grand Tours and stage races, so he'll be great teacher for me, I'm lucky to be with him next season".

Two riders ploughed a lonely trail off the front for 217 kilometres, with Yoann Offredo (Wanty-Gobert) and Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis) swept up 13 kilometres from the finish.

Spending the day in the breakaway, Ciccone mopped up much of the mountains points on offer on the Tour's first hilly stage on 2019, but still sits in second in the climber's classification, 13 points behind Tim Wellens, Alaphilippe taking 11th position. My team did a really good job. However, Thomas is separated by only 35 seconds from Adam Yates, with Bernal, Pinot, Michael Woods, Rigoberto Uran, and Fuglsang all sandwiched between them.

"Tomorrow will be a very hard stage again".

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