By Thomas Dodd
- Mark Cavendish wins 29th Tour stage of career to move one clear of Bernhard Hinault on overall list
- Dimension Data rider claims third victory in six days at 2016 event
- Stage 6 was last chance for sprinters until next Wednesday as race heads in Pyrenees from tomorrow.
MONTAUBAN, FRANCE – Britain’s Mark Cavendish won his third stage of this year’s Tour de France to move into second alone on the all-time list of stage wins.
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The 29th first-placed finish of the Manxman’s remarkable Tour career saw him move one clear of French legend Bernard Hinault, and puts him just five behind five-time Tour winner Eddy Merckx.
As several sprint teams struggled to form their lead out trains, Cavendish sat on rival Marcel Kittel’s wheel on the run into Montauban and powered past the German in the final hundred metres.
Britain’s Daniel McLay, competing in his first Tour de France for the Fortuneo Vital Concept team, finished a brilliant third ahead of experienced sprinters such as Peter Sagan and Bryan Coquard.
Stage six provided the last opportunity for the sprinters before the Pyrenees well and truly loom into view from tomorrow, and a bunch finish was never in doubt after the two-man breakaway of Jan Barta and Yukiya Arashiro was gobbled up with 22km of the day remaining.
BMC rider Greg van Avermaet still holds the overall lead by over five minutes, after a day which saw no significant changes to the order of the pre-race favourites at the top of the standings.
Friday’s 162.5km stage from L’Isle Jourdain to the Lac de Payolle will feature one of the race’s more famous climbs- the category one Col d’Aspin. With the 2016 Tour still only a week old, it is unlikely to provide a showdown between the General Classification contenders, but will be enough to demonstrate who isn’t it form to challenge for overall glory in Paris in two weeks time.
The 2016 edition of the race has also made history by becoming the first to see no rider drop out before the start of stage seven.
Stage 6: Arpajon-Sur-Cere to Montauban (190.5km)
1. Mark Cavendish (GBR) Dimension Data 4h43m48seconds
2. Marcel Kittel (GER) Etixx-QuickStep +04
3. Daniel McLay (GBR) Fortuneo +06
4. Alexander Kristoff (NOR) Katusha +10
5. Christophe Laporte (FRA) Cofidis +10
6. Peter Sagan (SVK) Tinkoff +10
7. Dylan Groenewegen (HOL) Lotto Jumbo +10
8. Edward Theuns (BEL) Trek-Segafredo +10
9. Bryan Coquard (FRA) Direct Energie +10
10. Shane Archbold (NZ) Bora-Argon +10
24. Chris Froome, Sky +14 seconds
40. Adam Yates, Orica +14
43. Geraint Thomas, Sky +14
129. Luke Rowe, Sky +14
183. Ian Stannard, Sky +1m33
185. Stephen Cummings, Dimension Data +1m33
Overall Standings (After Stage 6):
1. Greg van Avermaet (BEL) BMC Racing 30h18m38seconds
2. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) Etixx-QuickStep +5m11
3. Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar +5m13
4. Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP) Katusha +5m14
5. Chris Froome (GBR) Sky +5m17
6. Warren Barguil (FRA) Giant-Alpecin +5m17
7. Nairo Quintana (COL) Movistar +5m17
8. Pierre Rolland (FRA) Cannondale +5m17
9. Fabio Aru (ITA) Astana +5m17
10. Daniel Martin (IRE) Etixx-QuickStep +5m17
13. Adam Yates, Orica +5m17
22. Geraint Thomas, Sky +5m57
120. Mark Cavendish, Dimension Data +29m55
155. Daniel McLay, Fortuneo +35m27
162. Luke Rowe, Sky +36m13
170. Ian Stannard, Sky +37m33
191. Stephen Cummings, Dimension Data +43m48
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