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“I was just trying to stay in front to do the sprint, but it was too hard for me. I had nothing left at the top and “Purito” tried to help me in the end, but my legs were just empty." 

Photo: Sirotti

ALEXANDER KRISTOFF

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JOAQUIM RODRIGUEZ OLIVER

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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09.07.2015 @ 19:25 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Every stage at the Tour de France is full of drama and Thursday’s number 6 was a perfect example of what a day at the biggest race can be like. While Zdenek Stybar (Etixx – Quick Step) was busy winning the uphill sprint in front of Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Bryan Coquard of Team Europcar, his teammate Tony Martin went down hard while wearing the yellow jersey and had to be escorted to the finish by the remains of his team, bringing joy and sorrow at the same time for a typical day in the Tour.

 

For Team Katusha it was a better day after yesterday’s many crashes, with team riders Alexander Kristoff and Joaquim Rodriguez able to put themselves in the final group to contest the sprint, taking 11th and thirteenth respectively.

 

“I was just trying to stay in front to do the sprint, but it was too hard for me. I had nothing left at the top and “Purito” tried to help me in the end, but my legs were just empty. Today was quite hard, just as I thought it might be, but we tried and put in a great effort to be in the front. We were a little too far back with 5 km to go and managed to come to the front, so we used some energy there. At the end I really had nothing left for the sprint. I tried to go out and have a small chance to reach Stybar, but I quickly saw I could not catch him,” said team sprinter Alexander Kristoff.

 

Stage 6 saw 188 riders start the 191,5 km ride from Abbeville to Le Havre. A breakaway of three went clear, comprised of Perrig Quéméneur of Europcar, Kenneth Van Bilsen (Cofidis) and Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka). The trio saw an advantage of more than 12 minutes with Teklehaimanot able to gather mountain points to earn the first polka dot jersey for Africa with Joaquim Rodriguez right behind him by 1-point. An attack from Van Bilsen with 12,6 km to go stayed clear until he was brought back along the English Channel with 3 km to go.

 

The speeds of the peloton increased as they headed for the finish line and just under the red kite, Tony Martin touched wheels to set off the high speed crash, and ended up nursing his left shoulder to the finish line and onto the podium to claim another yellow jersey. After 22:13.14, Martin leads by 12- and 25-seconds to Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC) on the classification. Joaquim Rodriguez is still 18th, 2.12 behind the leader.

 

Stage 7 on Friday begins in Livarot and ends in Fougères at 190,5 km.

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