Criterium du Dauphine 2017: Jakob Fuglsang outsprints Chris Froome and Richie Porte to win stage six

Australian in yellow jersey, leading former Sky team-mate by 38 seconds overall, after hair-raising descent

Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) outsprinted Richie Porte (BMC Racing) and Chris Froome (Team Sky) to win stage six of the Criterium du Dauphine after a hair-raising descent of the Mont du Chat.

Porte is new race leader, after the three, along with Fuglsang’s co-leader Fabio Aru, distanced their GC rivals by throwing caution to the wind on the rapid descent of the Mont du Chat.

Froome led the sprint out, but Fuglsang got the jump on the defending champion, and Porte snuck through on the barriers as they all added bonus seconds to the time gained on the Mont du Chat.

Jakob Fuglsang won stage six of the 2017 Criterium du Dauphine (pic – Sirotti)

The stage had initially looked perfect for the likes of Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), who has showcased his aggressive descending technique in this race before, and the French team controlled the pace of the peloton early on.

Six riders formed the day’s break – Oliver Naesen (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Anthony Turgis (Cofidis), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), Alberto Bettiol (Cannondale-Drapac), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) and Thierry Hupond (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) – but what was once a big lead was rapidly brought under control.

Pauwels was briefly virtual leader on the road, but the peloton – even after a crash which saw Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) hit the deck – were well in control.

Valverde recovered and was one of the first to kick on when the bunch hit the climb, while yellow jersey Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) clung to the back of the peloton.

Only Bettiol and Naesen remained up the road, as Valverde – with Rafa Valls (Lotto-Soudal), Johan Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) and Aru in pursuit – put a small gap into the bunch.

Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) was also in trouble in the bunch, while plenty of attacks came in off the front – Fuglsang among those to push the pace.

Fuglsang’s attack was matched by a counter-move by Aru, and the two Astana riders joined forces at the front and set off in pursuit of Naesen – by now leading solo.

At the back of the GC group, Bardet, Valverde and Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) were all dropped on the climb, but Froome and Porte took off from the front in pursuit of the Astana duo.

The two former Team Sky team-mates worked well together to shut down the gap, though Aru had a small gap over the top of the climb.

But Froome held nothing back on the descent, attacking corners with fervour, darting around the hairpin bends and acceleration into the straights.

Richie Porte is the new race leader (pic – Sirotti)

He was soon leader on the road, though Porte, Fuglsang and Aru were always within touching distance and the quartet came together when the road levelled out.

Valverde’s group was almost a minute behind still, and all four of the leaders took turns on the front in order to maintain their advantage.

Fuglsang was first to show his hand, attacking just before flamme rouge, but the four were back together again inside the final 500m and it was Froome who opened up the sprint.

He looked to have a yard on Fuglsang, and Porte appeared blocked in, but both came back strong with the Dane snatching victory in a photo finish.

Valverde, Bardet and Martin were 50 seconds in arrears, while Contador lost more than a minute, meaning Porte now leads Froome by 39 seconds overall, with Fuglsang third at 1’15”.

Yates, meanwhile, now sits 12th overall, 3’26” behind Porte and 56 seconds behind white jersey leader Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-hansgrohe).

Criterium du Dauphine 2017: stage six – result

1) Jakob Fuglsang (DEN) – Astana – 3.41.48hrs
2) Richie Porte (AUS) – BMC Racing – ST
3) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky
4) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana
5) Alejandro Valverde (ESP) – Movistar +50”
6) Daniel Martin (IRL) – QuickStep Floors – ST
7) Romain Bardet (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale
8) Oliver Naesen (BEL) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +1.06
9) Alberto Contador (ESP) – Trek-Segafredo – ST
10) Emanuel Buchmann (GER) – Bora-hansgrohe +1.14

General classification

1) Richie Porte (AUS) – BMC Racing – 20.52.34hrs
2) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky +39”
3) Jakob Fuglsang (DEN) – Astana +1.15
4) Alejandro Valverde (ESP) – Movistar +1.20
5) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana +1.24
6) Alberto Contador (ESP) – Trek-Segafredo +1.47
7) Daniel Martin (IRL) – QuickStep Floors +2.14
8) Emanuel Buchmann (GER) – Bora-hansgrohe +2.30
9) Romain Bardet (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +2.49
10) Rafael Valls (ESP) – Lotto-Soudal +3.16
Selected other

12) Simon Yates (GBR) – Orica-Scott +3.26


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