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The sprinters line out at the Tour de France as they dash for the finish on stage 6.

TdF Stage 6 report: Groenewegen really is Batman

The Dutch sprinter makes news for more than just his sunglasses, while Jasper Philipsen is relegated for a dangerous sprint.

Joe Lindsey
by Joe Lindsey 04.07.2024 Photography by
Gruber Images & Cor Vos
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Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco-AlUla) mastered a fast and nervous finish to take his sixth career Tour de France stage win in Dijon. As with yesterday’s stage 5 finish, the winner didn’t come off the slingshot of a perfect leadout but rather surfed the wheels to find the right opening at just the right time.

Into the final kilometers, several lead-out trains dueled at the front, with Alpecin-Deceuninck ending up with just the right mix of timing and riders on the front for Jasper Philipsen. But Groenewegen waited patiently in the wheels and in an almost-perfect replay of Mark Cavendish’s stage 5 win, the Dutchman burst out of the field across the left side of the road to take the first photo finish win of the 2024 Tour over Philipsen.

Philipsen was later relegated from second to last in the bunch after the race jury decided he had illegally impeded Wout van Aert in the sprint. Despite the hectic finale, there was only one crash in the final 10 km and no change to the top 10 on overall classification.

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How it happened

Today was a different kind of stage. I said to the boys today is not for the breakaway. It would be more about mental resilience than physical. The wind wasn’t strong enough to break it. In the Tour de France peloton you have the best 170 riders in the world, all in the best form, all hoping for it not to be on the wrong side of the split.

Cavendish on the challenge of the route and crosswinds
Riders from six teams fan out across the front of the peloton to take up the entire road on stage 6 of the 2024 Tour de France and prevent attackers from going clear.
That’s what a roadblock looks like. Post-split, teams were largely in no mood for a repeat or a late breakaway.

Brief analysis

Up next

Friday is a critical individual time trial stage, a 25.3 km ride from Nuits-Saint-Georges to Gevrey-Chambertin. The route has one relatively short climb (1.6 km at 6.5%) but will provide opportunities for both specialists and GC contenders for the stage win and to reshuffle the overall standings.

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