Critérium du Dauphiné: Mountains loom on the horizon
The GC favourites will go into their favourite territory for the final days of the World Tour event.
Dan Martin had an unwanted encounter with a bee on the last stage for sprinters at the French race, which resulted in a sting and swelling, but fortunately it wasn't anything serious and the 30-year-old Quick-Step Floors rider could complete the stage which concluded in Mâcon, a town that welcomedthe Dauphiné peloton for the 12th time in history.
There, the fast men of the pack fought for victory, and it was Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb) the one who prevailed, after beating home favourites Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie). The general classification remained unchanged, which means Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) continues to hold a 27-second gap over Richie Porte (BMC) ahead of the last three days.
Stage 6 of the Critérium du Dauphiné is just 145.5 kilometers in length, but puts on the table the first test for the climbers, who'll take on the infamous Mont Du Chat in the closing part of the day; the Hors catégorie climb is 8.7km-long, averages 10.3% and won't give the riders a moment of respite, as they will try to tame its punishing gradients before plunging down the 14km descent which will take them to Villars-les-Dombes, where the stage will end.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele