Eneco Tour: Tony Martin keeps podium place ahead of final day
Besides the German, two other Etixx – Quick-Step riders are in the top 10 overall.
Stage 6 of the Eneco Tour (Riemst – Lanaken, 185.2 km) belonged to a five-man breakaway, who went clear minutes after flag was dropped and survived to take the win, despite being chased by several teams who wanted the victory to be decided in a bunch sprint. In the closing kilometers, the escapees held around 20 seconds, but the technical course played into their favour and helped the quintet defy the bunch.
Luka Pibernik (Lampre-Merida) was the one who edged out his breakaway companions, with Mark McNally (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Bert Van Lerberghe (Topsport Vlaanderen) rounding out the podium in Lanaken, which acted for the first time as arrival town in the Eneco Tour. The general classification remained unchanged, which means Rohan Dennis (BMC) will start the last day with the leader's jersey.
Tony Martin, Niki Terpstra and Bob Jungels came together with the peloton at the finish, five seconds behind the escapees, and kept their top 10 places in the rankings, giving Etixx – Quick-Step three options for the mini-Tour of Flanders stage 7, which is set to come to a conclusion on the legendary cobbles of the Mur de Grammont.
"To be honest, I thought it would be easier today, but the pace in the pack was high and you could feel the climbs in your legs. It's been a hard week and I'm a bit tired, as is the whole peloton. The important thing is we survived and now we will focus on the final leg of the Eneco Tour, at the end of which we hope to get a nice result in the GC", said third-placed Tony Martin, who's just 24 seconds adrift going into Sunday's stage.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele