Pinot claims the queen stage, Froome extends his lead in Dauphiné

Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) bounced back from a series of disappointments by winning the queen stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné following an exciting duel with archrival Romain Bardet (Ag2r).

Pinot had joined the break right from the start while Bardet used a brave attack from Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) on the Col de la Madeleine to sneak away over the top and bridge across on the descent. With two teammates in the group, Bardet increased the advantage to more than 3 minutes and then attacked on the final climb where only Pinot could follow.

After Contador’s big attack, the GC riders stayed calm until the final climb where Sky just rode tempo to make sure that Bardet didn’t gain too much time. Inside the final kilometre, Dan Martin attacked and only Chris Froome could follow, with the Irishman even distancing the race leader slightly in the finale. The big loser was Richie Porte (BMC) who drifted backwards and had to settle for 10th and so he is now 21 seconds behind Froome in the overall standings, just like Bardet who moved into third.

However, nothing is decided yet as the final stage is another tough one in the mountains. It’s uphill right from the start and then the riders will tackle another three categorized climbs on a day full of ups and downs before they get to the main challenge. The category 1 Col du Noyer averages 8.4% over 7.5km but is much steeper for most of the time and as the top comes just 11.5km from the finish, it will be the scene for a big battle. After the top, the riders will descend to the bottom of the 3.8km uphill drag to the line that averages 5.9%.

Criterium du Dauphiné 2016 – stage 6 results (La Rochette – Méribel):

1 Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)


2 Romain Bardet (AG2R)


3 Daniel Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step)


4 Christopher Froome (Sky)


5 Louis Meintjes (Lampre – Merida)


6 Alberto Contador (Tinkoff)


7 Diego Rosa (Astana)


8 Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE)


9 Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx – Quick-Step)


10 Richie Porte (BMC)



General classification after stage 6:

1 Christopher Froome (Sky)


2 Richie Porte (BMC)


3 Romain Bardet (AG2R)


4 Daniel Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step)


5 Alberto Contador (Tinkoff)


6 Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx – Quick-Step)


7 Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE)


8 Daniel Navarro (Cofidis)Diego Rosa (Astana)


9 Louis Meintjes (Lampre – Merida)


10 Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)