6Épernay >> Metz
- Stage 6 (210 km)
The champagne capital, Epernay, located in the heart of 30,000 acres of vineyards, attracts nearly 450,000 visitors every year from around the world to not only discover - and taste! -the wine of kings but also to enjoy a great city. Between vineyards and forests, bordered by the Marne, the city boasts a high quality of life in a beautiful natural environment. Its rich heritage is comprised of monuments like the Tour De Castellane, the Portal St. Martin or the Gabrielle Dorziat theatre but also unique hotels in Renaissance or classical style, many dating from the nineteenth century. These beautiful buildings that are often the major champagne houses are found for the most part, on the stately Avenue de Champagne. Distinguished by the label Remarkable Site for Taste it is one of three sites selected for consideration of the Landscapes of Champagne for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Under the avenue and the adjacent streets, carved into the chalk, one hundred and ten kilometres of cellars snake under the city where a veritable treasure of two hundred million bottles is stored.
Metz has a history stretching back over 3000 years. Capital of the Celtic people called the Mediomatrici, it had in the Gallo-Roman times more inhabitants than Lutetia. The jewel of the city was a 25,000-seat amphitheatre, one of the greatest of the Roman Empire. Today, at this location stands the Centre Pompidou-Metz, dedicated to modern art and close to which the Tour de France will finish stage 6. Opened in 2010, this architecturally innovative museum that helps make Metz a Mecca of European culture has already welcomed over one million visitors, which places it as one of the top museums in the province. Metz is also a fusion of different architectures, Medieval, Gothic, 17th century French style or the neo-Roman Imperial District, which led the municipality to apply for the classification of the city as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. It is also a green city with its many parks and gardens and has developed many cycle lanes. Metz, today, is transforming and redesigning itself to best meet the third millennium.
Live Stage Reports
The top 10 in stage six
08 Jul 12|01:16 AM
Peter Sagan is the winner of another stage of the Tour de France. The top 10 of the race to Metz is: 1. Peter Sagan (SVK) LIQ 4h37'00" 2. André Greipel (GER) LTB 3. Matt Goss (AUS) OGE 4. Kenny van Hummel (NED) VCD 5. Juan José Haedo (ARG) STB 6. Greg Henderson (NZL) LTB 7. Alessandro Petacchi (ITA) LAM 8. Luca Paolini (ITA) KAT 9. Daryl Impey (RSA) OGE 10. Brett Lancaster (AUS) OGE
Sagan wins again!
08 Jul 12|01:12 AM
For all the good work that Lotto did they could not hold off the charge by Sagan who has won his third stage - relegating Greipel and Goss to the minor places...!
08 Jul 12|01:11 AM
The sprinters are going to have their way: Zabriskie is out of the way and now there are four Lotto riders at the front inside the final kilometer.
2km to go
08 Jul 12|01:10 AM
Zabriskie is on his own inside the final 2km of the stage. The rest of the escape has been swallowed up but now it's the ultimate time trial for the US TT champion who is within sight of the peloton that's now led by Orica riders.
Zabriskie wins 'Fighting Spirit' award
08 Jul 12|01:09 AM
The man who instigated today's escape has been awarded the Fighting Spirit award... it's little consolation on a day Danielson abandoned and Hejsedal looks like losing over seven minutes...
4km to go
08 Jul 12|01:08 AM
There are now five Lotto-Belisol riders at the front of the first peloton. Greipel is in position and looks like he's considering sprinting. This group is just 8" behind the four leaders with 4km to go.
Poels remains in the race
08 Jul 12|01:07 AM
It was announced earlier that Poels (VCD) had quit the race. This is wrong. He is still riding but Astarloza (EUS) has abandoned after the crash.
Four holding on...
08 Jul 12|01:06 AM
With 6km to go: Zingle, Zabriskie, Malacarne and Kroon are still at the front of the stage. We'll review the state of the fallen riders - as this is The Talking Point of the stage - later... but for the time being we'll concentrate on the front of the race...
Hesjedal seven minutes behind...!
08 Jul 12|01:04 AM
Ryder Hesjedal is in a group of riders that's well behind the even the likes of Valverde et al who are two minutes behind the main peloton. The leader of the Garmin team is now seven minutes behind the stage leaders!
Schleck 2'00" behind first peloton
08 Jul 12|01:00 AM
The group that includes Cavendish, Brajkovic, Valverde, Rolland and Schleck is 2'00" behind the Orica-GreenEdge led bunch that is now just 11" behind the four stage leaders.
Vigano and Danielson also abandon
08 Jul 12|00:59 AM
Two other confirmed retirements from the 2012 Tour are Tom Danielson (GRS) and Davide Vigano (LAM).
15km to go
08 Jul 12|00:58 AM
The four leaders are 15" ahead of the main peloton with 15km to go.
Cavendish and Boasson Hagen in second group
08 Jul 12|00:54 AM
Cavendish and Boasson Hagen are two riders who have failed to make the front group. They are out of contention for the finish today but we do not have a time check on the second peloton...
Wouter Poels abandons
08 Jul 12|00:53 AM
Poels of the Vacansoleil team is one that is now out of the Tour but there are likely to be many other casualties of the recent crash.
Sagan in first peloton
08 Jul 12|00:52 AM
Sagan survived the crash and he is present in the first peloton. So too is Basso, Evans, Nibali, Wiggins...
Schleck riding again...
08 Jul 12|00:51 AM
One of the victims of the crash is the rider who was third overall last year, Frank Schleck. The Luxembourger has his team car beside him as he paces his way to the finish.
Cancellara in the first peloton
08 Jul 12|00:50 AM
The yellow jersey is present in the first peloton that is now inside the final 20km.
20km to go
08 Jul 12|00:49 AM
The first peloton is just 33" behind the four escapees who are inside the final 20km of the stage. Cavendish was caught up in the fall and he's calling for a new rear wheel.
Bikes and bodies everywhere...
08 Jul 12|00:48 AM
There are still many riders sitting down and not showing any signs of getting back on their bikes after the crash. Hesjedal is bloodied and bruised but rolling again. But he's going to lose a lot of time today...
Complete chaos after crash
08 Jul 12|00:46 AM
There are riders lying everywhere and mechanics rushing around trying to find what parts of bikes they need to repair. Many of the fallen riders are racing again but a LOT have been held up by the accident that happened with 26km to go.
Crash in peloton!
08 Jul 12|00:45 AM
There is another big fall. This one is with 26km to go and is going to influence the result today. About half the peloton has been caught up in the incident and it includes Frank Schleck and many, many others.
Knees a one-man lead-out for Wiggins
08 Jul 12|00:43 AM
With the fight for position happening at the front of the peloton, Sky has set Knees right to the front with just Wiggins on his wheel.
Freire dropped by peloton
08 Jul 12|00:41 AM
Tony Martin (OPQ), Kadri (ALM), Freire (KAT), Farrar (GRS) are a number of the riders who have been dropped by the peloton inside the final 30km. The bunch is 55" behind the stage leaders.
FDJ also working for a sprint
08 Jul 12|00:40 AM
FDJ is another team trying to set up a sprint. Their fast man is Yauheni Hutarovich who was seventh in stage two.
Four lead by 1'00"
08 Jul 12|00:37 AM
With a little over 31km to go in the 207.5km stage, the advantage of the escapees has dropped to 1'00". Now we see BMC arriving near the head of the peloton on the left of the road with Sky tucked in behind the cluster of red jerseys. To their right is RadioShack... then, in the middle of the road, are riders from the Orica-GreenEdge team. Lotto-Belisol is not shirking work at the front and clearly they are still trying to set up a sprint even if Greipel says he won't sprint today.
Frison: Greipel won't sprint today
08 Jul 12|00:35 AM
France Télévision has just interviewed the directeur sportif of the Lotto-Belisol team, Herman Frison who explained the injuries sustained by André Greipel today. "He has pain in his shoulder," said the Belgian about the rider who has won the last two stages. "And he won't take part in the sprint today." This is likely to mean that Greg Henderson will be given the chance to sprint for himself instead of doing the lead-out as he's done in the last couple of days. The 35-year-old New Zealander is riding the Tour for the first time this year. He's previously won a stage of the Vuelta a España and he switched teams - from Sky - largely because he wanted to race the Tour before the end of his career.
Explaining the run-in to the finish...
08 Jul 12|00:27 AM
Matt Goss has already explained to LeTour.fr today that he likes finishes that include a number twists and turns and that's exactly what we have in Metz today. He won a stage of the Giro d'Italia in 2010 when it was a convoluted run to the line. Today's stage features a tight right-hander just before the 2km to go sign that the peloton is gonig to have to slow down significantly for. Then comes a gentle left turn and a gentle right hander... with about 1,400m to go there is a 90 degree left turn that leads riders to a 300m downhill stretch (with a gradient of about three per cent) and under a railway bridge. The speed is going to be up around 70km/h and then, there's another 90 degree turn (to the left) with about 850m to go. And, from there it's flat and straight all the way to the line.
Christian Guiberteau of Argos-Shimano
08 Jul 12|00:21 AM
LeTour.fr recently spoke with the directeur sportif of Argos-Shimano to find out what its plans are now that Marcel Kittel has abandoned with his knee injury. “Once we saw that Marcel was not feeling well, we immediately put our effort in to [Tom] Veelers. Now we focus everything on him, and he’s doing well (4th in Tournai, 3rd in Rouen, 6th in Saint-Quentin). “Tom is a sprinter who knows how to position himself very well as he was already the lead-out man for Marcel. While we continue to believe with him, and the team is mobilized, they are all happy to work. “Of course Tom is a bit slower than Marcel, but he is still able to go head-to-head with the best. We wish we could show everyone the qualities of Marcel, but never mind. Then we move on to another phase, in which we try to influence the race by sending riders in the breakaway.”
Albasini setting the pace
08 Jul 12|00:19 AM
Albasini, who was fifth in Boulogne, is now at the front of the peloton and taking time out of the leading four who are now just 1'00" ahead. There are 46km to go in the stage.
Peraud back after puncture
08 Jul 12|00:15 AM
After a sequence of accidents and punctures, it seems it's back to normal again with the four leaders and then the peloton which has regrouped after the split caused by the incident on the climb and a few punctures. There is a bit over 48km to go and the bunch is 1'35" behind the Zabriskie group. Malacarne is no longer the virtual leader of the Tour.
Greipel rejoins peloton
08 Jul 12|00:11 AM
After the incident on the climb, Greipel has rejoined the peloton with the help of three team-mates. Just as he got back to the bunch, Peraud (ALM) suffered a puncture which is now being tended to by the AG2R team car.
Zingle returns to lead group
08 Jul 12|00:08 AM
Zingle (COF) has rejoined the three other escapees after his puncture.
Zingle out of lead group
08 Jul 12|00:06 AM
Zingle (COF) has punctured and his no longer in the lead of the stage. There are now three men at the front with 56km to go.
Greipel, Farrar and Mollema involved...
08 Jul 12|00:05 AM
Greipel has been caught in two crashes today and he's bleeding from the left knee. He has a bandaged arm and is being helped back to the peloton by three team-mates. Meanwhile, up ahead Albasini is tapping out the tempo at the front of the peloton.
Peloton eases pace...
08 Jul 12|00:04 AM
The split in the peloton was caused by an incident on the left of the road at the top of the climb. A Rabobank rider was involved and three others have waited for him. The head of the peloton features Lotto-Belisol riders but they seem to be respecting the fallen riders and the pace is relatively tranquil compared to what it was like on the approach to the climb. The advantage of the escapees is now 1'50".
Gesink & Greipel involved again...
08 Jul 12|00:02 AM
Two names that have been mentioned in relation to the latest crash are Greipel and Gesink. But the camera has moved on and we've heard nothing more about the incident.
Peloton at a standstill...
08 Jul 12|00:01 AM
There seems to have been a fall in the peloton and Gutierrez is shaking his head in disgust. There are Rabobank riders on the right of the road and this seems to be the reason for the stoppage...
Zabriskie takes a point...
08 Jul 12|00:00 AM
The climb today was won by Dave Zabriskie (GRS). His quartet is just just 1'35" ahead of the peloton that has reached the top of the climb. But it's come to a halt...
Details of the climb
06 Jul 12|23:54 PM
The côte de Buxières is at the 145km mark of the stage. It is a 2.7km long ascent with an average gradient of 3.8 per cent. Ranked category-four there is just one point on offer at the top...
No messing around today...
06 Jul 12|23:53 PM
Yesterday the capture of the escapees happened in the final 500 meters. Today we see the peloton speeding towards Metz with RadioShack, Argos-Shimano, Lotto-Belisol and Orica-GreenEdge riders swapping off at the front. They are just 1'55" behind the four escapees who are about to reach the site of the only climb today.
Result of the intermediate sprint
06 Jul 12|23:48 PM
The points for the intermediate sprint of stage six have gone to: 1. Kroon (STB) 20pts 2. Zabriskie (GRS) 17pts 3. Zingle (COF) 15pts 4. Malacarne (EUC) 13pts 5. Goss (OGE) 11pts - 2'50" 6. Cavendish (SKY) 10pts 7. Sagan (LIQ) 9pts 8. Boeckmans (VCD) 8pts 9. Boasson Hagen (SKY) 7pts 10. Hutarovich (FDJ) 6pts 11. O'Grady (OGE) 5pts 12. Impey (OGE) 4pts 13. Popovych (RNT) 3pts 14. Albasini (OGE) 2pts 15. Bak (LTB) 1pt
Vacansoleil join the lead-out
06 Jul 12|23:44 PM
The peloton is inside the final kilometer leading to the intermediate sprint. There is a Vacansoleil rider at the front and now Sky is taking over with EBH ahead of Cav.
Leaders reach the sprint site
06 Jul 12|23:43 PM
The order of the escapees over the line for hte intermediate sprint was: Kroon well ahead of the rest. The Dutchman made a point of collecting the 20 points for first place. Full results of the sprint in Saint-Mihiel will be posted once the peloton absorbs the points from 5th to 15th place.
Speeding up now...
06 Jul 12|23:39 PM
The last time check has the peloton just 3'21" behind the escapees who are only a couple of kilometers away from the intermediate sprint.
Average for third hour: 43.8km/h
06 Jul 12|23:37 PM
The pace has picked up for the third hour. The average speed was 43.8km/h. The average for the first three hours today is 42.2km/h.
Lead-out to intermediate sprint begins...
06 Jul 12|23:35 PM
Michael Albasini (OGE) is the rider who is now at the front of hte peloton as it approaches the intermediate sprint of stage six. It is at the 135km mark, and the bunch is currently around the 125km point of the 207.5km stage.
Allan Peiper: He’s lost his confidence
06 Jul 12|23:34 PM
The sports director of Garmin-Sharp, was recently interviewed by France Télévisions and asked about the state of the team’s sprinter Tyler Farrar: “He broke his helmet in the crash yesterday, and it is just not right! he will not take part in the sprint today, it's too dangerous. And, above all, he lost his confidence with these numerous falls. Now he must keep the energy for the next few days.” Accidents can happen but with the Farrar family history, it's understandable that Tyler is a little sprint-shy now. His father had an accident several years ago while commuting to work on a bike and he's now a paraplegic.
Lead down to 4'10"
06 Jul 12|23:29 PM
Just shy of the three hour mark of the sixth stage, the advantage of the escapees has dropped to 4'10".
No skinsuit for Zabriskie today...
06 Jul 12|23:26 PM
The attack from Zabriskie was part of the team's plan from before the start of the stage. Garmin-Sharp management hinted that an attack was on the cards and that Dave Z would be the man to do it. He launched his bid at the 5km mark and was joined a couple of kilometers later by Zingle (COF), Malacarne (EUC) and Kroon (STB). When Zabriskie planned an attack in Paris-Tours a few years ago, he took it to another level and opted to wear a TT skinsuit rather than standard knicks and jersey. But today he's in the team's usual road racing outfit.
Lead drops to 4'50"
06 Jul 12|23:16 PM
At the 110km mark, the peloton is 4'50" behind Zingle, Zabriskie, Kroon and Malacarne.
Gerrans tosses a feedbag away...
06 Jul 12|23:14 PM
The Australian champion has ridden right up to the front of the peloton with two feedbags, one for Sebatian Langeveld who has been swapping off with Jens Voigt and Yaroslav Povovych for most of the day. When he offered the second feed bag to Peter Weening, the Dutchman declined and thus it was a wasted effort and the nourishment got tossed to the side of the road. Gerrans has now retreated back into the peloton and his compatriot Adam Hansen (LTB) is at the front of the chase.
100km to go
06 Jul 12|23:07 PM
The escapees have been at the front for 102km. They are now inside the final 100km of the stage and have a lead of 5'30". The maximum gain was 6'50" (around the 85km mark).
The peloton's leaders...
06 Jul 12|23:04 PM
Yaroslav Popovych, Jens Voigt, Adam Hansen, Sebastian Langeveld and Peter Weening are the riders at the front of the peloton as it exits the feedzone. These guys are essetially the regular contributors to the pace setting for the first week of Le Tour 2012.
Peloton at the feedzone...
06 Jul 12|22:59 PM
As it enters the feedzone (at the 97.5km mark, in Villotte-Devant-Louppy), the peloton is 5'50" behind the escapees.
Goss on yesterday's intermediate sprint: We didn't use everyone
06 Jul 12|22:57 PM
LeTour.fr asked Matt Goss to explain Orica-GreenEdge's approach to the intermediate sprints when we spoke earlier today. “Up until yesterday [stage five] we were the ones taking control of the intermediate sprints because there are so many points on offer," said Goss. "It’s been worthwhile; I’ve been taking a few points and it all adds up. Yesterday I started some 40 something points off Sagan [actually 55... but it’s now down to 17] but even on the day when he did do the final sprint, we managed to take back 14 or so points on him. I’ve really got to make the most of the intermediate sprints. The team has been really getting behind it but yesterday, on the approach, we didn’t use everyone, as we wanted to save them for the final. “I did the intermediate sprint by myself after they got me in position and that worked out alright as well. I floated around on the wheels behind and then did my own sprint. I almost got past Cav in the last couple of meters but not quite. I still managed to take a few points.”
Dr. Florence Pommerie: Greipel has significant injuries
06 Jul 12|22:54 PM
The medical team of the Tour has recently offered an appraisal on the state of the riders who fell at the 35km mark. “About 20 riders came past our car after the fall, including many team leaders,” said Florence Pommerie. “The crash victims included Sandy Casar (FDJ), Jean-Christophe Peraud (ALM) and Andre Greipel (LTB). Most have abrasions and contusions. “These are minor injuries, but they hurts all the same. André Greipel seems to have some significant injuries including and a wounded finger. He must have landed very heavily.”
Only New Zealand stage win in the Tour happened near here...
06 Jul 12|22:49 PM
To date, there has only been one stage winner of the Tour de France from New Zealand. That was in 2001 when Chris Jenner was part of the winning squad for the team time trial. That was on a horribly wet day and Crédit Agricole beat ONCE-Eroski by 31”. It was a stage that started in Verdun and finished in Bar-le-Duc which is just south of where the peloton currently is. Stuart O’Grady was in the yellow jersey that day and also on the team was: Jonathan Vaughters (USA), Jens Voigt (GER), Bobby Julich (USA), Thor Hushovd (NOR), Anthony Morin (FRA), Frederic Bessy (FRA), and Sebastien Hinault (FRA). Three of these men are racing in the Tour today, and one is in a team car as team manager. Note: in 2001, Jenner was registered as a French rider as his wife is from France but he was born in Upper Hutt, New Zealand.
06 Jul 12|22:41 PM
There has been some rain today but, for the moment, the peloton - 6'25" behind the leaders - is riding on dry roads.
Average for 2nd hour: 40.5km/h
06 Jul 12|22:36 PM
The escapees have covered 40.5km in the second hour of racing today. The average for the opening two hours is 41.3km/h.
6'50" between peloton and escapees
06 Jul 12|22:32 PM
The bunch is now in Vroil, at the 78km mark. It is 6'50" behind the Zabriskie quartet - and this is the biggest gain of the escape so far today.
Gesink consults the team car
06 Jul 12|22:30 PM
Gesink had been at the head of the peloton for a while but the winner of the Tour of California this year is now behind his team car after a brief consultation with his directeur sportif. He has stopped to get a new wheels - front and rear... the wet conditions is likely to be the reason for the change.
Flat for Taaramae
06 Jul 12|22:28 PM
The leader of the Cofidis team is the latest rider to get a puncture. Rein Taaramae is waiting for the team car to get a rear wheel change.
Yauheni Hutarovich: I can not feel pain
06 Jul 12|22:26 PM
“Yesterday I was caught in the fall to 3km from the finish,” said the champion of Belarus, Yauheni Hutarovich earlier today, “but it’s not too bad; I can not feel pain. The finish seems pretty easy today, and I have good legs right now. Above all, this is the last chance for me before the Tour reaches the mountains.”
Alessandro Petacchi: We must be vigilant
06 Jul 12|22:23 PM
“I feel that the last two kilometers are fairly easy, and I will try to do something,” said, Alessandro Petacchi (LAM) earlier today when interviewed by the Young Reporters of the Tour. “But first he'll have to be very vigilant. For we have seen that the beginning of the Tour is very difficult, especially with the falls we had. But it's not so bad, and all sprints are different.”
Rabobank put three near the lead...
06 Jul 12|22:21 PM
Gesink is one of the riders involved in the crash at the 35km mark. He is now near the front of the peloton with two Rabobank team-mates.
Rain starts to fall
06 Jul 12|22:17 PM
After a dry start to the stage, rain is now falling on the peloton that is 6'25" behind the four escapees. It's overcast at the site of the finish but dry... for the moment.
Samuel Dumoulin: On the flat, I have no chance against the best
06 Jul 12|22:15 PM
LeTour.fr spoke with Samuel Dumoulin before the stage today. He was fourth yesterday, one place ahead of the world champion Mark Cavendish. So we wanted to know what he thought of the sprint. “Yesterday’s stage was fairly quiet, I could save myself for the finish,” said Dumoulin. “And, in the last 30 kilometers, I'm able to move up in the bunch. Then everything went pretty well. At the time of the crash, that happened to my right, but I didn’t really need to avoid it. I was a bit lucky, and after I managed to follow the right wheels, particularly that of Matt Goss... I was still just 150 meters from the line. But I wasn’t able to pass him. “We can say that I had my chance because it was an uphill finish, and this is the type of terrain that suits me the best. I did not train to compete with them, but with experience, I can still go back to making the right wheels. “On the flat, I have no chance against the best sprinters. The best way for me to succeed in a stage is still to put myself in a small breakaway group that goes to the end. But we must still make the right! In any case, since the start of the Tour I have good feelings.”
Kroon's 14th season as a pro
06 Jul 12|22:08 PM
One of the riders in the escape today won his one and only stage of the Tour de France 10 years ago. It came from an escape and it happened on 14 July 2002, the year he made his debut in the Tour. He's raced for four teams during his 14 year career: Rabobank, CSC, BMC and now he's back with the Riis-managed squad, Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank. The best result for the 36-year-old so far this season was a fourth place in stage five of the Tour de Suisse when he was in a break that finished over 11 minutes ahead of the peloton.
Lead drops to 6'15"
06 Jul 12|22:05 PM
The maximum gain of the four escapees was 6'45" at 51km. The latest check has Zabriskie, Zingle, Malacarne and Kroon ahead by 6'15" (at 59km).
Average speed for opening hour
06 Jul 12|22:02 PM
The average speed for the first hour of stage six is 42.2km/h.
Three teams lead peloton
06 Jul 12|21:58 PM
There are riders from Lotto-Belisol, Orica-GreenEdge and RadioShack currently setting the pace at the head of the peloton. Fabian Cancellara is in about 10th position in what he believes will be his second last day in the yellow jersey. Just behind the first tier of riders is a mass of red jerseys of the BMC team. They peloton is now 6'30" behind Zingle, Zabriskie, Kroon and Malacarne.
11 riders with three (or more) successive stage wins
06 Jul 12|21:50 PM
André Greipel (LTB) stands the chance of taking a hat-trick of stage wins in the Tour de France. Only 11 men have achieved this in the history of the race. Here is a summary of the riders to win three or more stages on successive days: 2004: Lance Armstrong – stages 15 in Villard de Lans, 16 in Alpe d’Huez (TT) and 17 in Le Grand Bornand 1999: Mario Cipollini – stages 4 in Blois, 5 in Amiens, 6 in Mauberge and 7 Thionville 1948: Gino Bartali – stages 13 in Briançon, 14 in Aix-les-Bains and 15 in Lausanne 1933: Jean Aerts – stages 19 in Bordeaux, 20 in La Rochelle and 21 in Rennes 1930: Charles Pelissier – stages 18 in Metz, 19 in Charleville, 20 in Malo-les-Bains and 21 in Paris 1922: Jean Alavoine – stages 5 in Bayonne, 6 in Luchon and 7 in Perpignan 1922: Philippe Thys – stages 8 in Toulon, 9 in Nice and 10 in Briancon 1912: Eugene Christophe – stages 3 in Belfort, 4 in Chamonix and 5 in Grenoble 1909: François Faber – stages 2 in Metz, 3 in Belfort, 4 in Lyon, 5 in Grenoble and 6 in Nice 1906: René Pottier – stages 2 in Nancy, 3 in Dijon, 4 in Grenoble and 5 in Nice 1906: Louis Trousselier – stages 9 in Bordeaux, 10 in Nantes and 11 in Brest
The peloton is now 6'20" behind
06 Jul 12|21:45 PM
Westra (VCD) is one of the crash victims who is consulting the race doctor.
Valverde another victim of the 35km crash...
06 Jul 12|21:42 PM
Another rider who was caught up in the fall that happened at the 35km mark was Movistar's leader, Alejandro Valverde. All those who were involved are riding again and we have yet to receive an official medical report; but, for the moment, none have consulted the race doctor at the back of the convoy.
Gesink also in the recent crash...
06 Jul 12|21:40 PM
Another rider who was caught up in the crash at the 35km mark was Rabobank's leader Robert Gesink.
Advantage grows to over six minutes
06 Jul 12|21:39 PM
After 42km in stage six, the peloton is 6'10" behind the four escapees.
Goss discusses the effect of intermediate sprints...
06 Jul 12|21:36 PM
LeTour.fr asked Matt Goss if the intermediate sprint costs him later or if he has enough time to catch your breath before the finish. “It takes a little bit off but not a whole lot," said the runner-up from stage five. "Maybe it’s the difference between Greipel and me yesterday and the finish – he hasn’t been doing the intermediate sprints with the same conviction as I have... “I’ve found that the intermediate sprint can sometimes make me feel a bit better, more fresh and ready; and sometimes it makes me feel a bit worse. It’s a bit hit and miss some days. Really, it doesn’t affect me too much for the final. I just try and pedal a smaller gear for 10 or 15km afterwards and then it’s not too bad.”
Peraud also caught up in crash
06 Jul 12|21:34 PM
Another rider who was caught up in the recent accident was the Frenchman who finished 10th overall in 2011, Jean-Christophe Peraud (ALM). He seems to have sustained some injuries on an elbow but he's still racing...
Lead grows to 5'30"
06 Jul 12|21:32 PM
The easing of the pace after the crash has helped the escapees build on their advantage which is 5'30" as the bunch reaches the 38km mark.
Leaders at 41km
06 Jul 12|21:30 PM
Zabriskie, Zingle, Malacarne and Kroon are now in Longevas at the 41km mark. Their advantage on the peloton has grown to 4'20" after the accident in the bunch (at 35km).
All riders racing again...
06 Jul 12|21:29 PM
All the riders who were involved in the fall at 35km are racing again. The worst affected seems to be Guiterrez of the Movistar team.
Peloton eases its pace after crash...
06 Jul 12|21:28 PM
The crashed happened at the 35km mark and the bunch has eased off the pace while it waits for the fallen riders.
Greipel, Gutierrez and Westra in a crash
06 Jul 12|21:27 PM
There are a number of riders who have been caught up in a fall in the peloton. The riders named are: Westra (VCD), Cantwell (STB), Greipel (LTB), Gutierrez (MOV)... we await confirmation on the state of their injuries.
Puncture for Bole
06 Jul 12|21:23 PM
A rider from Lampre-ISD, Grega Bole, is the latest to have a flat tire. He is being serviced by the team mechanic on the right side of the road.
Goss didn't think the peloton would catch yesterday's escapees...
06 Jul 12|21:18 PM
The escapees only got caught in the last 500 meters of stage five. Did Matt Goss think they were going to hold on and steal the win? “To be honest, yes," said the Orica-GreenEdge rider. "When we came around the last corner and we saw how far ahead they were I didn’t think we’d catch them actually. I thought it was going to be racing for third or fourth place. It’s just that after a breakaway of almost 200km, those guys don’t have a lot left in the legs and we were coming at them pretty quickly in the final. Hopefully we won’t leave it that close again. “We were trying to catch them [earlier than we did] but we haven’t had a lot of support from the other teams. A lot of teams are bringing sprinters to the race but then they don’t want to work for them so it’s really just been us [Orica-GreenEdge] and Lotto-Belisol that have controlled the race from the first day. There are a lot of other sprinters here – Garmin has got Farrar, Lampre has Petacchi and there are a few others – but no one wants to help make sure it’s a sprint; they’re just working off our effort. “We’ll keep chasing but these guys should put in some help as well, I think.”
RadioShack limit the gains...
06 Jul 12|21:13 PM
At 26, the peloton is 4'05" behind the four escapees who began their move at the 5km mark. RadioShack-Nissan is one of the teams that is leading the peloton and they've been in position up front since around the 17km mark.
Goss: I was one gear too big...
06 Jul 12|21:10 PM
“In general the guys are going very well but yesterday we just had one less guy than we could have had," continued Matt Goss with his appraisal of the fifth stage when he spoke with LeTour.fr this morning. "Daryl Impey did an impressive job; he got me right in the position I needed to be in and I just had to go a little bit earlier than was ideal. Usually that isn’t too bad but after 750 meters uphill it was just too much and I ran out of legs before the line and Greipel came over me. All in all, however, it was a good day for the team.” LeTour wanted to know what gear Goss used for the finish: are you sprinting all the way – even on the uphill – in the 11 [rear cog]? “Ah, I don’t think I was in the 11 going up the hill," said Goss. "I reckon it was probably the 12 or the 13. It was quite steep over the top and I was one gear too big yesterday. But once you start the sprint, you can’t really change because otherwise I’d probably end up doing a somersault over the handlebars.”
Goss: The last few kilometers [today] are good for me...
06 Jul 12|21:06 PM
“Usually having a few corners in the last few kilometers is good for me,” said Matt Goss (OGE) when he spoke with LeTour.fr this morning. The Tasmanian is currently ranked second in the points classification and we asked him for his appraisal of the sprint in St-Quentin when he finished second to André Greipel. “The fifth stage worked out pretty well but we lost Baden [Cooke] with about seven kilometers to go [because of a problem with his derailleur] and that was a bit of a blow and it would have been good to have him there to keep us a bit closer to the front because in the final kilometer we had to start our effort a long way from the line,” said the sprinter from Orica-GreenEdge. “I had to use a lot of energy to come past about 15 guys and it would have been better to be further up front before then."
Malacarne the virtual leader
06 Jul 12|21:02 PM
With the advantage now up to 3'50" it means that Davide Malacarne (EUC) is the virtual leader of the 2012 Tour de France.
Almost four minutes now...
06 Jul 12|21:01 PM
Zabriskie, Zingle, Malacarne and Kroon are now 3'50" ahead of the peloton which has just passed the 19km mark.
Advantage continues to grow
06 Jul 12|20:55 PM
At the 15km mark, Zabriskie's quartet has a lead on the peloton of 2'40".
Two former stage winners in escape
06 Jul 12|20:53 PM
Of the four in the lead of stage six, two have previously won a stage of the Tour de France. Dave Zabriskie won the opening time trial of the 2005 Tour when he beat Lance Armstrong by two seconds. He wore the yellow jersey until a crash at the finish of the team time trial in Blois. The other former winner is Karsten Kroon who won in Plouay on Bastille Day in 2002.
1'50" lead at 12km
06 Jul 12|20:50 PM
There are a number of riders in the peloton now answering nature's call and this means the escapees can build on their advantage which is up to 1'50" at the 12km mark.
Details of the escapees
06 Jul 12|20:48 PM
The Escape of stage six has been established. The move began at the 5km mark and after 5km on the attack they are over a minute ahead. The men involed are: - Davide Malacarne (ITA) EUC - 66th overall after five stages, 3'34" behind Cancellara - Romain Zingle (BEL) COF - 129th overall, at 9'57" - Dave Zabriskie (USA) GRS - 169th overall, at 13'13" - Karsten Kroon (NED) STB - 171st overall, at 13'43"
Malacarne the best on GC of leading quartet
06 Jul 12|20:45 PM
Of the four men in the lead of the stage, Davide Malacarne (EUC) is the best on GC after five stages. He started the day ranked 66th, 3'34" behind Cancellara. At the 10km mark, they are 1'10" ahead of the peloton.
Four now in the lead
06 Jul 12|20:44 PM
At the 7.5km mark, there are four men in the lead. The move was started by Dave Zabriskie (at 5km). The others in the early escape are: Malacarne (EUC), Zingle (COF), Kroon (STB). At the 9km mark, they are 45" ahead of the peloton.
Two catch Zabriskie
06 Jul 12|20:41 PM
There are now three men in the lead of stage six. Zabriskie (GRS) has been caught by two others but we don't yet have confirmation of those who bridged the gap to the US time trial champion.
One man in the lead...
06 Jul 12|20:39 PM
There is one rider currently hovering off the front of the peloton at the 5km mark. It's Dave Z of the Garmin-Sharp team.
Fast start to stage six
06 Jul 12|20:38 PM
The opening stanza of the sixth stage is being raced at a very fast pace. The peloton is already at the 4km mark.
Racing in stage six!
06 Jul 12|20:35 PM
The official start of the sixth stage, from Epernay to Metz, was at 12.34pm. All the riders who finished the fifth stage were at the sign on this morning meaning that there are still 194 men in the 99th Tour de France.
Crash in the neutral zone
06 Jul 12|20:30 PM
There has been a little accident in the neutral zone involving a Lampre rider. He is back up and riding again... Richie Porte (SKY) and Jurgen van den Broeck (LTB) were also involved.
Prize classification review: part 03 – polka-dot jersey
06 Jul 12|20:24 PM
There was not a single categorized hill in the fifth stage so the climbing classification remains unchanged from a day ago. Michael Morkov (STB) is the only rider to have worn the polka-dot jersey in the 99th Tour and his advantage over Basso (LIQ), Sagan (LIQ), Delaplace (SAU) and Gallopin (RNT) is seven points. The only climb of stage six is the cote de Buxieres at the 145km mark.
Prize classification review: part 02 – green jersey
06 Jul 12|20:22 PM
Matt Goss (OGE) began stage five 55 points behind Peter Sagan in the race for the green jersey. The Australian was second in stage five and the Slovakian was caught up in the crash that was caused by Tyler Farrar near the end of the race to St-Quentin; Sagan didn’t collect any points at the finish while Goss earned 35. It means that there are only 17 points between first and second place now. The other dual stage winner of the 2012 Tour, André Greipel (LTB) is ranked third with 132 points and last year’s green jersey winner, Mark Cavendish – fifth in St-Quentin – is ranked fourth with 119 points. The 2010 green jersey winner Alessandro Petacchi (LAM) is fifth with 91 points. The intermediate sprint today is in Saint-Mihiel at the 135.5km mark of the 207.5km stage from Epernay to Metz.
Prize classification review: part 01 – yellow jersey
06 Jul 12|20:19 PM
Fabian Cancellara has overtaken René Vietto in the Tour’s yellow jersey tally. The Swiss rider will spend the 27th day of his career in the lead of the race. The only riders to have spent more time in the lead of the general classification are men who have won the overall title on multiple occasions (Merckx, Armstrong, Hinault, Indurain, Anquetil, Magne, Frantz, Leducq, Bottecchia and Bobet). “The thought of actually winning the Tour de France is not realistic,” said the 31-year-old after stage five. “The Tour is not what I have in my list of goals to win. The Tour is a dream and a dream is not a goal. A goal like that is something other riders have – from Fränk Schleck to [Andreas] Klöden, to [Bradley] Wiggins and Cadel [Evans]. I just live something else, I have the yellow jersey for 26 days now and that’s good.” The top five of the GC in 2012 has not changed since the prologue in Liège almost a week ago.
Rain threatening early today
06 Jul 12|20:18 PM
The riders are about to start riding in the neutral zone. The temperature in Epernay is 19 degrees Celsius and there are a few drops of rain falling and dark clouds are overhead. For the moment it's not exactly wet but there's the threat of showers early in the sixth stage.
Welcome to the live coverage of stage six of the 2012 Tour
06 Jul 12|20:05 PM
After a downpour following the fifth stage, the conditions have cleared and the weather is relatively warm on the day that the Tour starts in the Champagne region of France and aims towards the Moselle department. The route is 207.5km long and features one hill, that comes 10km after the intermediate sprint of the stage in Saint-Mihiel (at 135.5km). The riders will start rolling through the 7.7km neutral zone shortly (at 12.15pm) and the official start is expected to be at around 12.30pm. Live coverage will commence shortly.
Gabriel returns to present his delicious series, as it follows the Tour de France 2010.More info