• The Critérium du Dauphiné reaches a new phase on Stage 6. (Getty)Source: Getty
Richie Porte has overall leader Thomas De Gendt in his sights as the Critérium du Dauphiné gets ready to tilt upwards.
Cycling Central

9 Jun 2017 - 12:32 PM  UPDATED 9 Jun 2017 - 12:39 PM

De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) finished in the bunch to retain his overall lead, although he expects it to be his last in yellow with the general classification battle about to come alive on the 145.5km stage from Parc des Oiseaux  to Villars-les-Dombes.

Porte (BMC) is in second place overall with a reasonable time gap to his key rivals, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Chris Froom (Sky) and it will be up to that trio to take the race to the BMC leader.

The stage could also be one where outside chances attempt to take something away from the race as the leading contenders mark each other, Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott), Romain Bardet (AG2R) and Fabio Aru (Astana) among them.

On offer are three categorised climbs, but it's the 8.7km long Mont du Chat, with its 10.3 per cent average gradient, on which the GC riders will place their efforts, just 15km from the finish in La Motte-Servolex.

“It’s a super hard climb and quite a tricky descent into the finish. It’s going to be a solid stage," Porte said "Everyone is talking about the descent, but I think make it to the top of the climb first because it’s a really hard climb.

"I think it’s going to be quite tactical with the start tomorrow. Probably a bit like today, it’s a hard start as well. It’s going to be interesting."