Defending Tour de France champion Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) shouted at teammate Michał Kwiatkowski to slow down during Stage 6 on Friday morning (AEST), according to Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo).
By
SBS Cycling Central

4 Sep 2020 - 3:06 PM 

SBS ŠKODA Tour Tracker - The place to watch the Tour de France in full
The 2020 Tour de France on SBS will be covered from the start in sunny Nice to the sunset on the Champs-Élysées, with exclusive live start to finish coverage of every stage through the SBS ŠKODA Tour Tracker.
How to watch the 2020 Tour de France LIVE on SBS
The mountains are calling - escape to France with us. Don't miss a single minute of the 2020 Tour de France as SBS brings you every moment LIVE, FREE and EXCLUSIVE via SBS, SBS VICELAND and streaming online via SBS On Demand and the SBS ŠKODA Tour Tracker App.

23-year-old Bernal missed last month's Critérium du Dauphiné due to a back issue, but finished among the 16 group of favourites on Stage 4 - the first summit finish of this year's Tour de France - on Wednesday (AEST).

However, during a relatively quite Stage 6 on Friday (AEST), Bernal's teammate Kwiatkowski opened up in pursuit of Julian Alaphilippe before looking back at the Colombian.

Mollema has since claimed that when he rode past Bernal and Kwiatkowski to close in on Alaphilippe, the 2019 Tour de France winner ordered the lowering of their team's pace.

"I was a bit surprised that Bernal had to leave a gap," Mollema told NOS.

“He said 'easy easy' to Kwiatkowski in the last 200 meters.

"Maybe he didn't want to go any faster or he didn't feel well."

Contenders react to Stage 6, question Bernal's form
It wasn't the most difficult of stages at the Tour de France, with Stage 6 being raced in quite a negative fashion on the final two climbs
Lone Lutsenko storms to first Tour de France stage victory
Astana's Alexey Lutsenko claimed his first Tour de France stage victory attacking the remnants of the day's break 18 kilometres on the penultimate climb before the finish atop Mont Aigoual.

Meanwhile, Bernal hit back at such claims, saying patience and recovering is key after he placed eighth on Stage 6.

"I'm feeling a bit better every day and today I felt much better. We have to remain patient and recover as well as possible," Bernal said, according to El Tiempo.

"It was a pretty hard day, and we're going to feel it in the legs. The final climb was hard, so there were no attacks.

"It's one of those days that will be felt in the legs the following day and adds to the accumulated fatigue in the final week."

The Tour de France continues with the 168km seventh stage from Millau to Lavaur which should be one for the sprinters but might entice the opportunists.

Watch LIVE from 9:15pm (AEST) on the SBS ŠKODA Tour Tracker App, then from 9:30pm (AEST) LIVE on SBS and live streamed via SBS On Demand.