12 Jun 2016 - 11:10 AM 

Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) was far from happy with his second place at Stage 6 of the Criterium du Dauphine, where he finished behind rival Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) in the final push to the line after being aggressive on the early slopes of the final climb.

Bardet had joined the early breakaway group which contained Pinot after attacking on the Col de la Madeleine, leaving behind the peloton and making a bold claim for victory.

With his team-mates Mikael Cherel, Ben Gastauer and Jan Bakelants all helping to extend out the advantage to a maximum of three minutes, Bardet was sitting in the virtual yellow jersey on the road.

On the final climb the 25 year-old Frenchman attacked from the break, with Pinot intially not able to follow and only gradually clawing Bardet back after a hard chase. 

From there the pair swapped turns and it appeared that Pinot would be allowed to take the stage win and Bardet take yellow from race leader Chris Froome, but all cooperation broke down when Bardet attacked Pinot with three kilometres to go, fracturing the accord between the two.

"There was no tactic," said Bardet. "I've not won yet this year but I wanted to take a win here, especially at the Dauphine, but when you have the win in mind it's hard to think about the overall. I didn't have a choice and that's maybe why I don't have the win or the GC."

"I was aiming for the stage. I admit that I did not ride very well the final. It's always difficult when you think about both the stage and the GC. It is a rather delicate position."

"The team did an incredible job, fantastic. I would have liked to win for them. In the end I lost time because I wanted to win the stage. I am really very disappointed.”

AG2R sport director Julien Jurdie didn't appear too impressed with the tactics of his young rider after the stage.

"From the moment the break was formed, it worked well the guys really did a great job to the bottom of the climb,” said Jurdie."Romain had great feelings, he wanted to attack from the distance.

“We tried to hold him back a little. But his temperament was different and he went as he is used to. Romain has then perhaps made ​​a little mistake. He attacked with 3km to go, something we had not requested."

"And he paid for that because from there, Thibaut didn’t work and it was quite logical. We had asked him to attack at 1300 meters to go on the hardest percentages. To attack so early is the mistake that was made ​​today."

Sunday 12 Jun 2016

Alberto Contador was very active on the Col de la Madeleine, but couldn't make an attack stick. He then paid for his attacking ways as he didn't have the legs to keep up in the final surge to the line, where he was distanced by Dan Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) and race leader Chris Froome (Sky).

"It was good because we climbed a lot today and I needed that for my body," Contador told Cyclingnews and Biciciclismo after the stage. "You know, I'm going okay but I continue to need that extra speed in my legs and I'll get that after the Dauphine with a bit more training."

"On the Madeleine I just wanted to put some pressure on other teams and the feelings that I got were good. Day by day I'm getting better and I have confidence because in the other years when I'm here and finishing high up I go well in the Tour. I still think I'm going to have a good Tour de France."

"I needed to attack Team Sky. They have a strong team. Okay I was at my limit there at the top and they saved the day in the final but everyone has a bad day now and then, and if you don't try then you never know.

"Look at today, Richie had a bad day. Okay he was there until the last moment but with each day is harder and now I'll just recover.
"Tomorrow I'll give it the maximum and if I see a good moment then I will try. Froome had a hard day. We put him at the limit. I saw good things today."

Dan Martin is well on his way to a superb result at the Criterium du Dauphine after another top performance in Stage 6 saw him jump out of the group of favourites in the final kilometre and then outsprint Chris Froome to take third on the stage.

"The day was very hard, and became even more difficult once Contador went full gas on La Madeleine," said Martin. "Not many were left in the peloton after cresting the top, but luckily we had Tony in the valley, who gave us a hand behind the escapees."

"Sky's tempo was hard on Méribel, so I just waited for the right moment to attack. It was the right decision to go inside the last kilometer, as I got a gap on Contador and the others and gained a few seconds.

"It's a pity that Bardet jumped in the top 3 overall (overtaking Martin in the process), but I'm ready to fight on Sunday, when I'll start with confidence what should be another aggressive stage. We will see what the day will bring".

The Irishman is now just nine seconds off the podium and is only 30 seconds behind race leader Chris Froome.

Birthday boy Julien Alaphillipe made it a dual reason to celebrate for Etixx-QuickStep as he retained the white jersey after sticking on challenger Adam Yates' (Orica-GreenEDGE) wheel up the final climb.