Break-away remnant, Cameron Meyer (Dimension Data) was caught agonisingly short of the line, Davide Cimolai (Lampre-Merida) ultimately sprinting to the Stage 6 victory.
The Australian was caught by the peloton with just 50 metres to go. Cimolai out-sprinted the bunch winning ahead of Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) and Tosh van der Sande (Lotto-Soudal).
Meyer initiated the early break away of 11 riders - which included Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) - after 55km raced. Their gap grew to five minutes before Lampre-Merida took control for Cimolai. The deficit at two minutes, Meyer attacked the break at 45km to go, trying to up the tempo. This move dropped two riders, the remaining eight rejoining Meyer.
But with 20km to go, the peloton caught sight of the escapees and reduced the gap to 20 seconds with around 7km to go. Meyer, Petr Vakoc (Etixx-Quickstep), Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Rudy Molard (Cofidis) pulled clear holding on to 15 seconds until the 1km red kite. Meyer attacked again, the desperate lead he grasped cruelly taken from him as Cimolai and the bunch sprinted past him.
The disappointed West-Australian said he was looking forward to today's stage.
"Our team plan was to have someone in the breakaway. I had suffered through the big mountains and was looking forward to today. I made a big effort all day and felt really good.
Of course I am disappointed to get caught so close to the finish line but I guess that is bike racing and I will keep trying to get a victory. Our team has been in 4 breakaways this tour and shown ourselves up at the front of the race. We have just the one more stage tomorrow, finishing in Barcelona.
Nairo Quintana (Movistar) was again untroubled and wears the race leader's jersey into the final stage.