POISY, France, June 13, 2014 (AFP) – Belgian Jan Bakelants, riding for
Omega Pharma-Quick Step, won the sixth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine on
Friday while overall leader Chris Froome recovered from a nasty crash to keep
the yellow jersey.
Froome, the defending Tour de France champion, came home with his jersey
and shorts shredded after crashing with 7.5km to race.
He lost over a minute on the peloton but sportsmanship prevailed as main
rival Alberto Contador and the rest of the pack waited for Froome to catch up.
The Kenyan-born British Sky rider had deep grazes and cuts across his back,
shoulder, elbow and hip as he arrived over four minutes behind Bakelants.
“It’s nothing serious,” said Froome. “I must have hit a hole and the front
wheel slipped. It hurts but I haven’t broken anything. I’ll need a few
bandages,” he added.
The defending Dauphine champion also thanked his rivals in the peloton for
slowing down so he could catch the main pack.
“They told me that the Tinkoff riders (Contador’s team) and Astana riders
(Vincenzo Nibali, 6th overall) were the first to tell the peloton to slow down
and wait for me. I thank them for that, which was a great sporting gesture.”
Bakelants, 28 and a Tour de France yellow jersey holder for two stages last
year, won a two-man sprint against Dutch time-trial champion Lieuwe Westra
after the duo broke free of an escape group down the stretch.
“On the last climb, we had the same level but it was impossible to drop him
(Westra),” said Bakelants.
“I was waiting for the sprint and I was a bit faster but I was lucky that
he didn’t close the door on me.” he added.
The stage covered 178.5km from Grenoble to Poisy with third place going to
Czech rider Zdenek Stybar, who won a sprint from a small group 24 seconds
behind the leaders.
With Saturday’s decisive mountain stage on the penultimate day, Froome is
certain to be attacked by Contador who lies 12 seconds back.
Also tied for second is Dutchman Wilco Kelderman who closed the gap on
Contador during Thursday’s fifth stage.
The stage will culminate with two beyond category climbs and a summit
finish where the race is almost certain to be won or lost.
“Tomorrow (Saturday), it’s a difficult stage that awaits us,” continued
“I don’t know the final climb but I’m sure that those who have the legs to
do it will attack me. It’s not up to me to do it but I’ll see how I feel,”
Froome added looking ahead to Saturday.
Leading stage and overall results
after the sixth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine, the 178.5km from Grenoble
to Poisy on Friday.
1. Jan Bakelants (BEL/OPQ) 4hr 07min 20sec, 2. Lieuwe Westra (NED/AST)
s.t., 3. Zdenek Stybar (CZE/OPQ) at 24secs, 4. Pim Ligthart (NED/LTB) s.t., 5.
Jens Keukeleire (BEL/ORI) s.t., 6. Jens Voigt (GER/TRE) s.t., 7. Maciej Bodnar
(POL/CAN) s.t., 8. Bram Tankink (NED/BKN) s.t., 9. Valerio Conti (ITA/LAM)
s.t., 10. Julien Simon (FRA/COF) s.t., 11. Jean-Christophe Peraud (FRA/ALM)
12. Cesare Benedetti (ITA/APP) s.t., 13. Thomas Damuseau (FRA/GIA) s.t.,
14. Imanol Erviti (ESP/MOV) s.t., 15. Sergio Paulinho (POR/TIN) s.t., 16.
Aleksejs Saramotins (LAT/IAM) 1:14, 17. Richie Porte (AUS/SKY) 3:55, 18. Mikel
Nieve (ESP/SKY) s.t., 19. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) s.t., 20. David Lopez
(ESP/SKY) s.t., 21. Alberto Contador (ESP/TIN) s.t.,
Selected: 25. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) 3:55, 26. Jürgen Van den Broeck
1. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 23hr 12min 15sec, 2. Alberto Contador (ESP/TIN)
at 0.12secs, 3. Wilco Kelderman (NED/BKN) 0:12, 4. Andrew Talansky (USA/GRM)
0:33, 5. Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL/LTB) 0:35, 6. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST)
0:50, 7. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/TRE) 1:22, 8. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 1:22, 9.
Adam Yates (ENG/ORI) 1:24, 10. Tanel Kangert (EST/AST) 1:35, 11. Romain Bardet
12. Sébastien Reichenbach (SUI/IAM) 1:40, 13. Daniel Navarro (ESP/COF)
1:43, 14. Leopold König (CZE/APP) 1:44, 15. Jan Bakelants (BEL/OPQ) 1:58, 16.
Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 2:22, 17. Kristijan Durasek (CRO/LAM) 2:32, 18.
Mikel Nieve (ESP/SKY) 2:36, 19. Daniel Moreno (ESP/KAT) 2:42, 20. Bart De
Clercq (BEL/LTB) 2:47