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59th Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré - PT

France, June 10-17, 2007

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Stage 6 - June 16: Gap - Valloire, 198km

Live commentary by Bjorn Haake

Live coverage starts: 15:15 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:30 CEST

Complete live report

15:16 CEST    128km/70km to go
Bienvenue and thanks for joining Cyclingnews on another day of live coverage from the Dauphiné Libéré.

Today is another fun day in the mountains for the riders, who had to climb right from the start to the Col Bayard. The action started right away and eventually a group of eleven got away, including Mikel Astarloza, who is 4'22" behind in the overall and therefore maillot jaune virtuelle in this moment.

There is a total of five categorized climbs today.

15:20 CEST   
It is one kilometre to the top of the Col de la Croix de Fer for the front group.

15:22 CEST   
Rémy Di Gregorio puts in a vicious attack just before the group is at the top of the climb. He is taking the mountain points.

15:24 CEST    130km/68km to go
The order across the top of the Col de la Croix de Fer:

1 Di Gregorio (Française Des Jeux)
2 Possoni (Lampre-Fondital)
3 Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner)

15:27 CEST   
The descent is treacherous - a narrow road with lots of tight switch backs. But at least it is dry and a very nice day here in France.

The main field rides up with Astana leading the bunch. Christophe Moreau is also riding up front as well Sylvester Szmyd from the Lampre team, who is wearing the polka dot jersey - in this for the second best climber as Moreau is leading this classification also. It is too warm, however, to wear two jerseys.

15:28 CEST   
Bernhard Kohl almost wipes out on the descent. Treacherous indeed.

The main field has now crossed the top as well.

15:30 CEST   
The mountain tops that are visible in the distance are snow-covered. A pretty sight, if you weren't racing and needing to pay attention to the road all the time.

15:33 CEST    139km/59km to go
Christophe Moreau said before the start that the race will start in earnest on the Croix de Fer. But so far the main favourites haven't done too much damage to each other.

They are slowly starting to take back the advantage from the front group of eleven.

15:36 CEST   
The front group is still on the descent, going through a small village. A dog is walking alongside the road. That could have been disastrous, but the dog seems to be fairly oblivious to the racers. It is a relaxed Saturday after all.

15:37 CEST   
There are some big longitudinal cracks in the road that the main field is just passing. Lots of dangers on France's roads.

15:39 CEST    151km/47km to go
The front group is hitting the next climb - the Col du Mollard, with 47km to go.

15:40 CEST   
The Mollard is six kilometres long and is a difficult climb. Kuschynski got immediately dropped off the front group.

15:41 CEST   
After the tree-less Croix de Fer the riders can now enjoy a forest again, but it's not thick enough to provide any shade.

15:42 CEST   
Kohl is leading the front group up the climb, with Martínez on his wheel.

15:43 CEST   
Bernhard Kohl is leading the group up the climb with Discovery Channel's Egoi Martínez on his wheel.

15:44 CEST    151km/47km to go
Dominique Cornu of Belgian is at the back of the field and zips open his jersey for the climb.

15:45 CEST   
Astana is still controlling the pace and the peloton is still a good size, indicating that the pace isn't too hard right now.

15:48 CEST   
Andrey Kashechkin is in yellow, leading the race. That didn't prevent him to go to the team car himself before the climb up the Croix de Fer and get some bottles.

15:49 CEST   
Charteau just flatted on the climb, but he's quickly back with the main field.

15:50 CEST   
Kohl is still on the front, with Martínez in second. They are really strong and are responsible that the lead is increasing again.

15:51 CEST   
Albiez-le-Vieux is now visible. That's the town where the next mountain top of the Mollard is located.

15:52 CEST    149km/49km to go
It is one kilometre to the top of the climb for the front group. Kohl still in front.

15:53 CEST   
Di Gregorio sprints again out of the group to get the points for the polka dot jersey. Nobody else is challenging him.

15:54 CEST   
Di Gregorio has now the polka dot jersey.

15:57 CEST   
The Astana-led peloton is still on the climb. One of their riders just went to the team car and is now getting back to the front by riding through the dirt in some of the switch backs to get past the peloton, which is still quite big.

15:59 CEST   
The rugged, snow-covered mountains are now behind the peloton. And they are still on the uphill part, while the front group is again in the process of mastering the dangerous descents on those narrow roads that don't have the best of pavement.

16:02 CEST   
The field crosses the Mollard all together. There still have been no attacks out of the peloton.

16:03 CEST   
The peloton is now 5'45" behind the front group, which has shrunk to ten as Kushynski couldn't keep up and is now 40" behind.

16:04 CEST   
The ten in the front are:

Egoi Martínez (Discovery Channel), Stéphane Goubert (Ag2r Prévoyance), Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner), Xabier Zandio (Caisse d'Epargne), Alexandre Botcharov (Crédit Agricole), Maxim Iglinsky (Astana), Rémy Di Gregorio (Française Des Jeux), Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Pierrick Fédrigo (Bouygues Telecom), Morris Possoni (Lampre-Fondital)

16:05 CEST   
Kashechkin is again back to the team cars. He seems to enjoy this more than just riding on the front.

16:07 CEST   
Now two Astana boys have dropped back to their team leader and bring him back to the group.

16:08 CEST   
Ag2r has taken over the work on the front.

The road is not just downhill, there are actually a few dips here and there.

16:10 CEST    157km/41km to go
Over the Mollard the mountain points were taken by:

1 Di Gregorio
2 Possoni
3 Martínez

16:13 CEST   
The lead group of ten has extended their lead to 7 minutes. This means that Astarloza is still in yellow on the road.

The lead group is back to eleven riders as Kuschynski managed to get back up on the descent.

16:16 CEST   
Astana is back to the front after the little stunt on the back of Kashechkin. They are careful on this descent as the roads are still narrow and in poor quality. There are also a lot of switch backs.

16:17 CEST    166km/32km to go
Moreau is in third position in the field, not letting Kashechkin out of sight. The field is now one very long single file line going down those switch backs.

16:19 CEST    167km/31km to go
The front group only has 31km to go. They just mastered a round about. They are back down in the valley. After a few flat kilometres they will hit the Télégraphe climb.

16:21 CEST   
On the flat parts attacks out of the front group have dismantled the eleven in the front. It is now Zandio in front, with Kohl and Iglinsky chasing.

Martínez is also trying to get up.

16:21 CEST   
Martínez has managed to join Kohl and Iglinsky

16:22 CEST   
And the three are strong enough to get back up to the leader, Xabier Zandio from Caisse d'Epargne.

16:23 CEST    168km/30km to go
The four in the front are less than one kilometre from the next climb.

16:24 CEST   
The many switch backs on the downhill have resulted that the main field has been cut into two.

16:25 CEST   
Martínez leads the front group over the Bouchet, a cat 4 climb.

16:26 CEST   
Iglinsky is in a good position - he just can sit on and let the other three drag him to the finish.

16:28 CEST   
The split in main field has resulted that the group around Kashechkin is fairly small.

Behind Cadel Evans is trying to get back. He is riding on the front of the chasing second main field.

16:30 CEST   
The group around Kashechkin is only eleven man-strong!

Moreau is there, but many of the others in the overall have missed this. Astana is still strong with five riders in the break. Moreau also has a couple f teammates.

16:32 CEST   
The group around Kashechkin is 6'19" behind the lead group. The field is back 6'45", so the Astana's are ahead of the other favourites by 26".

16:33 CEST   
Thomas Voeckler is also in the small front group.

16:34 CEST    178km/20km to go
Botcharov catches up with the front group, so it is five now in the lead.

16:36 CEST   
It does look like the Kashechkin group is slowly being reeled in again.

16:37 CEST    180km/18km to go
Pierrick Fédrigo joins the front group. There are six now.

The second group is still 20" behind the yellow jersey.

16:39 CEST   
The two main fields are riding along the reservoir on flat, open roads. The climb to the Col du Télégraphe will start soon.

16:41 CEST   
Astana and Ag2r are desperately trying to hit the climb with a small advantage. But they also sacrifice all their riders in the valley.

We will see if this is going to work out in the end.

16:42 CEST   
While in the front the group of eleven is all together again, the two groups in the front also have joined again. So the attack from Astana and Ag2r was not successful.

16:43 CEST    181km/17km to go
In the front there has been an attack again.

16:44 CEST   
David Millar has done a lot of work on the valley to get the second group back up to the group with the yellow jersey. Now that the climb has started he is dropping back.

16:45 CEST   
Ag2r is now making the pace. An Astana is in second spot, Moreau in third.. Kashechkin is a little further back.

16:46 CEST   
The attacks in the front group are now coming one after the other. Astarloza tries, but is brought back.

16:47 CEST   
Oscar Pereiro is dropped.

Kashechkin is back up next to Moreau.

16:47 CEST    186km/12km to go
Botcharov attacks! He is getting a gap.

16:48 CEST   
Iglinsky is chasing and joins Botcharov. Two Russians at the front.

16:49 CEST   
Di Gregorio also manages to get to the front. These efforts will hurt.

16:51 CEST   
Zabriskie, Menchov, Beltrán are in the yellow jersey group.

Vinokourov gets dropped!

16:53 CEST    188km/10km to go
Calzati and Vino ride together.

Piepoli is also in the front group.

Maxim Iglinsky attacks and gaps his companions.

16:55 CEST   
Kashechkin still looks good. David Zabriskie, who is in fifth overall, is also in the group. He has one teammate (Gustov) with him.

Sylvain Chavanel is also in this group.

16:57 CEST   
Cadel Evans (Lotto) and
Alberto Contador from the Discovery Channel are also there.

But there is no sign of Levi Leipheimer.

16:58 CEST   
Iglinsky, who did have to work all day, is now flying up the mountain, trying to give yet another stage win to Astana. Is there any stopping this team?

16:59 CEST   
Here is a complete breakdown of the group around the yellow jersey:

Contador, Moreau, Loubet, Turpin, Menchov, Piepoli, Kashechkin, Redondo, Evans, Zabriskie, Gustov, Beltrán, Anton, Seeldraeyers, Valjavec

17:00 CEST   
Attack by Moreau!!!

17:01 CEST   
Moreau is only 14 seconds behind in the overall. He gaps Andrey Kashechkin.

17:01 CEST   
Evans and Piepoli can go with Moreau.

17:02 CEST   
But Kashechkin is gapped and Zabriskie can't hold the pace of the group with the yellow jersey.

17:03 CEST   
Goubert, who was in the front all day, is now back with Moreau and will give him a hand as long as he can.

17:03 CEST   
Contador attacks out of the small yellow jersey group!!!

It is not looking good for Kashechkin!

17:06 CEST    190km/8km to go
Iglinsky is still in the front and will likely take the stage.

But the real drama for Astana is behind. There *is* stopping this team.

Goubert has now had enough, so it is up to Moreau. He will have to do all the work, while Evans and Piepoli can sit on. But it is unlikely they will contend for the stage win.

Kashechkin is 40" behind Moreau. Contador is around 30" back from the green jersey (Moreau).

17:07 CEST   
Cadel Evans looks very comfortable on the wheel of Moreau.

17:09 CEST    192km/6km to go
The group around Kashechkin is 7 strong.

Iglinsky's face is now showing sign of his efforts. He will have to pedal for another six kilometres.

17:10 CEST   
Evans now helps out with the pace making, too. Piepoli is happy to stay behind the two for the moment. This group is now passing Bernhard Kohl, who was in the 11-man front group all day.

17:12 CEST   
Lots of people out and many rode their bicycles up. What a nice way to spend a nice, sunny Saturday!

But don't tell this to Kashechkin, who has no teammates left and is not having a great day.

17:13 CEST    192km/6km to go
The gap looks significant. Several hundred metres on a mountain hurts.

The yellow jersey group is one kilometre from the summit.

17:13 CEST   
From the top it is another six kilometres down to the finish.

17:15 CEST    194km/4km to go
Evans, Moreau and Piepoli are hitting the descent. They are 2'42" behind the leader. Kashechkin is 4'05" back!

17:16 CEST    196km/2km to go
Iglinsky is flying down the mountain. Only a crash can stop him now.

17:16 CEST    197km/1km to go
Iglinsky managed to survive the downhill and has entered the last kilometre.

17:17 CEST   
Iglinsky smiles down the finishing straight and shows his Astana jersey to the spectators! Chapeau!

17:19 CEST   
The sprint for second: Di Gregorio is leading it out, but Botcharov goes past him.

17:19 CEST   
Martinez wins the sprint in his three man group.

17:20 CEST   
Moreau is ahead of Evans and Piepoli.

17:23 CEST   
Provisional results:

1 Maxim Iglinsky (Astana)
2 Alexandre Botcharov (Crédit Agricole),
3 Pierrick Fédrigo (Bouygues Telecom)
4 Rémy Di Gregorio (Française Des Jeux)
5 Egoi Martínez (Discovery Channel),
6t Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
7 Aleksandr Kuschynski (Liquigas)
8 Christophe Moreau (Ag2r Prévoyance)
9 Cadel Evans (Lotto-Predictor)
10 Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval-Prodir)

17:26 CEST   
Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana looses his yellow jersey by more than a minute.

Christophe Moreau is the new leader of the overall classification.

Thanks for joining Cyclingnews on this exciting day in the mountains of the Dauphiné Libéré. Make sure to check the full results and report later on our website and tune back in tomorrow for the final day of the race.

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