Ciccone Takes Tour de France Lead As Dylan Teuns Wins Stage 6
- Dylan Teuns won Stage 6 of the Tour de France while Giulio Ciccone took the overall lead from Julian Alaphilippe.
- Ciccone, who placed second on the stage, now leads the General Classification by six seconds.
- Among the overall contenders, returning champ Geraint Thomas made a strong showing, finishing ahead of all his rivals.
As expected, Stage 6 of the 2019 Tour de France brought some changes to the top of the General Classification. But as riders reached the summit finish on La Planche des Belles Filles on Thursday, the result also came with a few surprises.
Dylan Teuns, riding in his first Tour, won the stage with an impressive final climb up La Planche, infamous for its 24 percent gradient at the summit. Fellow Tour rookie Giulio Ciccone, who finished next at 11 seconds behind Teuns, meanwhile took the overall race lead from Julian Alaphilippe thanks to his own dominant climbing plus a 14-second time bonus awarded at the line.
“It was so steep, but I love these kind of finishes,” said Teuns, who crossed the line with Ciccone as the sole survivors of a mass breakaway. “I’m pretty good at this kind of finish.”
Alaphilippe made a valiant effort to defend his lead, attacking near the end of the climb and pulling ahead of the chasers. But he couldn’t power through the grueling final 100 metres and lost the yellow jersey by six seconds to Ciccone. He placed sixth on the stage, failing to catch third-place finisher Xandro Meruisse and getting passed in the final meters by overall contenders Geraint Thomas (fourth on the stage) and Frenchman Thibaut Pinot, who grew up near La Planche.
Still, he performed better than anticipated, and until the very end it looked like Alaphilippe might have kept yellow for another day.
Thomas, the returning champion, showed a strong early form by beating all of his main GC rivals on the stage. He’s now fifth in the overall rankings at :49 behind, with Ineos teammate and pre-stage favourite Egan Bernal just below him at :53 behind. (Bernal finished the stage in a somewhat disappointing 12th place.)
Three overall aspirants, however, lost significant time: 2014 champion Vincenzo Nibali, Jumbo–Visma captain Steven Kruijswijk, and – to a greater extent – AG2R La Mondiale’s Romain Bardet all suffered on the slopes.
Teuns, Ciccone, Meruisse, and King of the Mountains leader Tim Wellens led the stage as they reached the base of La Planche together. Wellens was the fist to get dropped with about 4K to go, but still managed to extend his lead in the competition for the polka dot jersey.
The 27-year-old Teuns, of Bahrain–Merida, is now third on the General Classification. He sits 32 seconds behind Trek–Segafredo’s Ciccone, 24. Both now head to their first-ever Tour de France podium appearances.