Tour de France Stage 6: Dylan Groenewegen Snatches Victory in Chaotic Sprint Finish

Amid high tension and crashes, the Jayco-Alula rider came out on top in a nail-biting finish, narrowly beating Jasper Philipsen. 


BY MICHAEL VENUTOLO-MANTOVANI |

Stage Winner: Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco-Alula)
General Classification Leader:
 Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)

No sooner did Mark Cavendish win his thirty-fifth Tour de France stage, the question arose: How many more stages could he win? Could he put a record that was long-thought unbreakable even further out of reach?

The chance for thirty-six would come immediately, as, after one category 4 climb in the seventh kilometre, Thursday’s sixth was lake-flat as it wound over 163.5 kilometres from Mâcon to Dijon.

Beyond Cav and the typical predictions of which sprinter would win (which, if we’re being honest, is little more than a blind guess), the day’s biggest question came with Mads Pedersen, who crashed hard in Wednesday’s final sprint. However, Pedersen’s Lidl-Trek team confirmed early Thursday that Pedersen was good enough to start the stage.

But Stage 6 belonged to Jayco-AlUla’s Dylan Groenewegen, who took the win by less than half a wheel ahead of Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck). The Dutch national champion navigated a chaotic peloton and a series of final turns to secure his win in Dijon.

“The feeling is so amazing, and to do it in the red, white, and blue jersey.”

“The feeling is so amazing, and to do it in the red, white, and blue jersey,” Groenewegen, the current Dutch national champion, said.

“I actually don’t know what happened and how I was first. It slowed down a little bit; I was fighting for position, and then I went. The sprint field is strong, and the leadout teams are strong, but I was really proud of how we did it today. Hopefully, we can do it again.”

Riders during Stage 6 of the 2024 Tour de France.
Photo: A.S.O. / Charly Lopez

How Stage 6 Unfolded

Though rain wasn’t falling, the day’s early km ticked by over slick road. At the other end of the course, the sun started peeking through the clouds gathered above Dijon.

The only intermediate sprint, which came at the twenty-fourth kilometre, was won by Alpecin-Deceuninck’s Jasper Philipsen. Intermarche-Wanty’s Biniam Girmay finished one position behind, which increased his lead in the points classification to ten points over Pedersen.

READ MORE: Reactions to Biniam Girmay’s Historic Tour de France Stage 3 Victory

Finally, with fewer than eighty kilometres, a break finally took hold, with a front group that included all four classification leaders. Half a minute behind was a second peloton of nearly thirty riders. However, the two groups came back together a few quick kilometres down the road, after which tension in the peloton became visibly heightened.

A crash with just over forty-four kilometres to go collected a handful of riders, including current polka-dot jersey, Team Uno-X Mobility’s Jonas Abrahamsen. However, he caught back on to the back of the peloton two kilometres later.

Then, against a mighty crosswind, the teams began to organise, with Visma-Lease a Bike, Alpecin-Deceuninck, Lidl-Trek, INEOS Grenadiers, Red Bull-BORA-hansgrohe, and UAE Team Emirates fighting their way to the front as the kilometres ticked down.

Courtesy of a series of road splits and roundabouts, the peloton was a bit of a mess inside the final ten kilometres, coming together and splitting apart repeatedly. At the same time, teams did their best to set up for the day’s final sprint. A quartet of EF Education-EasyPost riders crashed into a piece of protective barrier two kilometres away from the safety of the four-k barrier, inside which everyone is awarded the same time.

Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish’s Astana Qazaqstan team and Jasper Philipsen’s Alpecin-Deceuninck remained calm at the front as other leadout trains moved in around them.

READ MORE: Against All Odds, Mark Cavendish Leaves the World in Awe

The peloton took a few quick turns and coursed through a chicane before the day’s final seven-hundred-meter straightaway.

Alpecin-Deceuninck was the first to launch, courtesy of their world-champion leadout man Mathieu van der Poel, followed by Lotto Dstny’s Arnaud De Lie and Intermarche-Wanty’s Biniam Girmay. Movistar’s Fernando Gaviria and Bahrain Victorious’s Phil Bauhaus quickly moved up.

But it was Jayco-AlUla’s Dylan Groenewegen, the man who’s made noise for his Dark Knight-inspired sunglasses, who nipped the group at the end, beating Philipsen by less than half a wheel.

READ MORE ON: 2024 Tour de France Tour de France

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