Published: Fri, July 12, 2019
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Teuns wins Tour de France Stage 6, Ciccone takes race lead

Teuns wins Tour de France Stage 6, Ciccone takes race lead

On Thursday, defending Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas defied his doubters Thursday as Belgian Dylan Teuns won stage six and his breakaway partner Giulio Ciccone snatched the yellow jersey by just a few seconds on an iconic mountain stage.

"When I saw my mum, my dad and my girlfriend at the end when I came down, it was pretty emotional".

But the severity of the ascent, with a final 24 per cent incline and an unpaved section that kicked up clouds of dust, torpedoed other main contenders for overall victory in Paris on July 28.

Despite finishing runner-up, Ciccone took over the leader with a six-second advantage over Alaphilippe.

After starting from Mulhouse, 14 riders, including Teuns and Ciccone, formed a breakaway group.

Ciccone cracked first on the eye-poppingly steep incline, as Teuns cranked on ahead of him to the line.


"Now it feels odd to be here with the yellow jersey myself", added Ciccone, who hails from the Abbruzzo region. "I have to say thanks to all my team-mates. I can't grasp what's happening", the Italian said.

The bonus came in the form of the yellow jersey of the Tour de France, a race that did not feature on his schedule. Chris Froome won the first ever finish here in 2012 to confirm his potential before he went on to win the 2013 Tour, and Thomas must have sensed something special.

Among the top contenders, Thomas is fifth, 49 seconds behind, and leads sixth-placed Bernal by four seconds and seventh-placed Pinot by nine. But, it's been one of those tours.

Thomas' Team Ineos co-leader Egan Bernal had started the Tour at the head of the odds, Thomas coming in to the race off the back of a heavy crash at the Tour de Suisse, and having many questions to answer.

Alaphilippe, who has worn yellow since his solo win on stage three to Epernay, crossed the line in 10th place, to remain in the overall lead.

The day also signalled the end of Romain Bardet's hopes after the Frenchman, twice a podium finisher on the Tour, lost over a minute and now lags more than two minutes behind Thomas.

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