First Ascent

Tour-post-stage_medium

The Post-Race Show: Stage 6

Today brought the first climbing stage of the race, and while it did not cause any great separations among the favorites for the overall, it did deliver an exciting day of racing. As with the previous stages, an all-French breakaway, containing Benoit Vaugrenard, Freddy Bichot, and Sylvain Chavanel, rode the wind until the final climb. Bichot held out the longest, grabbing himself some quality television time until the bunch absorbed him. A flurry of attacks came out of the main field beginning around 5 km to go, including one from Team Garmen's Christian Vandevelde. Joined by Leonardo Peipoli, the Vandevelde move held until just short of the final kilometer. Chapeau!

Under the flamme rouge, Caisse d'Epargne led the shrunken group containing all the favorites for the overall. A touch of wheels saw Yellow Jersey Stefan Schumacher crash, putting an end to his run in Yellow. Schumacher's crash also delayed Andy Schleck, though Schleck did not go down. Up ahead, Ricco threw down, making the first move. And the last. He led the sprint all the way to line, with Alejandro Valverde and Cadel Evans on his wheel. Neither Valverde nor Evans could come around, and Ricco won his first ever Tour stage. Kim Kirchen finished just a few seconds behind the trio and now wears the Yellow Jersey of race leader. For his efforts in the break, Sylvain Chavanel took over as leader of the moutains classification. Thor Hushovd retains the Green of Points leader.

Here are today's stage results and the new general classification.
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