McEwen Wins Stage 6 of Tour
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon) has won his third stage of this year?s Tour de France. McEwen took a bunch sprint to win the rolling, 189-km run from Lisieux to Vitre in 4:10:17. Daniele Bennati (Lampre) finished second, and Tom Boonen (Quick Step) finished third. Boonen remains the maillot jaune.
From the start, the racing was aggressive. After a series of abortive sallies, Benoit Vaugrenard (Francaise des Jeux) and Stephane Auge (Cofidis) escaped at 45 km. Boonen, Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole), Patrik Sinkewitz (T-Mobile), Florent Brard (Caisse d?Epargne), Christian Knees (Milram), Iker Camano (Euskaltel), Pavel Padrnos (Discovery Channel), Sylvain Calzati (Ag2r), Peter Wrolich (Gerolsteiner), Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank), Axel Merckx (Phonak), Philippe Gilbert (Francaise des Jeux), Magnus Backstedt (Liquigas), Manuel Quinziato (Liquigas), and Anthony Geslin and Laurent Lefevre (both from Bouygues Telecom) joined the pair.
The break?s size and composition dictated that the escape be kept on a short leash. The escapees led by 1:10 at 59 km, at which distance Davitamon, CSC, and Lampre?all of which were not represented in the break?began to chase. At 74 km, with the peloton bearing down on the break, Backstedt, Geslin, and Brard attacked. The rest of the break rejoined the peloton.
The trio forged a 5:15 lead at 104 km. The peloton chased deliberately and caught the break with four km left. Lampre and Quick Step took over at the front.
Lampre led the field into the last km. Geert Steegmans (Davitamon) led out McEwen, who powered past the field for the win.
In the overall, Boonen leads McEwen by 0:12 and Michael Rogers (T-Mobile) by 0:21. Stage 7 will change the standings. The rolling, 52-km individual time trial from Saint-Gregoire to Rennes will be the first test of strength for those who aspire to win the Tour. Who will win the stage? Who will take the yellow jersey? Will it be Michael Rogers (T-Mobile), a three-time world time trial champion? Will it be Floyd Landis (Phonak)? Will it be Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner)? For the answers to these questions and others, check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/!