Rasmussen Wins Stage 6 of Dauphine Libere
Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) has won Stage 6 of the Dauphine Libere. The Dane ignited the break of the day and then rode 60 km alone to take the mountainous, 144-km ride from Gap to Grenoble in 4:04:44. Ivan Basso (CSC) finished second at 5:20, and Thomas Voeckler (Brioches La Boulangere) won a 19-man sprint for third at 6:43. Iban Mayo (Euskaltel) remains the overall leader.
At three km, Rasmussen and Basso attacked on the Col Bayard. By 60 km, the pair led the field by 7:40. On the Col de la Morte (about 85 km), Basso shipped his chain and had difficulty putting it back on. After waiting for a time, Rasmussen proceeded alone. At the top of the Col de la Morte, the Dane led the field by nine minutes.
Attacks were expected on the Category 1 Col du Luitel, particularly by Phonak and U.S. Postal Service, which were expected to attempt to break Euskaltel's hold on the race. Phonak captain Tyler Hamilton crashed on the Luitel, however, and spent 30 km getting back on. Hamilton's mishap seemed to take the motivation to chase out of the bunch. Rasmussen soloed home, as did Basso.
In the overall, Mayo leads Hamilton by 0:36 and Hamilton's teammate Oscar Sevilla by 1:14. Stage 7, the final one of this year's Dauphine Libere, will be a 200-km run around Grenoble that will feature four categorized climbs, including the Category 1 Col de Sarcenas at 185 km. Will Hamilton, Sevilla, Lance Armstrong (U.S. Postal Service), or any other rider threaten Mayo? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
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