Khazakstani rider Alexey Lutsenko soloed clear to the Col de la Lusette en route to winning stage 6 of the Tour de France. Lutsenko was part of an eight-man breakaway which pulled six minutes clear of the main bunch, and he proved strongest as the rest faded away in the final stages.
Three minutes back down the road, Adam Yates was well positioned in the bunch to protect his yellow jersey as Lutsenko crossed the finish line, and eventually came in just one second after Julian Alaphilippe, from whom Yates inherited the race lead.
An eight-strong group of escapees that included Irishman Nicolas Roche began to splinter on the main climb of the day that formed part of the long drag up to the summit finish.
EF Education First’s Neilson Powless struck out in search of glory on his 24th birthday but Lutsenko followed and then left the others behind on the steepest sections of the climb before soloing to victory.
Earlier in the stage Sam Bennett had used the intermediate sprint to stretch his advantage over Peter Sagan to 12 in the points classification, ensuring the Deceuninck-QuickStep rider will enjoy another day in the green jersey.
And Team Sunweb’s Roche joined his compatriot on the podium at the end of the day, named the most aggressive rider after driving the formation of the breakaway.
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