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TDF (6): Meurisse on the podium on top of La Planche des Belles Filles

TDF (6): Meurisse on the podium on top of La Planche des Belles Filles

The climbers were treated well in the sixth stage of the Tour de France (2.UWT, 6-28/7) with start in Mulhouse and finish on top of La Planche des Belles Filles. Seven categorized climbs were scheduled today, among whom the following climbs of first category: Markstein, Ballon d'Alsace and the finish on La Planche des Belles filles. A 14 man breakaway was formed in the approach to the first climb, with Andrea Pasqualon and Xandro Meurisse. The Italian rider won the intermediate sprint, before Meurisse battled for the mountain points.

The advantage of the breakaway increased to 8 minutes with 70 kilometers to go. The repetition of difficulties caused damage in the breakaway, with four riders remaining at the start of the final climb. Meurisse had to let go two of his breakaway companions during the first climbing hectometers, to finish 3rd on top of La Planche des Belles filles, one minute behind winner Teuns and Ciccone. He climbs to 15th position in the provisional general classification thanks to his performance today. Guillaume Martin finished 24th in the stage and is positioned 30th in the provisional general classification. The peloton rides a 230 kilometer long stage from Belfort to Châlon-sur-Saöne this Friday.

Xandro Meurisse:

« I'm focused on the polkadot jersey for a couple of days and I planned to try one or two times to be in the breakaway in order to reach this goal. My first attempt today was a good one, but not an easy one, with Wellens and De Gendt sharing the same goal in the breakaway. Our value ratios in the mountain prize battle became clear after three climbs and we decided to bury the hatchet and to focus on the stage win, with the time gap of the breakaway being 8 minutes. »

« Our advantage shrank to 2'30 on the final climb and I was afraid I would be caught. But I managed the climb well and tried to not be distracted by the accelerations of my companions. I wouldn't have believed to finish third today, in one of the hardest stages in this edition. My goal before the start was the polkadot jersey, but this 3rd place is worth more! My 8th place last week was promising, this podium is fantastic for myself and for the team! We grow each year in the Tour de France with Wanty-Gobert. We announced before that we were able to battle for the stage win with this collective. I'm convinced that my teammates are able to match my performance or do better! »

Stage 6:
1. Dylan Teuns
2. Guilio Ciccone +0:11
3.Xandro Meurisse +1:05
24. Guillaume Martin +2:44
43. Andrea Pasqualon +10:14
96. Frederik Backaert +20:02
114. Kévin Van Melsen
144. Odd Eiking +22:15
147. Yoann Offredo +22:50
155. Aimé De Gendt +22:58

Provisional general classification:
1. Guilio Ciccone
2. Julian Alaphilippe +0:06
3. Dylan Teuns +0:32
15. Xandro Meurisse +1:39
30. Guillaume Martin +3:27
80. Andrea Pasqualon +31:15
116. Kévin Van Melsen +52:16
141. Kévin Van Melsen +52:16
143. Aimé De Gendt +52:41
170. Frederik Backaert +1:00:09
172. Yoann Offredo +1:04:36