Criterium du Dauphine #6: Pauwels makes big breakaway

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Pello Bilbao (Astana) won stage 6 of the Criterium du Dauphine, being the lone survivor from the early breakaway. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) extended his GC lead by placing 2nd. 3rd place went to Daniel Martin (UAE Emirates).

It was a short explosive stage at the Criterium du Dauphine today, with 4 big categorised climbs squeezed into just 110km. A fast start saw a number of riders attack the peloton on the first big climb, resulting in 27 riders going clear in the early break. Our African Team had Serge Pauwels ride across to the break just before the summit of the first climb.

Being a short stage, the peloton could not afford to let the break run too far so the pace was kept high on the climbs. Over the penultimate climb, the break was down to just 9 riders, Pauwels being one of the riders that dropped back to yellow jersey group, which was only 25 riders strong. The tough stage took its toll on many riders, including Steve Cummings who stopped the race.

Team Sky led the peloton onto the final climb for the GC showdown while Bilbao rode away from his breakaway companions. The Spaniard took the stage honours while the GC men animated the final climb, with Thomas being too strong for his closest challengers. Pauwels and Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier finished together in 32nd and 33rd respectively, just over 9 minutes down.