Tour de France '07 Stage 6: Semur-en-Auxois - Bourg-en-Bresse

Boonen - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Boonen outsprinted the pack to take the stage win, restoring the green jersey to his shoulders. Boonen battled all day for the sprint points, taking the first two intermediate sprints to move into the virtual green jersey while still on course. He then sent his teammates to nullify the final intermediate sprint to save his legs for the big mass sprint. Boonen came around Gerolsteiner's leadout in the final sprint and held off Freire and Zabel. He managed to do so despite wrecking his rear derailleur in Mark Cavendish's front wheel](http://www.t-mobile-team.com/tmo_team/servlet/pages/944728) -- "The bike's rear end was making noise. I was forced to do my sprint in my 11 [a very high tooth gear] and it was not possible to shift" (good ole' 53x11). There was no sign of McEwen.

It was perhaps the quietest day of the Tour so far as the peloton rode slow and the typical breakaway catch was easy. The peloton only let one rider go -- Bradley Wiggins -- and they left him off the front as long as they could, waiting until 7k to catch him.

Degano abandoned today after a crash in the feed zone while LeQuatre didn't start after his similar crash yesterday. Kloden and Vinokourov both rode on today, though Vino was making a sign across his throat at the end of today's stage, perhaps indicating that the mountains are not going to go well for him.

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Other coverage

CyclingNews Stage 6 Preview: "Starting in the tiny country village of Semur-en-Auxois, the first Friday stage of Le Tour 2007 heads south through the bucolic farms of Auxois into the famed wine region of M√Ęcon to finish on the flat roads of the Bresse region. Stage six will be the last chance for the sprinters for a while, and whichever fast-man wins in Bourg-en-Bresse will likely enjoy a tasty poulet de Bresse that the town is famous for."

My prediction: Tom Boonen. I don't think he'll finish this Tour without a stage win, so I'll keep picking him until he does :)

Versus Picks

  • Paul: Boonen
  • Bob: McEwen
  • Phil: Hunter
  • Al: Hushovd

kwc.org Stage Log

Vino and Kloden are starting, despite both spending a lot of time in the hospital yesterday. Kloden has a broken coccyx.

LeQuatre is today's sad abandon -- he finished outside the time limit yesterday after crashing, but was allowed to continue for showing his "fighting spirit".

Discovery's Noval is continuing today despite yesterday's crash injuries.

Wiggins attacked solo and built up a max lead of 17 minutes

[Wiggins - JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images(http://sports.yahoo.com/sc/photo?slug=getty-tdf2007-cycling-wiggins104932am&prov=getty)

JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images

Boonen sprinted for second place in the first intermediate sprint to beat out Hunter. That moves in back even with Zabel for points

In the KOM competition, Chavanel sprinted for the second placed KOM points at the Cote de Grandmont

Degano is down is a mess of feed bags and battles. He has abandoned due to injuries. (correction: Versus was wrong, he finished the stage in the top 20)

Boonen beat Zabel for the second intermediate sprint. That puts Boonen in virtual green

Col de Briancon goes to Wiggins. Garate beat out Chavanel for the second-place points.

Wiggins gets a wheel change. If the mechanic doesn't pick up the wheel Wiggins just tossed someone will have an expensive souvenir.

Boonen uses two teammates to sweep up the intermediate sprint points, saving him and the other sprinters energy

Wiggins at 1:55, 19.6 miles. Gap is falling fast.

The peloton cut about half a minute off of Wiggins' lead in just a couple miles, but now they are letting him stew at 1:20

10 miles to go, 1:08, but they are going to reel Wiggins in now.

The lead drops under a minute as Wiggins goes under the 15k banner

0:24, 11k

They still haven't put Wiggins out of his misery. 0:10, 8.2k

Vino draws a line across his throat, letting us know how he feels. I feel bad for him going into the mountains.

Wiggins is caught with 7k to go.

Liquigas, Quick Step, and Gerolsteiner keep trying to form lines. Wegmann took over duties at the front.

A Quick Step, CA, and Milram rider and driving it with 2.7k to go

Big long home straight, Rabobank rider up front

Julian Dean leads it out

Boonen takes it!

related articles: Tour de France 2007
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Comments (2)

Looks like you picked a winner today ;-)

kwc:

I only got the pick through persistence -- I was hoping that I wasn't going to have to pick Boonen for every remaining sprint stage until he won ;)

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