In a dramatic finale Jonas van Genechten powered out of the bunch to take the biggest win of his career and deliver a triple crown of Grand Tour stage wins for IAM Cycling. With a two man breakaway swept up in the last metres, the Belgian easily out-sprinted Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). A crash in the final corner saw Alberto Contador hit the tarmac. Times were neutralised for the GC contenders held up in the aftermath, and Darwin Atapuma (BMC) remains in the red jersey.
Rider of the race
Oh I am so torn here. I LOVED this victory for the IAM cat looking for a new home. LOVED that IAM now have a win in every Grand Tour for 2016 – they are galvanised and passionate. Yet, the award today goes jointly to Cannondale-Drapac’s Simon Clarke and Luis Leon Sanchez from Astana.
Both riders have had an eye for the breakaway and a late solo attack. Sanchez was disappointed to be second on stage 6 and Clarke charged away in the final 2km on stage 5 only to be reeled back in by a rampant Etixx-Quick Step squad. Today, both riders made it into a break of 5 that formed on the last climb of the day after Astana had just about broken the will of the peloton. With 3km to go, the duo were out on their own and riding for their lives. They were still hanging on under the flamme rouge. DON’T LOOK BACK GUYS!!! They didn’t, and for a single heartbeat they must have thought they had it – only for the heartbreak of losing it all in the last few metres. What a ride!
Baby Blackbird Down
Alberto Contador slid out on the last corner of the hectic run to the line. He finished the stage with lycra ripped and battered and bruised. A full update can be found in the team report. Unfortunately he was not only rider to be injured during the stage. Katusha’s Rein Taaramae was hit by a team car at the back of the peloton and forced to abandon. His bike was broken into several bits but thank goodness it seems Rein escaped serious injury (report here).
Four things that made us smile…
When FDJ’s Johan Le Bon makes the break of the day and the 80s band references roll
Matching kits for Yukiya Arashiro (Lampre) and his dog CorinEmbed from Getty Images
Grand Tour stylin’ – it’s not all glitz and glamour
Penguins are never not funny #fact
1 Jonas van Genechten (IAM Cycling) 3:55:44
2 Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff) same time
3 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) s/t
4 Philippe Gilbert (BMC) s/t
5 Kevin Reza (FDJ) s/t
1 Darwin Atapuma (BMC) 25:41:05
2 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +0:24
3 Chris Froome (SKY) +0:32
4 Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +0:38
5 Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange) same time
Points leader: Gianni Meersman (Etixx-QuickStep)
King of the Mountains leader: Alexandre Geniez (FDJ)
Combined classification leader: Darwin Atapuma (BMC)
Team classification leader: Movistar
Stage’s Most Combative: Luis Mate (Cofidis)
For full stage review: Cycling News