Stage winner Netherlands' Dylan Groenewegen celebrates on the podium after the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 163.5 kilometers with start in Macon and finish in Dijon, France, Thursday, July 4, 2024.

Dutch champion Dylan Groenewegen won the sixth stage of the Tour de France after a mass sprint that was decided in a photo finish on Thursday, July 4. Tadej Pogacar kept the yellow jersey.

Groenewegen earned a sixth career stage victory at cycling’s biggest race ahead of Jasper Philipsen and Biniam Girmay. There was no major change in the general classification, with Pogacar keeping a 45-second lead over Remco Evenepoel. Two-time defending champion Jonas Vingegaard was in third place, 50 seconds off the pace.

After Matthieu Van der Poel opened the sprint in the Burgundy region city of Dijon with an excellent lead-out for his teammate Philipsen, Groenewegen timed his effort perfectly and used his great power to prevail by just a few inches.

The fight between the main contenders for the yellow jersey is expected to resume on Friday, during the race’s first time trial. The 25-kilometer race against the clock features a climb with an average gradient of 6.1% that will put riders to the test in the final section.

Thursday’s relatively short stage of 163.5 kilometers started from the city of Macon, taking the peloton through the Burgundy vineyards. Early into the stage, riders rode past a giant drawing of French striker Antoine Griezmann, who was born in Macon.

Jonas Abrahamsen ignited the first move of the day to claim points in the classification for the polka-dot jersey of best climber, at the top of a short climb and went on a breakaway with Axel Zingle. The duo was caught soon after.

On long sections of roads exposed to wind, the peloton rode at a steady pace, with riders careful not to get caught in a split. About 85 kilometers from the finish, Vingegaard’s teammates Wout van Aert and Christophe Laporte moved to the front to speed up the pace and harden the race.

The peloton lined out and split in two but all the main contenders managed to stay in the first group, although Pogacar found himself isolated. It was just a scare for the UAE Team Emirates leader as the second group with his teammates managed to bridge the gap in the end.

The sprinters’ teams took control with four kilometers left as the fastest men of the peloton got ready for their final, brutal effort. Groenewegen was not immediately sure he won, and waited to be 100% sure before he let his joy explode.

Le Monde with AP

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