Criterium du Dauphine Stage 6: Meersman 6th, Kwiatkowski Still Top 10 GC
The gamble of an original eight rider breakaway, which was down to four in the final kilometers, paid off at the 143km Criterium du Dauphine Stage 6 on Friday. They were able to finish about a minute ahead of the peloton, and Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar) won the stage after launching his sprint first in the final meters.
Jose Herrada (Movistar) was 2nd, and Kevin Seeldrayers (Astana Pro Team) was 3rd.
All of OPQS was on the front trying to bring the breakaway back for a bunch sprint, so sprinter Gianni Meersman could contest the stage. However, the gap remained at about 1'17" inside the last 10km as there was descending into a flat finish.
As the peloton neared the finish, Meersman worked his way to the wheel of Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) as he attempted to win the field sprint. Meersman launched off his wheel just before the line. However, it was a bike throw between the two and the photo finish determined Boasson Hagen was 5th, and Meersman 6th.
Michal Kwiatkowski remains in 8th place in the GC, remaining near the front to help chase, and also protect his GC position. Meersman also keeps the green jersey again.
OPQS looks next to a medium mountain, 187.5km Stage 7 on Saturday.