Egan Bernal retakes Tour of California race lead on Stage 6 Mountains
Second stage victory and yellow jersey for the young leader of the Sky, after his solo success at the end of the sixth stage of the Tour of California.
Attacking on the penultimate climb, Egan Bernal wetn on to win with almost a minute and a half on Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott). Teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart took the third place on the day.
In the general classification, Egan Bernal dispossed Tejay Van Garderen of the yellow jersey and should save any incident, win the 2018 Tour of California. The American, now second at 1 minute 25 secs, defended well, but cracked under the incessant attacks from riders of Team Sky with just 10 kilometers from the finish.
Shortly after the flag fell, a breakaway of nine riders went away including; Benoît Cosnefroy (Ag2r), Lawson Craddock (EF Drapac), Sean Bennett (Hagens Berman-Axon), Evan Huffman (Rally), Tom-Jelte Slagter (Dimension Data), Serghei Tvetcov (UnitedHealthcare), Floris De Tier (Lotto NL) -Jumbo), Grégory Rast and Toms Skujinš (Trek).
They built up a lead of 5 minutes ahead of the pack led by the yellow jersey team, BMC.
Sean Bennett reached the first climb of the day, and then Toms Skujinš took the next four climbs listed. The Latvian then became the virtual best climber. After having reached the highest point of the race at an altitude of 2,615 meters, the riders then begin a long descent. The breakaway's lead all but 1 minute with 6t0 kms to go. Behind, after leading the pack from the start, BMC team gave way to team Sky.
After some respite in the valley, the breakaway approached the penultimate climb with 1 minute lead, led by Luke Rowe (Sky). Riders started being dropped from the peloton. The leading 8 breakaway men pressed on, but with 20 kilometers to go, only Lawson Craddock (EF Drapac) and Toms Skujinš (Trek) remained.
The breakawy was swpet up as Team Sky put Sebastian Henao on the front. The Colombian blew up the group and his teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart placed the first attack among the favorites. Defending the Yellow jersey, Tejay Van Garderen managed to bridge across, before Bernal counter attacked.
Bernal quickly widened the gap as Van Garderen chased followed by Tao Geoghegan Hart, as Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), then Daniel Felipe Martinez (EF Drapac) joined them.
Egan Bernal crested the penultimate climb with 1 minute 10s lead ahead of the Tejay Van Garderen, who was then distanced by Tao Geoghegan Hart, as Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) too. The yellow jersey, along with Brandon McNulty (Rally) and Rafal Majka (Bora) decended and caught the Yates group as did others.
Egan Bernal crossed the finish line with a comfortable lead to take the lead and Yellow Jersey.
Adam Yates was second and Tao Geoghegan Hart third.
Tejay Van Garderen arrived in 7th place, down 1 minute 38s and managed to secure second place overall.
2018 Tour of California Stage 6 Top 10
1 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky 5:30:58
2 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:01:28
3 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:30
4 Brandon McNulty (USA) Rally Cycling 0:01:33
5 Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb 0:01:38
6 Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
7 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
8 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:45
9 Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:46
10 Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:01:50
2018 Tour of California GC after Stage 6
1 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky 22:26:40
2 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:01:25
3 Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:02:14
4 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:02:16
5 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky 0:02:28
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:03:01
7 Brandon McNulty (USA) Rally Cycling 0:03:28
8 Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 0:03:50
9 Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team Emirates 0:03:59
10 Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:01