Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) took his 2nd professional victory, the first in the World Tour, in Crest-Voland, the arrival of stage 6 of the Critérium du Dauphiné. The young German was strong and smart enough to be part of a 14-man breakaway that only developed after more than 60 kilometres of battle.

He then mastered a finale he already knew from the Tour de l’Avenir (he was 18th there in 2018) to get the best of Mathieu Burgaudeau (Total Energies) and Jonathan Castroviejo (Ineos Grenadiers). Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) attacked again but his GC rivals answered this move. The final week-end will offer them much more elevation to open differences in the mountains.

The road rises, the stakes are raised, and the attackers are very much inspired from the start in Nantua (where Julian Alaphilippe won a stage of the Tour de l’Ain in 2014). The riders cover 49.5km in the first hour… And it’s not enough to make the break!

The battle keeps going after the cat-2 ascent of the Côte de Clermont-en-Genevois (summit at km 52.8) but Jumbo-Visma control the different attempts until they see a group they deem not too dangerous for Jonas Vingegaard’s yellow and blue jersey.

Six riders eventually get away at km 56. They’re joined by eight more attackers at km 60 to make the break of the day: Nans Peters (AG2R Citroën), Jonathan Castroviejo (Ineos Grenadiers), Andrea Bagioli, Dries Devenyns (Soudal Quick-Step), Andrey Amador (EF Education-EasyPost), Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar), Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates), Axel Zinglé (Cofidis), Lawson Craddock (Jayco AlUla), Mathieu Burgaudeau, Matteo Vercher, Alexis Vuillermoz (Total Energies), Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa Samsic).

The race explodes up the Col des Aravis
Meanwhile, the pace condemns a handful of weakened riders: Donavan Grondin (Arkéa Samsic), Natnael Tesfatsion (Trek Segafredo), Rudy Porter (Jayco AlUla) and Manuele Boaro (Astana Qazaqstan) withdraw from the race.

Jumbo-Visma control the gap until it reaches a maximum of 3’15’’ at km 82. Then Uno X drive the chase, with the occasional support of Team DSM and Trek Segafredo. The gap is down to 1’50’’ as the race enters the final 30 kilometres.

The breakaway explodes on the slopes of the cat-2 ascent of Col des Aravis (7.8km at 5.7%, summit 18.3km away from the finish). At the summit, Jonathan Castroviejo, Mathieu Burgaudeau and Georg Zimmermann are 35’’ ahead of Matteo Trentin, Nans Peters, Simon Guglielmi and Andrea Bagioli. The peloton trail by 1’25’’.

Zimmermann punches to victory
The road rises again for the last 7km, with the climb of the Côte de Notre-Dame-de-Bellecombe (3.2km at 6.1%), immediately followed by the final ascent to Crest-Voland (2.3km at 6.6%). The chasers trail by 25’’ and the peloton by 1’40’’.

These differences are big enough for the three leaders to battle it out. Zimmermann attacks with 2km to go. It seems like his rivals can’t react… But Burgaudeau bridges the gap 500 metres away from the line. The Frenchman opens the sprint but the German clinches victory. Behind them, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) tests his GC rivals into the last kilometre but he doesn’t manage to open differences. –

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