Criterium du Dauphine 2012 stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson>>

Nairo Quintana of Movistar won stage six of the Criterium du Dauphine in Morzine today, but the story of the day was Team Sky decimating the field on the Col de Joux Plane, exerting a level of control not seen in years.

At the bottom of the 12km Jeux Plane, the final climb of the day, BMC, Lotto-Belisol and Team Sky were all near the front, but it was the British team that took control. When they did, it was complete.

Edvald Boasson Hagen, who looked strong yesterday when bringing back the Evans group, ramped the pace up as one by one the favourites were dropped.

Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) was the first big name to be dropped, going out the back of the shrinking peloton with Denis Menchov who has been invisible so far in this race. Second placed Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) was next to go, and by the summit four of the nine-man group were in Sky jerseys.

After Boasson Hagen had swung off, Richie Porte kept the pace high as Chris Froome and Michael Rogers sat behind him patiently awaiting their turn. In the middle, Wiggins sat and span a gear that made his riding look effortless.

Over the summit, Quintana had just a 15 second gap, and only Cadel Evans (BMC), Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol), Haimar Zubeldia (RadioShack) and Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge) were with the phenomenally strong Sky train.

Quintana, a former winner of the Tour d l’Aviner, pushed on down the fast descent that winds through picturesque Alpine meadows. With Sky only interested in keeping Wiggins safe, his gap crept up.

Evans, fed up of waiting, attacked. Sniffing another stage win he sprinted out of the hairpins and, with his inside knee pushed out as far as it would go, ran the corners wide in pursuit.

But Quintana was safe, and rode in to Morzine with a 15 second gap over the Australian. Sky kept their cool, knowing Evans would only gain a handful of seconds, and came in ten seconds later with Wiggins looking untroubled as he crossed the line in fourth place.

Wiggins has so far shown that his is the best time trailer, and looks comfortable on the climbs (he has not been tested yet). He looks every inch the Tour winner elect. With his team mates looking almost as good as their leader – they have three in the top four overall – it’s hard to see who can challenge him.

Schleck abandons

Andy Schleck today abandoned the race as he continues to suffer from the injuries picked up when he crashed in the time trial earlier in the week. The RadioShack rider looked out of sorts even before the time trial and has just three weeks to turn his fortunes round before the start of the Tour de France.

His brother Frank, who abandoned the Giro d’Italia with a shoulder injury rides the Tour de Suisse that starts today. Fabian Cancellara also returns to racing after breaking his collarbone at the Tour of Flanders in April.

Result

Criterium du Dauphiné 2012, stage 6: Saint-Alban-Leysse to Morzine, 167.5km

1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar 4-46-12


2. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 16 seconds

3. Daniel Moreno (Esp) Katusha at 24 seconds

4. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky

5. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge

6. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky

7. Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar

8. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol

9. Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Sky

10. Haimar Zubeldia (Esp) RadioShack

Other

41. David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Barracuda at 5-14

64. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Barracuda at 9-14

General classification after stage six

1. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky 23-40-59hrs


2. Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Sky at 1-20

3. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 1-36

4. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky at 1-48

5. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol 2-22

6. Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar 2-58

7. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana 3-07

8. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Rabobank 3-26

9. Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 3-44

10. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing 3-51

Other

64. David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Barracuda at 22-47

131. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Barracuda at 47-03





Andy Schleck abandons the race





Col de la Colombière





Richie Porte leads Bradley Wiggins





Wiggins: in control





Nairo Quintana strikes out alone





Quintana takes the stage win

Critérium du Dauphiné 2012: Latest news

Wiggins’ Dauphiné time trial clothing dilemma

Live text coverage: Critérium du Dauphiné stage four time trial

Bruyneel disappointed with RadioShack’s lack of results

Wiggins on Dauphiné: ‘I’ve come here to race’

Wiggins happy with second in Dauphiné prologue

Critérium du Dauphiné 2012: The Big Preview – includes team list, TV guide, recent winners and more

Wiggins back to defend Critérium du Dauphiné title

Critérium du Dauphiné 2012: Stage reports



Stage five: Wiggins maintains lead as Vichot wins stage



Stage four: Wiggins blitzes time trial



Stage three: Boasson Hagen blasts to stage win



Stage two: Moreno wins second stage in Dauphiné hill-top sprint



Stage one: Evans wins as Wiggins takes lead



Prologue: Wiggins second behind Durbridge

Critérium du Dauphiné 2012: Photo galleries

Stage six photo gallery

Stage five photo gallery

Stage four photo gallery

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one photo gallery

Prologue photo gallery

 

  • dai bananas brother

    SKY 10/10 Wiggins 8/10 – didn’t wim stage and still doesn’t quite look cool enough – Dai’s missus says it’s the socks ; Commentator -1/10 generally faffed about and told ‘amusing’ anecdotes about himself, at which point the recording on the box cut out. Poetic justce it was, the dog celebrated by turning a cartwheel!!

  • Andew Turner

    I hope Brad hasn’t peaked too early. Perhaps he can use the next three weeks to learn to descend a little better, as Evans and Nibali are stronger here and may focus on that to take time out (if Brad has a time advantage). Even if Tdf goes elsewhere, I think Drad has had a fantastic season.

  • Tom

    A year based around the tour with few races, and a unbelievably strong team…One could draw a few parallels with a certain American rider and team of years past!

    I certainly don’t think we’ve seen such domination since the years of Postal/Discovery. Wiggins, Porte and Froome (on last years performance) are all capable of top 5 finishes, as were Landis, Hamilton and Heras.

  • wally warburton

    concur fully with last comment, just hope brad has not peaked too soon, you cant rely on tht tt only as things can happen on those bikes and conditions can change during the trial.looking good so far but there is always somebody else going well too,so team strength will count massively.

  • Nigel Wynn
  • Mick Ballard

    Cadel Evans sniffing another stage win,I didnt know he had won one?

  • J Mitchell

    Some very good riders came to this Dauphine and have been made to look very ordinary. Is it too much to hope that Wiggins can win Le Tour? Sky’s dominance today was frankly awesome. Cavndish will have to look after himself this year. He has his green jersey; the yellow jersey has to be the prize. Cavendish will win more green jerseys. Wiggins might not get another chance, although with Sky’s present control, he might yet be the match for Contador when he returns next year.