Alexey Lutsenko wins the 1st Tour de France victory in the sixth stage

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MONT AIGOUAL, France – Kazakh rider Alexey Lutsenko claimed his first stage victory in his fifth Tour de France with a solo effort on Mont Aigoual on Thursday, and Briton Adam Yates retained the lead in the overall standings.Yates and the Tour’s top contenders were still far behind Lutsenko, 27, on the mountain when he crossed the finish line at the top with stunning views across the south of France. He had spotted the last steep climb before the stage and used that knowledge to his advantage.

“I did my best on the steeper section,” he said. “In my head, I was convinced I was going to get there. “

Among the overall contenders, there has been no change at the top. The yellow jersey wearer Yates is still three seconds ahead of Primoz Roglic of Slovenia. Another Slovenian, Tadej Pogacar, is third, seven seconds behind Yates.

“Overall a good day,” Yates said.

Yates wore the iconic yellow jersey for the first time on Thursday. He inherited it from Julian Alaphilippe on Wednesday after the French driver was given a time penalty that deprived him of the race lead. Alaphilippe broke the racing rules by taking a bottle at the end of stage 5, a violation for which he was docked for 20 seconds, putting Yates in yellow. Yates is the ninth Briton to wear the famous jersey since the first, Tom Simpson, wore it for a day in 1962.

But Alaphilippe showed he still struggles by sprinting in front of other top riders as they rolled together in a group atop Mont Aigoual, recouping one of the lost seconds. The field of top contenders crossed the finish line 2 minutes, 53 seconds behind Lutsenko.

With a flat finish after a hilly first half, Stage 7 from Millau to Lavaur on Friday is expected to end with a massive sprint and no change among the overall contenders unless they suffer a crash on the 168 course. kilometers (104 miles). Top runners may be more inclined to get on their feet when the roads climb steeply again this weekend in the Pyrenees.

“It’s going to be really tough,” Yates said.

Lutsenko was part of a group of eight breakaways that took the lead of the main field on the sixth 191-kilometer (119-mile) stage.

Lutsenko, on horseback for the Astana team, shook his breakaway companions on the last ascent of the day, to the Col de la Lusette, climbed for the first time by the Tour, aged 117.

He started the stage in 37th place overall, almost six minutes behind Yates. Since Lutsenko was no threat to the yellow jersey, Yates, his team and other top riders were content to let the fumbles run ahead.

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