MONT AIGOUAL – Kazakh rider Alexey Lutsenko won his first stage of his fifth Tour de France with a solo effort at Mont Aigoual on Thursday.
The Tour’s top contenders were still running far behind Lutsenko, 27, up the mountain when he crossed the finish line at the top with stunning views of the south of France. He had spotted the last steep climb before the stage and used that knowledge to his advantage.
“I gave my maximum in 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. Britain’s Adam Yates retained the leader’s yellow jersey, still three seconds ahead of Primoz Roglic of Slovenia. Another Slovenian, Tadej Pogacar, is still third, seven seconds behind Yates.
“Overall a good day,” 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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