After an exhilarating stage five, Thursday’s stage six saw another fast-day of racing at the Tour with the team supporting GC finisher Romain Bardet who fought all the way to the line for tenth place on the stage; and as a result moves up to eighth on GC.
A day over some classic Pyrenees mountains awaited the peloton as they set out of Tarbes with the Col d’Aspin and Col du Tourmalet on offer before a climb to the finish in Cauterets-Cambasque. It was a fast start to the stage but one that settled into a pattern quite quickly with a breakaway going clear early on. All of the Team dsm-firmenich riders rallied around to support Bardet as the kilometres ticked by. Onto the ascent of Tourmalet a fierce pace was set, especially in the second half, and the GC group split to pieces. Bardet rode at a steady tempo in the yellow jersey group and briefly tried an attack to force a counter-move clear, but returned to the group when it was obvious that would no longer happen.
Down the descent and onto the valley road, Bardet remained in the GC group while a pace was set by other teams. That pace remained as they made it onto the final climb, before more attacks flew in the second half. Bardet found a group that he was more comfortable in and pushed all the way to the finish, taking a good tenth place on the stage, moving up to eighth overall.