Frenchman launches sprint with line in sight to leave three breakaway companions behind

Thomas Voeckler of Europcar has won Stage 6 of the 2013 Critérium du Dauphiné in Grenoble, jumping clear of three breakaway companions in the closing few hundred metres to take the first victory by a French rider in this year's race. Jose Herrada of Movistar finished second, with third and fourth place respectively filled by the Astana pair of Kevin Seeldrayers and Egor Silin.

The peloton arrived three quarters of a minute later, with Team Sky's Edvald Boasson Hagen winning the sprint for fifth place. There's no change in the overall standings, with Chris Froome remaining in the race leader's maillot jaune with just two stages to come.

Omega Pharma-Quck Step had worked hard to try and bring back the escapees to try and set up Gianni Meersman for a sprint finish, but as the escapees headed towards Grenoble and the end of the 143km stage from la La Léchère, they managed to maintain sufficient advantage to ensure they wouldn't be caught.

Astana had the numerical advantage, but unlike in the Dwars door Vlaanderen in March, when Voeckler made an early bid for glory but was caught in the closing metres, he bided his time and his late burst for the line left his rivals with no chance to respond.

Speaking after the stage, Voeckler revealed he'd been helped by the memory of the route into Grenoble from the 2004 edition of the race, when he took the bunch sprint for third place on Stage 6, won by Michael Rasmussen ahead of Ivan Basso. 

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 6 result  
1  VOECKLER Thomas        Team Europcar                 03:24:13
2  HERRADA LOPEZ Jose     Movistar Team                Same time
3  SEELDRAEYERS Kevin     Astana Pro Team                  "
4  SILIN Egor             Astana Pro Team                  "
5  BOASSON HAGEN Edvald   Sky Procycling                   00:46
6  MEERSMAN Gianni        Omega Pharma-Quick-Step   All at same time
7  GAVAZZI Francesco      Astana Pro Team                  "
8  SULZBERGER Wesley      Orica GreenEDGE                  "
9  GERARD Arnaud          Bretagne-Séché Environnement     "
10 KWIATKOWSKI Michal     Omega Pharma - Quick-Step        "
11 ROHREGGER Thomas       RadioShack - Leopard             "
12 CHERNETSKIY Sergey     Katusha Team                     "
13 KOREN Kristjan         Cannondale Pro Cycling Team      "
14 MATE Luis Angel        Cofidis Solutions Crédits        "
15 GAUTIER Cyril          Team Europcar                    "
16 QUINZIATO Manuel       BMC Racing Team                  "
17 DENNIS Rohan           Garmin-Sharp                     "
18 SLAGTER Tom-Jelte      Blanco Pro Cycling Team          "
19 PORTE Richie           Sky Procycling                   "
20 TALANSKY Andrew        Garmin-Sharp                     "
Overal standings after Stage 6  
1  FROOME Christopher    Sky Procycling                19:33:43
2  PORTE Richie          Sky Procycling                   00:52
3  DENNIS Rohan          Garmin-Sharp                     00:54
4  ROGERS Michael        Team Saxo-Tinkoff                01:37
5  MORENO Daniel         Katusha Team                     01:47
6  NAVARRO Daniel        Cofidis Solutions Crédits        01:49
7  TAARAMäE Rein         Cofidis Solutions Crédits        01:52
8  KWIATKOWSKI Michal    Omega Pharma - Quick-Step        01:58
9  KONIG Leopold         Team NetApp-Endura               02:16
10 FUGLSANG Jakob        Astana Pro Team                  02:20

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.