Barcelona, Spain – Garmin-Slipstream rider David Millar came within less than one kilometer of a daring solo victory in a rainy sixth stage of the Tour de France on Thursday. The 32-year-old British veteran helped initiate a four-man break on the day’s second climb, the Côte de Tossa de Mar, and gained a lead of four minutes that put him in the virtual yellow jersey during the 181.5km stage that ventured into Spain for the day.
As rain fell on the roads leading to the finish in Barcelona, Millar attacked the break with 29 kilometers to go. Behind Millar, a crash occurred in the main peloton, taking out Garmin-Slipstream sprinter Tyler Farrar along with four others. Farrar was able to recover and finish the stage.
Millar fought till the end, holding the lead on his Felt F-series bike until the charging field caught him on the climb to the finish line. Norwegian Thor Hushovd won the sprint, capping a dramatic Stage 6.
Two Garmin-Slipstream riders, Bradley Wiggins and Christian Vande Velde, finished safely in the main group, preserving their overall standings of sixth and eighth respectively.
On Friday the Tour heads into the mountains for Stage 7. The race from Barcelona to the Arcalis ski station finishes with an hors category climb and is expected to shake up the GC standings.
TOUR DE FRANCE STAGE 6 RESULTS:
Girona to Barcelona, 181.5km
1. Thor Hushovd (Nor), Cervelo Test Team, 4:29:35
2. Oscar Freire (Spa), Rabobank, same time
3. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne, same time
4. Gerard Ciolek (Ger), Milram, same time
5. Franco Pelizotti (Ita), Liquigas, same time