Rui Costa took the stage honours on a rainy stage six of the Critérium du Dauphiné as Vincenzo Nibali recovered to take the overall lead. Photos by Graham Watson

Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) rode to victory on a chaotic stage six of the 2015 Critérium du Dauphiné as Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) recovered from a poor performance on stage five to move into the overall lead.

The pair arrived at the catgeory three summit finish together, with Nibali unable to contest the sprint with the former world champion having spent much of the day in a breakaway of an elite group of riders.

Nibali seemed intent on getting away from the GC rivals he’d lost over a minute to the day previously, attacking through constant rain on the early climbs of the day and making it into the first unsuccessful 19 man breakaway.

>>> Watch: Inside the peloton on stage five of the Critérium du Dauphiné (video)

The Italian champion went on a solo attack on the category three Col de Grimone, before being joined by the riders that would make up the day’s successful break,  which included Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step) as well as Costa.

The fivesome managed to create a gap of over three minutes to a reduced peloton behind, which included Chris Froome (Team Sky), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and race leader Tejay van Garderen (BMC).

DauphinÈ-LibÈrÈ - Stage 6

Tejay van Garderen was unable to preserve his lead

A whole host of riders, including Britain’s Alex Dowsett (Movistar), were forced to abandon due to the pace and constant attacks from those at the front of the race.

Three time world time trial champion Martin was the first to drop off the pace with around 22km to go, as the break maintained well over two minutes over the chasing group. The remaining four never looked liked they would succumb to the attacks from behind, and Gallopin was the first to make a move for the line with 4.5km remaining on the final climb of the day.

dauphinesixItalian champion Nibali was the next to go at 1.5km remaining, sprinting round Valverde and Costa to catch Gallopin before heading onwards to the finish.

It looked like no-one would stop Nibali from taking the stage honours and the overall lead, but Costa was able to regather himself to chase down the exhausted looking 2014 Tour de France winner and beat him to the line. The Portuguese also moves up the GC into second, 29 seconds behind yellow jersey.

Behind, the likes of Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) and Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) attempted to bridge the gap, while Froome looked to be struggling to hold the relentless pace on the last of the six categorised climbs on the 183km route.

DauphinÈ-LibÈrÈ - Stage 6

Simon Yates is now Britain’s best placed rider in fourth and wears the young rider’s jersey

Yates is now Britain’s highest placed rider in the overall, having rolled in 1-24 down on the stage, sitting in fourth place 35 seconds off Nibali. Froome is now seventh, 1-21 down haveing finished over two minutes behind Costa.

Saturday’s 155km stage seven sees another chance for the GC riders to attack, with another relentless route which takes in four category one climbs, including a summit finish to Le Bettex.

Results
Critérium du Dauphiné 2015, stage six: Saint-Bonnet-en-Champsaur to Villard-de-Lans, 183km

1. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida, in 4-29-23
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, at 5 seconds
3. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar, at 38 seconds
4. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Soudal, at 39 seconds
5. Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge at 1-24
6. Daniel Martin (Ire) Cannondale-Garmin, at 1-46
7. John Gadret (Fra) Movistar, at 1-48
8. Tiejs Benoot (Bel) Lotto-Soudal, at 1-59
9. Chris Froome (Gbr) Team Sky, at 2-12
10. Beñat Intxausti (Esp) Movistar, st

DauphinÈ-LibÈrÈ - Stage 6

Vincenzo Nibali celebrates taking the Dauphiné lead

Overall classification after stage six

1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, in 22-34-17
2. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida, at 29 seconds
3. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar, at 30 seconds
4. Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge, at 35
5. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC, at 42 seconds
6. Beñat Intxausti (Esp) Movistar, at 57 seconds
7. Chris Froome (Gbr) Team Sky, at 1-21
8. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Soudal, at 1-29
9. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 1-30
10. Daniel Martin (Ire) Cannondale-Garmin, st

  • David Sundheim

    Nibali has a long history of out shining his rivals when the roads are sketchy. He is willing to exploit the bad weather conditions where others mightvride timid.

  • John Westwell

    Except that they don’t. The riders who attacked and took time yesterday were all dropped on the last two climbs today. The ones who lost time largely figured in the finale.

  • binghammer

    Exciting stuff, I agree. But I do wonder how a GC contender – Vincenzo Nibali – can swing off and get dropped by the chase group being led by Froome (yesterday), losing close on 90 seconds, then bounce back today to take the overall lead! And that break today, amazing line up of four team leaders, Nibali, Costa, Gallopin and Valverde, escape the field. How did the rest of them – in particular Sky – let that one get away? Nice to see Yates making a big impression, getting ahead of Froome on GC.

  • Tim lewis

    Psalmon .. Let’s hope Albert contador throws a spanner in the works like he did during the 2012 vuelta to vueta da.. When he attacked Rodriguez on a rolling parcours

  • James Rider

    “He was saving his energy/didn’t want to go into the red” etc.

  • dourscot

    Disquieting the way riders recover miraculously from state to stage.

  • Psalmon

    That’s SIR Boring Wiggins, but also lest we forget Armstrong smothered any interesting competition for almost a decade at the Tour. It wasn’t just the doping, it was the tactics it allowed…5-6 teammates on major final climbs muting any real racing. Boring tactics are almost as big a threat as blood bags. Some of the old Tours in the 80s had favorites all over the course and daily it was chaos. Maybe we are returning to non-conservative racing. What a treat. Really looking forward to July. (Rubbing hands together)

  • Pedro Nogo

    hmmmmmm

  • Tim lewis

    Psalmon you must be talking a boring Bradley wiggins then.. Winning the most boring Tour de France in history..

  • Psalmon

    I hope this is the kind of racing we see in the Tour. There are contenders who want to sit on their teams until the finishing climbs, ride the TTs and roll the flats to victory.

    B O R I N G. Nibali races on a bicycle. Chaos and Carnage all over the course. What a breath of fresh air to the sport.