Mark McNally (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) was narrowly denied the stage six victory at the 2016 Eneco Tour as Luka Pibernik (Lampre-Merida) sprinted to win from the day’s escape group.
The peloton mis-timed its pursuit of the five-man break, allowed the group consisting of McNally, Pibernik, Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r), Chad Haga (Giant-Alpecin) and Bert Van Lerberghe (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) to contest the finish in Lanaken, Belgium.
Berden de Vries (Roompot) had also been in the original escape, but was dropped inside the final 20km.
Slovenian Pibernik opened up his sprint first with McNally rapidly accelerating to catch him, but the British rider simply ran out of road before the line and had to settle for second place, denying him his first WorldTour win. The 27-year-old from Lancashire was fifth on stage three, so he is steadily rising up the ranks.
Van Lerberghe completed the top three on the day with the peloton led home by Italian Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) at five seconds.
Overall race leader Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) finished in the bunch to retain his top position in the general classification. The Australian lies 16 seconds ahead of American team-mate Taylor Phinney, with German Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) in third at 24 seconds.
The Eneco Tour concludes on Sunday with a tough final stage from Bornem to Geraardsbergen, during which the overall classification could well be shaken up over the hills and cobbled roads.
Eneco Tour 2016, stage six: Riemst to Lanaken, 185.2km
1. Luka Pibernki (Slo) Lampre-Merida in 4-28-45
2. Mark McNally (GBr) Wanty-Groupe-Gobert
3. Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
4. Alexis Gougeard (Fra) Ag2r
5. Chad Haga (USA) Giant-Alpecin at same time
6. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 5 secs
7. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
8. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
9. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
10. Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) IAM Cycling at same time
General classification after stage six
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing in 18-09-37
2. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing at 16 secs
3. Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx-QuickStep at 24 secs
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff at 27 secs
5. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx-QuickStep at same time
6. Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 28 secs
7. Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC racing at 29 secs
8. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC racing at 33 secs
9. Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx-QuickStep at 36 secs
10. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 38 secs