Kazakh Alexey Lutsenko won the sixth stage of the Tour de France on a day with late climbs (but not a summit finish) that didn’t significantly impact the overall standings.
Lutsenko, not a yellow jersey contender, won his first career Tour stage from a seven-rider breakaway just after the start of a 118-mile day. Spain’s Jesus Herrada was second, 55 seconds behind, followed by Olympic road race champion Greg Van Avermaet and American Neilson Powless on his 24th birthday.
The last American to win an individual Tour stage was Tyler Farrar in 2011.
Great Britain’s Adam Yates retained the race lead, three seconds ahead of pre-race co-favorite Primoz Roglic of Slovenia. Another Slovenian, Tadej Pogacar, is third, seven seconds behind. He’s followed by a group 13 seconds back that includes defending champion Egan Bernal of Colombia.
Yates, fourth in the 2016 Tour, is expected to give up the lead well before the Grand Tour hits Paris in two weeks.
“I still want to win a stage; that’s what we came here to do,” said Yates, who took over the maillot jaune on Wednesday after Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe was penalized 20 seconds for taking a bottle inside the last 12.5 miles. “We’ll play it day by day, see what happens.”
The Tour continues with stage seven on Friday at 7 a.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold. A mostly flat stage, after early hills in a windy region of France, is an hors d’oeuvre for Pyreneean stages on Saturday and Sunday.
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