Teuns wins Tour de France stage six as Ciccone takes yellow

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LA PLANCHE DES BELLES FILLES: Belgian Dylan Teuns won the sixth stage of the Tour de France, a 160.5-km ride from Mulhouse on Thursday. The Bahrain-Merida rider beat Italian Giulio Ciccone, who claimed the overall leader’s yellow jersey at the top of La Planche des Belles Filles after a 7km ascent at an average gradient of 8.7%. Belgian Xandro Meurisse took third place. Defending champion Geraint Thomas was the strongest of the overall contenders as he took fourth place, two seconds ahead of fifth-placed Thibaut Pinot of France. Thomas’s Ineo team mate Egan Bernal of Colombia ended up 12th, nine seconds behind the Briton. “It’s an incredible day, I just can’t realise. It’s the dream of any person who loves cycling,” said the 27-year-old Ciccone, who snatched the jersey thanks to 14 bonus seconds he grabbed at top of the Col de Chevreres and by finishing second in the stage. Twice champion Vincenzo Nibali, who was waiting for that stage to assess his form after finishing second overall in a demanding Giro d’Italia in May, lost 51 seconds to Thomas, whom he now trails by 1:07 overall. The day also signalled the end of Romain Bardet’s hopes after the Frenchman, twice a podium finisher on the Tour, lost over a minute and now lags more than two minutes behind Thomas.