Friday 04 September 2009 at 23h57

The sixth stage of the Tour of Spain was 176,8 kilometers long and connected Xàtiva to ... Xàtiva. Indeed, both the start and the finish were in the same city!
This stage ended up in a final sprint which was quite easily won by the Slovenian rider Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team).


The sixth stage: Xàtiva > Xàtiva

After having won the first stage of the Tour of Poland and the first stage of the Tour du Limousin, he ended second in Venlo in The Netherlands, but today the sixth stage of the Vuelta was for the Slovenian sprinter.

The resume of the stage is quite common with:
> a long lasting escape with 4 riders - Bingen Fernandez (photo, Cofidis), José Antonio Lopez Gil (Andalucia Cajasur), Matheus Pronk (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) and Aitor Perez Arrieta (Contentpolis-Ampo) - from the 8th until the 153rd kilometer and with the fact that the maximum gap was 6'44"
Bingen Fernandez (Cofidis)> a chasing peloton led by Columbia HTC, the team of the leader in the general ranking
> the whole bunch coming back together at 17 kilometers from the finish
> several attacks at the front of the peloton, which are not really successfull
> and finally a final sprint to finish the stage

On the top of the first climb, the Alto de la Muela (3rd category), one of the riders who was already in the leading group yesterday, José Antonio Lopez Gil, arrived first followed by Aitor Perez Arrieta and Bingen Fernandez. Matheus Pronk came over the top about 20 seconds later but gets back on the others in the descent. In the first sprint, in Millares, Aitor Perez Arrieta crosses the line first, ahead of José Antonio Lopez Gil and Bingen Fernandez.
In the climb of the Alto de Millares (3rd category), José Antonio Lopez Gil attacks to take the punts before Perez Arrieta and Bingen Fernandez. Pronk again crosses the top a few seconds later. The second sprint in Xàtiva is won by Aitor Perez Arrieta ahead of Pronk and Lopez Gil.
The top of the last climb, the Alto de Benigánim (3rd category), is again reached Borut Bozic wins the 6th stage of the Vuelta 2009 - © Unipublicfirst by José Antonio Lopez Gil, before Bingen Fernandez and Paolo Tiralongo (Lampre-NGC) who got away from the peloton while Matheus Pronk and Aitor Perez Arrieta are taken back by that same peloton.

Once the whole bunch got back together, the world champion Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-NGC) and Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) attack. 5 kilometers further they got company of David de la Fuente (Fuji-Servetto) and Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto). Not for long however because after the heavy work by Columbia-HTC the Liquigas team took over the lead of the peloton to get back on the 4 riders. At that time David Moncoutié (Cofidis) at his turn tries to get away.

Once the French rider got caught back as well, the scenario was again complete for a final sprint. Despite the fact that Borut Bozic got at front very early, at a few hundreds of metres of the finish, he easily manages to cross the finish line first. Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) takes the second place before Daniele Bennati (Liquigas).

The images of the finish of the sixth stage of the Tour of Spain 2009 (video)

The rankings

André Greipel, still leading the general classification - © UnipublicThe general classification
André Greipel remains the leader in the general classification. This will most probably no longer be the case after the individual time trial tomorrow.

1/ André Greipel (Columbia-HTC) - 24h21m13s
2/ Tom Boonen (QuickStep) - +0'06"
3/ Daniele Bennati (Liquigas) - +0'09"
4/ Tyler Farrar (Garmin Slipstream) - +0'09"
5/ Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) - +0'18"
6/ Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) - +0'23"
7/ Ivan Basso (Liquigas) - 0'27"
8/ Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) - +0'27"
9/ Cadel Evans (Silence Lotto) - +0'28"
10/ David García (Xacobeo Galicia) - +0'33"

André Greipel, still leading the ranking by points - © UnipublicThe ranking by points
The German rider is still leading the ranking by points as well.

1/ André Greipel (Columbia-HTC) - 84
2/ Tom Boonen (QuickStep) - 70
3/ Tyler Farrar (Garmin Slipstream) - 67
4/ Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) - 58
5/ Daniele Bennati (Liquigas) - 47

José Antonio Lopez Gil takes the jersey of best climber - © UnipublicBest climber
By reaching the top of the three 3rd category mountains in the stage today, José Antonio Lopez Gil takes over the red jersey of Aitor Hernandez (who took it yesterday) in the ranking for the best climber.

1/ José Antonio Lopez Gil (Andalucia Cajasur) - 20
2/ Aitor Hernandez (Euskaltel Euskadi) - 10
3/ Lars Boom (Rabobank) - 9
4/ Aitor Perez Arrieta (Contentpolis-Ampo) - 9
5/ Bingen Fernandez (Cofidis) - 8


Kim Kirchen (Columbia HTC) didn't start the 6th stage this morning.

During the stage Oscar Garcia-Casarrubio (Contentpolis-Ampo) and Manuel Ortega Ocana (Andalucia Cajasur) gave up.


Tomorrow's stage

Tomorrow there will be an individual time trial around Valencia, over a distance of 30 kilometers.

> The full route of the Vuelta a España 2009

> The list of participating riders in the Tour of Spain 2009

© photos : Borut Bozic wins the stage, the leaders' jerseys of André Greipel and José Antonio Lopez Gil - Unipublic
all other photos - Thomas Vergouwen,

door Thomas Vergouwen
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this publication is published in: Cycling general (except Tour de France) | Vuelta a España | Vuelta a España 2009


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