Tour de Pologne: Darwin Atapuma wins stage six as Christophe Riblon claims overall lead
Last Updated: 03/08/13 7:27pm
Darwin Atapuma was all smiles on the podium after his stage win
There was double delight for the two riders who battled it out for victory on the penultimate stage of the Tour de Pologne, with Darwin Atapuma celebrating his Colombia team's first stage win of the season and Christophe Riblon rising to the top of the overall standings.
Atapuma had made the decisive move of the day 12km from home when he attacked out of a nine-man move, and after initially joining forces with Sergei Chernetskiy (Katusha), he dropped his Russian accomplice with 3km to go.
Behind, Riblon had dug deep to bridge over to Atapuma, and managed that feat in the final 2km before leading the duo onto the closing straight.
Riblon's efforts meant the AG2R man was unable to fully contest the sprint, and Atapuma lurked on his wheel before jumping clear in the last 200m to seal his triumph by a two-second margin.
Riblon's disappointment at missing out on the stage was immediately tempered by the news he had moved into the race lead, and with bonus seconds accrued, the Frenchman now holds a 19-second advantage at the top of the overall standings.
Overnight leader Jon Izagirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi) sits in second position on the GC, with Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) one second behind him and Team Sky's Sergio Henao a further four seconds adrift ahead. That trio had all crossed the line 22 seconds down on Atapuma in a vastly-reduced peloton.
War of attrition
The sixth day of action proved a war of attrition with no less than 10 category-one climbs present on five laps of a constantly-undulating parcours.
Team Sky were active from the off and saw Ben Swift temporarily chip off the front before four riders formed the first break of the day. Their lead peaked at three minutes before they were swept up by 28 equally-opportunistic riders who had escaped the clutches of the bunch shortly after.
Swift's team-mate Danny Pate was in that move, but dropped back as Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp-Endura) attacked from the front and was joined by Polish compatriot Sylwester Szmyd (Movistar). The duo's days were numbered on the penultimate lap of the day, by which point only nine riders remained at the head of affairs, with a 16-man bunch trailing in their wake.
It was Atapuma's attack on a particularly steep rise in the closing stages that proved the most telling, although Riblon's successful late bridge means it is he who heads into the Saturday's time trial in pole position, with the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Trek) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) all aiming to end the race on a high after conserving their energies in the gruppetto for most of the day.
Stage six result
1 Darwin Atapuma (Col) Colombia, 5:19:36
2 Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +2secs
3 Leopold Konig (Cze) NetApp-Endura, +22
4 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida, same time
5 Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo-Tinkoff, st
6 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEDGE, st
7 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi, st
8 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky, st
9 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC, st
10 Jose Serpa (Col) Lampre-Merida, st
91 Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky, +27:05
1 Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, 31:09:20
2 Jon Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi, +19
3 Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo-Tinkoff, +20sec
4 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky, +24
5 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEDGE, +27
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +33
7 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar, +33
8 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack-Leopard, +36
9 Ivan Basso (Ita) Cannondale, +40
10 Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff, +41
54 Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky, +56:26