Dylan Groenewegen wins stage six of Tour de France after photo finish

Dylan Groenewegen won stage six of the Tour de France as Tadej Pogacar kept his grip on the yellow jersey through crosswinds on the road to Dijon.

Groenewegen edged out Jasper Philipsen on the line in a photo finish with stage three winner Biniam Girmay in third, but Sir Mark Cavendish – a day after his record-breaking 35th career Tour stage win – could not get up to the sharp end after being caught out of position on the approach to the finish.

It means the opening three sprints of this year’s Tour have gone to three different men as Groenewegen took the sixth Tour stage win of his career.

The Dutch national champion’s bizarre ‘Batman’ nose piece on his sunglasses has been a talking point in the opening week of the Tour, but whether or not it offered any real aerodynamic advantage, Groenewegen found the clear air he needed on the left side of the road after bursting off the wheel of Arnaud De Lie.

“I’m really happy,” Groenewegen said. “The feeling is so amazing and to do it in the red, white and blue jersey, I said it would be a beautiful picture but it was that close I couldn’t celebrated on the line.

“But the team worked so hard. Yesterday I was a bit disappointed with myself because the team did a really good job. Today we nailed it again.

“In the final kilometres, we stayed calm and I found the right moment to go. I don’t know exactly what happened but I was first.”

After the stage, Philipsen was relegated for deviating from his line and blocking Wout Van Aert, with Girmay promoted to second and Fernando Gaviria third.

A day after his moment of history, not everything went smoothly for Cavendish on the 163.5km stage from Macon – a day where the profile was flat but crosswinds threatened to cause havoc and were a near-constant source of stress for the riders.

As the peloton approached one of the danger points and the pace was on, a mechanical problem forced Cavendish into a bike change, and he needed 15 kilometres to get back on track as he argued with commissaires over drafting in the convoy.

His Astana-Qazaqstan team got him back to the front on the approach to Dijon but they found themselves split apart in the finale and the Manxman did not contest the sprint, rolling home in 20th place.

Those crosswinds made for a nervous day for the general classification hopefuls, with the main peloton splitting into two shortly after Cavendish’s bike change, but ultimately the pack came to the finish as one with no changes at the top of the standings ahead of Friday’s time trial.

Cycling Tour de France
Tadej Pogacar kept his lead in the yellow jersey despite some worries in the crosswinds (Daniel Cole/AP)

When the peloton did split, Pogacar was isolated in the front group without any team-mates, but was relieved when it soon came together again.

The Slovenian retains his lead of 45 seconds over Remco Evenepoel, with defending champion Jonas Vingegaard in third, a further five seconds back.

Their focus will now be on Friday’s 25.3km lumpy time trial between Nuits-Saint-Georges to Gevrey-Chambertin, where those time gaps are bound to change.