What a week for the TotalEnergies team. After Alexis Vuillermoz’s victory at Brives-Charensac during the second stage, which saw him wear the yellow jersey the next day, Valentin Ferron doubled the lead. In a breakaway of six riders – including five Frenchmen – the 24-year-old rider offered himself the best victory of his young career in Gap this Friday during the 6th stage. Pierre Rolland (B & B-Hotels KTM), who reinforced his polka dot jersey, took second place. Warren Barguil (Arkea Samsic) completes the podium.
Difficult for Valentin Ferron to hide his emotion on the podium. For his second season with the pros, the Charentais won in a sprint in a small committee, after a breakaway of 145 kilometers. At these sides five French (Warren Barguil, Geoffrey Bouchard, Pierre Rolland, Victor Lafay and Bruno Armirail, released in the last difficulty) for an Italian, Andréa Bagioli, yet equipped with the best burst of speed.
Ferron spared no effort this Friday to keep a peloton at a distance, which has put itself in working order on several occasions to offer this stage to the pure sprinters, who have been silent so far. But the collaboration at the head of the race worked until the end, or almost. Ferron’s gunshot fired shortly after the red flame left no chance for his breakaway companions who, like good compatriots, let Bagioli do the work to come back to the future winner of the day, in vain. Valentin Ferron offers his best victory there, after a stage of the Tour of Rwanda won last year.
Pierre Rolland continues his harvest
A success that once again eluded the peloton and the sprinter teams. Faced with their inability to come back to the leading group, Ineos, Bike Exchange and Trek Segafredo returned control of the peloton to the Jumbo-Visma, who were content to control the pace to retain the yellow jersey. Bagioli, the best placed overall, was three minutes behind Wout Van Aert on Friday morning.
Once again at the front, Pierre Rolland was faultless. The 35-year-old rider took 12 points out of a possible 12 after the day’s four climbs. He considerably strengthens his tunic before the next two mountain stages with 29 points in total, against 8 for Alexis Vuillermoz, second in the mountain grand prix. We could well see the Orléanais on the attack early Saturday, with a view to the ascent of the Cols du Galibier and the Croix de Fer, where many points will be distributed.