Thor Hushovd Outsprints Main Field, Wins Stage Six

Mike JonesCorrespondent IJuly 9, 2009

GERONA, SPAIN - JULY 09:  The riders make their way under a bridge near the start of stage 6 of 2009 Tour de France from Gerona to Barcelona on July 9, 2009 in Gerona, France.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Norwegian Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) took an exciting Stage Six victory of the Tour de France, helping lead the main pack in a final two km uphill sprint. David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream) had put in a stellar ride, leading a break away group of four riders for much of the wet and treacherous ride, before being caught in the final two km climb.

Weather proved to be an issue throughout the day. Riders encountered light rain and wet roads in the beginning and final stages of the 113 ride from Gerona to Barcelona.

The peloton rode conservatively behind a four rider break away through about 100 miles, before Team Astana and others kicked up the pace up front, eventually catching the break away riders.

Lance Armstrong (Team Astana) remained at the front of the peloton throughout the day, with teammate Alberto Contrador and overall leader Fabian Cancellara (Team Saxo Bank) at his back wheel throughout the day. The stage featured several climbs, but Armstrong maintained his position and never challenged to break the back from Cancellara.

In the overall standings, Cancellara remained the overall leader, once again less than 0.22 seconds ahead of Armstrong. Team Astana continued to dominate the overall standings, keeping four riders in the top five, including American Levi Leipheimer.

A new rider will carry the polka-dot jersey for "King of the Mountains" during Stage Seven. French rider Stephane Auge (Cofidis Le Credit en Ligne) took home a maximum 14 points on the day, leading the break away pack during much of the day.

Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia-HTC) maintained the green jersey, just one point ahead of Hushovd.

On Friday, Tour competitors will face their first true test, heading into the first mountain stage of the tour in the Pyrenees. The mountain stage will end at approximately a 2,200 meter height, one of the highest elevation finishes in tour history.