What do Luka Mezgec’s rivals have to do to beat the speedster from Slovenia? Mezgec comfortably took his third stage win and fourth podium of the race, capping off a short stage which reached the race’s highest point at 3,869 metres. It’s all downhill from here.
With the exception of a brief visit to 4,000 metres in Saturday’s eighth stage, the remaining days of the Tour will take place at more reasonable altitudes, potentially giving Mezgec’s rivals a little more room to breath (literally and figuratively speaking). Faces that would normally be visible at the head of a bunch sprint – such as Andrea Guardini’s – have been noticeably absent, chiefly due to the thin air of “Asia’s highest bicycle race”. Regardless, Mezgec is still the strongest sprinter in the race by definition and he holds a commanding lead in the points classification to prove it.
Tabriz Petrochemical Team’s Alizadeh Hossein retains his 11″ advantage over Javier Ramirez (Andalucia) in the individual general classification, with Champion System’s Cameron Wurf a second adrift of Ramirez. A short transfer to the northwest sees the peloton arrive into Qilian for Thursday’s stage; a 104 kilometre circuit race that probably won’t result in a new race leader, but might provide a better platform for Mezgec’s peers.
Andrea Guardini (Farnese Vini – Selle Italia), 129th in stage 6, 16th on GC
“For me these days are a little bit hard. Because of the altitude, I’m not so good but from tomorrow there are some more stages for me, so I try to win. Yesterday was a bad day because (it was a) long stage, there is a little bit of wind and the finale is not so easy. (There was a) crash at the last 300 metres and I don’t make a sprint, but I want to try (to win) tomorrow.”
Check out the stage six video highlights from QQride.com below and more of Mike’s images at the Official Tour of Qinghai Lake photo gallery.
CLASSIFICATION LEADERS AFTER STAGE SIX
Leaders (Yellow) Jersey (黄衫): Hossein Alizadeh (Tabriz Petrochemical Team)
Points (Green) Jersey (绿衫): Luka Mezgec (SAVA)
King of the Mountains Jersey (圆点衫): Hossein Alizadeh (Tabriz Petrochemical Team)
Best Asian Rider (Blue) Jersey (蓝衫): Hossein Alizadeh (Tabriz Petrochemical Team)
STAGE 6 RESULTS
GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE 6