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Tour de France 2024: Dylan Groenewegen wins stage six in photo finish

Astana Qazaqstan’s sporting director Mark Renshaw said after Cavendish’s win on Wednesday that coming into this year’s Tour, which is expected to be the Manx Missile’s last, the team felt that Thursday’s stage would be his best opportunity to clinch the record.

Having sealed the deal on stage five, it means Cavendish now has the chance to increase his record before finally calling it quits.

With just one climb on the stage, it promised to be a relatively straightforward ride through the vineyards of Burgundy, and so it proved for the most part.

Cavendish did show some frustration after the first of two stoppages because of mechanical issues, but he managed to safely rejoin the peloton long before it picked up the pace rolling into Dijon.

He was well placed before the Uno-X Mobility team hit the front but Astana started to fall back with less than 2km remaining and, as the race entered the 800m dash to the line, Cavendish had drifted out of contention.

Mathieu van der Poel led out team-mate Philipsen, who then hit the front before Groenewegen – sporting sunglasses that feature an aerodynamic beak – and stage three winner Biniam Girmay came back at the Belgian.

Philipsen looked to have held them off but it needed a photo to split them, which showed that Groenewegen had timed his lunge for the line to perfection to win it by little more than the width of his wheel trim.

Philipsen was later penalised for forcing Van Aert to slow down as they raced along the barriers.

The race continues on Friday with an individual time trial over 25.3km from Nuits-Saint-Georges to Gevrey-Chambertin.

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