Mancebo times it perfectly

All too often beaten in sprints within a small group, Paco Mancebo timed his final attack to perfect

All too often beaten in sprints within a small group, Paco Mancebo timed his final attack to perfect
Francisco Mancebo (Illes Balears-Banesto) won Saturday's sixth stage of the Tour of Germany, attacking with just under a kilometre left on the uphill finish, holding on by just a few metres ahead of Jens Voigt (CSC) and Patrik Sinkewitz (Quick Step). Sinkewitz retains his yellow jersey, and now leads Voigt by 18 seconds, with Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) unable to follow the pace, dropping to seventh overall, nearly a minute behind. It was again under dark skies that the 111 remaining riders of the D-Tour rode out of Kulmbach for the 186km stage to Oberwiesenthal in the former East Germany, passing through the Czech Republic on the way. After just six kilometres, a 12-man break went clear which included Thursday's stage winner Sebastien Hinault (Credit Agricole), Liberty Seguros' Dariusz Baranowski, South African champion Ryan Cox (Barloworld) and Gerolsteiner's Rene Haselbacher. Their lead reached a maximum of just over seven minutes, 137 kilometres into the 186km stage, at the Czech town of Hradecka. That was the cue for the Quick Step team to come to the front with Baranowski the break's highest placed rider in the general classification, 7-54 ahead of Sinkewitz. Up at the front, realising the group's lead was coming down, Haselbacher put in a strong attack to split the break apart. Only Baranowski and Francesco Secchiari (Domina Vacanze) could follow the Austrian, who in turn paid for his efforts once the trio began the second category climb of the Marianska. Baranowski then left Secchiari for dead, and led the race back on to German soil on the descent into the town of Oberwiesenthal. With the rest of the day's breakaway back in the main group, the attacks to bridge the gap to the Polish Liberty Seguros rider up the day's final climb to the ski resort of Fichtelbergplateau came thick and fast. It was all over for him as Rabobank's Pieter Weening tried his luck, and then it was time for the big names in contention for the overall classification to show themselves. But Sinkewitz, resplendent in jersey-matching yellow shorts - apparently in stock chez Quick Step after Richard Virenque's spell in the yellow jersey at last year's Tour de France - responded swiftly to attacks on his overall lead, first from Jens Voigt (CSC) and then Baranowski's team-mate Jan Hruska. Ullrich, having temporarily been left behind, fought back up to the front group, but couldn't react to the changes of pace as Weening found the strength to keep attacking, though the Dutchman was never allowed to get too far away. Sinkewitz, wide-eyed, was constantly looking around him to see where the next attack might come from, and was the first to react when Mancebo attacked after Weening had once again been brought back. Ullrich was gone, as was Hruska and his team-mate, fourth-placed overall Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, leaving Voigt as the main threat. Mancebo looked genuinely surprised to suddenly find himself riding off the front again, and as Voigt tried to go after him, Sinkewitz stuck to his countryman's wheel. The Spaniard, though, gritted his teeth and held on, punching the air as he crossed the line, followed by Voigt, with Sinkewitz also punching the air in third place. "After my second place to Sinkewitz on Wednesday's mountain stage, I really wanted to try something today," a delighted Mancebo said. "At first they wouldn't let me go, but then the last time I got a gap and managed to stay away." Winner of the white jersey as best young rider at the 2000 Tour de France, the 28-year-old had some kind words for the rider who now looks certain to have sewn up the overall of the D-Tour with just a flat stage left to ride on Sunday. "Sinkewitz is a good rider and, if he rides the Tour de France, he might well be in contention for the white jersey himself. Like in his new role as leader here, he'll certainly be nervous at the Tour, but I think he has the ability to do something good," Mancebo said. Stage 6, Kulmbach - Oberwiesenthal 1 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto 186km in 4.52.49 (38.11kph) 2 Jens Voigt (Ger) CSC 3 Patrick Sinkewitz (Ger) Quick Step-Davitamon 4 Sergio Marinangeli (Ita) Domina Vacanze 0.04 5 Andreas Kloden (Ger) T-Mobile 6 Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Spa) Liberty Seguros 0.06 7 Denis Menchov (Rus) Illes Balears-Banesto 0.09 8 Pieter Weening (Hol) Rabobank 9 Jan Hruska (Cze) Liberty Seguros 10 Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto 0.31 12 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile 0.37 34 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Liberty Seguros 4.40 Overall 1 Patrick Sinkewitz (Ger) Quick Step-Davitamon 22.23.35 2 Jens Voigt (Ger) CSC 0.18 3 Jan Hruska (Cze) Liberty Seguros 0.23 4 Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Spa) Liberty Seguros 0.28 5 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto 0.54 6 Andreas Kloden (Ger) T-Mobile 0.57 7 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile 0.59 8 Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Spa) Illes Balears-Banesto 1.47 9 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 2.12 10 Sergio Marinangeli (Ita) Domina Vacanze 2.18 45 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Liberty Seguros 29.44 52 Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros 33.20
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