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Anthony Charteau took the first win of his career on the sixth stage of the Tour of Catalonia when he jumped away from a 10-strong break a couple of kilometres from the line on an extremely fast and animated stage to Palleja. There was no significant change in the overall, with Discovery Channel's Yaroslav Popovych holding his lead going into Sunday's final stage into Barcelona.
There were two key breaks on the Palleja stage. The first saw a 13-strong break that contained several notable names get clear. Amongst the 13 were Iban Mayo, Alejandro Valverde, Carlos Sastre, Floyd Landis, Juan Antonio Flecha and Axel Merckx. More importantly in terms of the overall standings, I¤igo Cuesta and Paco Lara were also in the move, which was chased down by Discovery.
No sooner had that break been neutralised than another large group attempted to get clear. Ten of them managed it, and all the riders contributed to the move until Charteau made the decisive jump.
Sunday's final stage shouldn't prove too troubling for Popovych and his team. The 113km include three third-cat climbs, and there is a another hill before the finish. But having seen off the competition in the Pyrenees, the Ukrainian should be more than capable of keeping the lead and what would be the biggest stage race success of his career.
Stage 6, Llivia-Palleja
1 Anthony Charteau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 198.7km in 4.16.54 (46.41kph)
2 Beat Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner 0.04
3 Jos Luis Arrieta (Spa) Illes Balears
4 Pieter Weening (Hol) Rabobank
5 Lorenzo Bernucci (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
6 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Crdit Agricole
7 Francisco Lara (Spa) T-Mobile
8 Santiago Botero (Col) Phonak
9 Eladio Jimenez (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana
10 Aketza Pe¤a (Spa) Euskaltel
1 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel 20.03.59
2 Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Saunier Duval 0.20
3 David Moncouti (Fra) Cofidis 0.59
4 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quick Step 1.18
5 Aitor Osa (Spa) Illes Balears 1.23
6 Miguel Angel Perdiguero (Spa) Phonak 2.06
7 Jimenez 2.14
8 I¤igo Cuesta (Spa) Saunier Duval 2.18
9 Moreau 2.20
10 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Kaiku 2.25
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM