Chris Newton maintained his overall lead in the Circuit des Mines with a spirited performance in today’s sixth stage. Newton came in third behind Daniel Schnider (Francaise Des Jeux ) and Jean-Michel Tessier (French Track Team), with Nathan O’Neill (Ceramiche Panaria Fiordo) fourth in a hill-top finish.
Newton inherited the race lead when overnight leader Sergey Matveyev retired due to the injuries he sustained in yesterday’s finishline crash.
The overall position, with tomorrow’s time trial and 111km road stages to come, is that Newton leads the race from Schneider by 42 seconds, with O’Neil at 1.26 and Tessier at 1.43.
GB manager John Herety is confident that Newton will hang on to the lead in the time trial, but is more concerned that, with another hard day to come, his other riders are tired. Today was very hard for the whole team as they had to control the race to protect Newton’s position. Tomorrow’s road stage should prove decisive one way or the other.