Time is short, and so this entry will have to be as well.
For the first 190 kilometers or so, Stage 6 was the the first stage I would have officially characterized as “boring.” But it got pretty crazy at the end.
A five-man breakaway led the way almost all day, but it seemed a pretty safe bet that they would be caught as had the breakaways in Stages 2, 3, and 5. However, there was a fair-sized climb toward the end of the stage, and this created some chaos in the peloton, slowing down its pursuit of the leaders. Even so four of the five riders in the breakaway were caught, but at the 1 kilometer mark Christophe Mengin was clinging to a very slim lead with Alexandre Vinokourov in hot pursuit.
Then, on a hairpin right turn with 900m to go, Mengin skidded on the slick pavement and wiped out. Since the turn was so sharp that no one could see what was ahead, this started a chain reaction that ended with a huge pileup. Vinokourov managed to avoid crashing, but slowed up just enough to allow unknown Lorenzo Bernucci to pass him and win the stage.
The ultimate significance? Very little. The general standings remained mostly unchanged, although Vinokourov did pick up some time on Lance Armstrong. This ought to add some fuel to the split in the T-Mobile team between Vinokourov, currently 53 seconds behind Armstrong, and Jan Ullrich, who’s 31 seconds behind Vinokourov.
There was a mixed metaphor in that last sentence, I know, but time is tight. What do you want for nothing, a rubber biscuit?