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Summary

  1. Zdenek Stybar wins after late crash
  2. Yellow leader Martin crashes towards the end
  3. 2014 champion Vincenzo Nibali also involved
  4. Froome remains second in GC, 12 seconds behind
  5. Teklehaimanot takes polka dot jersey

Live Reporting

By Paul Fletcher

All times stated are UK

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Farewell

Friday's route on the Tour de France
Tour de France

So, that is all from me today - when what had been a largely sedate stage exploded into life with the late crash leading to chaos and heartbreak.

Stage seven on Friday takes us from Livarot to Fougeres (190.5km) - and Peter Scrivener will be back in the chair for that one.

Enjoy.

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist

That really is a sad sight for Tony Martin amid absolute confusion at the finish. As he went down he touched a wheel in front of him. He went down extremely heavily. If it is a fracture then that is his Tour over.

Chaos

Well, there was some serious confusion at the end there. Czech puncheur Zdenek Stybar came from nowhere to win the stage, which ended in chaos frankly.

Everybody was trying to work out just who it was who had opportunely burst off the front, while the TV cameras were understandably focused on the mess down the road, with Tony Martin and Vincenzo Nibali involved.

Will Martin be able to continue? That must be doubtful.

Tony Martin
AP

There are so many unknowns at the moment that Donald Rumsfled might want to get involved. 

Tough times for Martin

So because the crash occurred inside the last 3km there is no change to the GC - although there are obviously huge question marks over whether Tony Martin will be able to continue in the race. 

Tony Martin
Reuters

Tony Martin does not deserve to go out of the tour that way. #bbccycling

Tony Martin doesn't look good! EQS will miss him considerably in Cav's lead out train, and in their TTT if he cant continue #tdf #bbccycling

Such mixed fortunes for Etixx at the end. 2nd stage win in 3 days, but may have just lost their race leader !#bbccycling #TDF2015

Chaos

Will Tony Martin get the same time as the rest of the group? Unsure right now. Looks like Martin has done his collarbone. He is being nursed home by three team-mates. 

Zdenek Stybar wins stage six

There is a break off the front from Etixx - Quick-Step's Zdenek Stybar, who gets a lead on the rest.

The rest of the guys - Sagan and all - chase him down but they cannot catch him.

Stybar wins
Reuters

Ouch!

And Tony Martin.

900m to go

Crash - Nibali down.

1.5km to go

Tony Martin is second place in the line, bends all over the place. Mark Renshaw is first, Mark Cavendish is third at the moment. Peter Sagan well placed.

Peloton
Getty Images

Sharp finish

So, as has already been suggested the finish today features a hill with an average of 7% that flattens out 500m from the line.

Pete Holmes, below, looks pretty fresh as he reaches the top of Michaelgate. Wonder how he felt a few hundred yards later?  

Last week reaching the top of Michealgate in the Lincoln Championship Sportive #bbccycling

Last week reaching the top of Michealgate in the Lincoln Championship Sportive #bbccycling

2.5km to go

All looking ominous for Kenneth Van Bilsen now. He must be shattered. Yes, he is swallowed up.

The hill before the final sprint is approaching.

6th stage
Reuters

4.5km to go

"He is not going to stay away," says Simon Brotherton of Van Bilsen.

5km to go

Kenneth Van Bilsen is about to be swallowed up, his advantage is about 13 seconds.

Sedate? Not any more.

8km to go

Nice touch - a shake of the hands between Daniel Teklehaimanot and Perrig Quémeneur as they are finally swallowed up by the chasing group. Van Bilsen has a 23-second advantage.

So, the three-man breakaway becomes two, with Belgian Kenneth Van Bilsen firing off the front. The breakaway had a 37-second lead over the chasing group (and they are chasing now for sure).

Time for Degenkolb?

John Degenkolb
Getty Images

It has been a cracking Tour for Germans so far, with three stage victories.

Could that become four today? Slovakia's Peter Sagan, Norwegian Alexander Kristoff and Giant-Alpecin's German rider Degenkolb have all been tipped as strong contenders.  

This stage had been earmarked before the race as one that suited Paris-Roubaix winner Degenkolb.

"He gets over short climbs, he's a sprinter with great Classics qualities, in fact he's becoming a Classics specialist," said Giant-Alpecin coach Christian Guiberteau.

Degenkolb not won only won Paris-Roubaix this year having finished second in 2014, he also won Milan-San Remo in March and Gent-Wevelgem last year.

What does Quebeka mean?

So, it's been a cracking day for MTN-Quebeka.

Anyone know what Qhubeka actually means? No, me neither until I stumbled across this....

"It is a word from the language of the Nguni people of southern Africa that means 'to carry on', 'to progress', 'to move forward'.  Qhubeka  is a foundation that provides bicycles as a means of transport to underprivileged populations."  

Right, it's getting to that time. 25 mins or so to grand finale. Today's contenders have said let's bring 'em in. To the buses

The speed appears to be picking up at the front of the peloton - there are 20km remaining and the lead of the three-man breakaway is now down to just over a minute.

Expect that to keep falling. 

What a great, great story - Eritrea's Daniel Teklehaimanot taking the polka dot jersey.

#TdF2015 lost for words right now... Battling to see what's going on through the tears. Dream come true to have the Polka Dot Jersey!

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist

Well done - what a great ride by Daniel Teklehaimanot. Once he kicked for the line it was never in doubt that he would cross first - the single point enough to give him the jersey. MTN-Quebeka have got what they came for.

Polka dot jersey

We've just gone past the final category four climb of the day - and the good news is that Daniel Teklehaimanot has crossed in first place to take the polka dot jersey.

He has become the first Eritrean to take the jersey in the history of the race.

He looks well pleased and gives a thumbs-up sign to the TV cameras afterwards.

Teklehaimanot, who has been away in this break for most of the day, now has three points with previous leader Joaquim Rodriguez on two.  

Thomas Voeckler has been reeled back in by the peloton. There are 32km to go.

It is a lovely warm day as the riders continue on the road to Le Havre. Today can be doing nothing to harm tourism in Normandy.

The lead is at one minute 20 seconds.

Peloton during stage six
AP

Inopportune timing

I have news of Alejandro Valverde's tumble...it happened just after he had stopped for a wee. Blame the bib shorts. And it is good to see Michael Matthews getting a lot of love for his stoic refusal to quit. A few directors have been telling me that it has been hard to watch his suffering from the team cars as they have driven by. As their boss Matt White told me, Orica - GreenEdge certainly "copped it bad" in that pile-up on Monday. They only have six men left in the race and half of those are wounded. Sunday's team time trial could become a very long one.

Matt SlaterBBC Sport at the Tour de France
Alejandro Valverde
EPA

Oops, a few riders got it wrong at a corner and BMC's Damiano Caruso took a tumble. It is not like yesterday's slippery pile-up action though and he is soon back on his bike.

Staying clear?

The big story right now concerns whether the three-man breakaway can stay clear to the final category four climb - worth one point - at Cote du Tilleul.

They were about 45 seconds clear after the sprint but that time has quickly climbed back to beyond two minutes.

Thomas Voeckler has gone off the front of the group and is a minute down the road from the breakaway.

If the breakaway does stay clear and if MTN-Quebeka's Daniel Teklehaimanot crosses the line first then he will take the polka dot jersey.

They are inside 10km from that climb.

Green jersey

The battle for fourth place is contested - with double stage winner Andre Greipel finishing sixth.

It means that in terms of the green jersey standings Andre Greipel has 161pts, Peter Sagan 128pts and Mark Cavendish 94pts.

Andre Greipel wears the green jersey
AP

Intermediate sprint

The lead is just above one minute now. The three men in the breakaway are first through the intermediate sprint, Perrig Quémeneur first over the line.

#TDF2015: Malori, @ImanolErviti, Castro, Gorka all take turns to keep @NairoQuinCo / @alejanvalverde safe; 50k left.

#TDF2015: Malori, @ImanolErviti, Castro, Gorka all take turns to keep @NairoQuinCo / @alejanvalverde safe; 50k left.

Ouch!

I have to say, that looks very, very painful. Is he still smiling?

Stepson, Max after a one-sided, on-road argument with a tractor. He still has a wire in his shoulder #bbccycling

Stepson, Max after a one-sided, on-road argument with a tractor. He still has a wire in his shoulder #bbccycling

Where is the best place in the peloton?

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist

Generally speaking, up near the front but not on the front as that is the hardest place, where you are working 30-40% harder to go at the same speed. If you sit in the wheels and are protected from the wind, that is the best place to be. In the top 20 or 30 riders - that is generally the best, it is safer, there is a little bit more vision and you can keep your momentum through the bends. The further back you are the more potential there is for crashes.

The lead is now less than three minutes. More camera shots of simply superb coastline. #jealous

We're not far from the day's intermediate sprint.

Tough guys - part II

We've already seen one Aussie - Adam Hansen - heavily strapped up.

Michael Matthews had a heavy crash on stage three that he reckons left him struggling to breathe overnight.

Yesterday he was out the back and looking like toast. Not so, the 24-year-old battled back and took his place on the start line today. Before the riders left Abbeville he reflected on the pain. We'll ignore the fort bit.

By the way, his red numbers are because he was awarded the most aggressive rider award for his courage in hanging on yesterday.

Yesterday was one of my toughest days on the bike but fort through thanks everyone again for all your help #meansalot

Yesterday was one of my toughest days on the bike but fort through thanks everyone again for all your help #meansalot

My race number for today @letour something to put a smile on my face thanks #TDF for the award:)

My race number for today @letour something to put a smile on my face thanks #TDF for the award:)

Taking your time

As Simon Brotherton points out, there are still more than 60km remaining today. The peloton is trundling along at an average speed of 37km an hour (I know, I know, I can't either).

We're looking at the best part of 17:00 BST by the time they cross the line.

Concerned about Cav?

Cav's team are letting him down - his leadout train isn't working. Renshaw is there, but there should be a line of at least 5 bossing the front of the field in the final few KMs. Martin himself said he dropped off yesterday as his job was to protect yellow. He dropped off far too early.

Lewis, London

Everyone seems to be taking a negative attitude towards @MarkCavendish! Instead we should be supporting him! #tourdefrance #bbccycling