Dylan Teuns won stage six of the Tour de France from the breakaway as Giulio Ciccone snatched the yellow jersey off Julian Alaphilippe on the brutal slopes of La Planche des Belles Filles.

Bahrain-Merida's Teuns and Trek-Segafredo's Ciccone were the last survivors of a 14-man breakaway on the 160.5km stage from Mulhouse, and were both rewarded after a painful slog up gradients reaching 24 per cent.

Behind, Geraint Thomas showed there is plenty of life in his title defence as he put in a late dig to distance several GC contenders, including his Ineos team-mate Egan Bernal, and take fourth place on the day.

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That meant Thomas' much-discussed five-second deficit to Bernal is now a four-second advantage, with the Welshman moving up to fifth place on the much-changed general classification.

Ciccone leads by six seconds from Deceuninck-Quick Step's Alaphilippe, with Teuns third, 32 seconds down.

Jumbo-Visma's George Bennett slots into third place, two seconds ahead of Thomas who is 49 seconds off yellow.

Many had expected the explosive young Bernal to put more time into Thomas on a climb which the defending champion himself admitted did not suit him - the final gradients of over 20 per cent far more favourable to his Colombian team-mate.

But when Alaphilippe - desperate to keep the yellow jersey he earned on stage three - attacked from the group of favourites inside the final kilometre, it was Thomas who set off after him and rounded the Frenchman on the last bend.

Given the question marks over his form that have followed Thomas all week, this was a major statement of intent.

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