France’s Julian Alaphilippe took a widely-anticipated win in stage six of the Critérium du Dauphiné ©Getty Images

France’s Julian Alaphilippe took a widely-anticipated win on stage six of the Critérium du Dauphiné, but the Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider had to work hard for it.

It came down to a photo finish in Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne with Austria’s Gregor Mühlberger of Bora-Hansgrohe pushing Alaphilippe all the way to the line in a long, two-man breakaway.

The pair completed the 229 kilometres route, which started in Saint-Vulbas Plaine de l'Ain, in 6 hours 54sec.

Third place went to Italy’s Alessandro De Marchi of CCC Team, 22 seconds back.

Victory was Alaphilippe’s 10th of the season, having also won the one-day Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo and La Flèche Wallonne. 

Britain’s Adam Yates, who crossed the line 6:10 adrift in eighth place, retained the general classification lead.

The Mitchelton-Scott rider’s overall time now stands at 23:35:04.

Still four seconds behind him is Belgium’s Dylan Teuns of Bahrain-Merida.

A further two seconds back in third place is the United States' Tejay van Garderen of EF Education First.

Stage seven is due to take place tomorrow.

It will be a 133.5km route from Saint-Genix-les-Villages to Les Sept Laux-Pipay.

The event is scheduled to conclude in Champéry on Sunday (June 16).

Tomorrow will also see the start of the nine-day Tour de Suisse.

Britain's Geraint Thomas will use the Swiss stage race to prepare for the defence of his Tour de France title next month.

Thomas has contested the Tour de Suisse twice before, finishing second in 2015 and 17th in 2016.

Team Ineos team-mate Egan Bernal of Colombia is also expected to be in contention this year as he returns to racing after a collarbone break during a training ride ruled him out of the Giro d’Italia.