Tadej Pogacar won stage 6 in Longwy and took the lead in the overall classification after Wout van Aert rode with a great panache at the front all day minus the last eleven kilometres in the longest stage of the 109th edition of the race. Michael Matthews and David Gaudu rounded out the stage podium.
VAN DER HOORN AND CORT IN ACTION AGAIN
173 riders took the start of stage 6, the longest of the 109th Tour de France (219.9km), at 12.16. It was a very active start with Wout van Aert eager to split the peloton whereas his arch-rival Mathieu van der Poel was in trouble at the back. Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-Citroën), Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) and Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) took off at km 15. They were reeled in at km 39 as the peloton remained very active with Van Aert super motivated to split the bunch. Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates), Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma), Stan De Wulf (AG2R-Citroën), Kasper Asgreen (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl), Simon Geschke (Cofidis), Andreas Leknessund (DSM), Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Magnus Cort (EF), Conor Swift (Arkea-Samsic) and Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) created a leading group of ten riders at km 46. The peloton brought them back at km 64 as the race was very fast (52.5km covered in the first hour).
VAN AERT, SIMMONS AND FUGLSANG IN THE LEAD
Van Aert tried his luck once again at km 73, taking along with him Jakob Fuglsang (Israel-Premier Tech) and Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo). They got a maximum advantage of four minutes at half way into the race. Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe) paced the bunch for a long time. Fuglsang gave up 65km before the end while the time difference was reduced to two minutes. Van Aert and Simmons forged on. The time difference went down to 1’25’’ before going up to 2’ again with one hour of racing left. 30km before the end, Van Aert dropped Simmons off and forged on by himself.
ALEXIS VUILLERMOZ TRIES HIS LUCK
Van Aert got reeled in 11km before the finish. A crash affected Alexandr Vlasov with 7km to while Van Aert was dropped from the peloton. Alexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies) attacked in the côte de Pulventeux with 5.5km remaining. The Frenchman surrendered 1.4km from the line. UAE Team Emirates paved the way for Pogacar who accelerated 250 metres before the line following an attempt by Primoz Roglic. The defending champion got a significant gap that enabled him to celebrate his seventh stage victory at the Tour de France.