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Pogacar bounces back

Tour de France 2023 | Stage 6 | Tarbes > Cauterets-Cambasque

The day after losing his first battle, Tadej Pogacar bounced back to claim a solo victory at Cauterets-Cambasque, his 15th of the 2023 season and his 10th stage at the Tour de France while defending champion Jonas Vingegaard took over from Jai Hindley in the overall ranking. The Dane exits the Pyrénées in the yellow jersey.

Extended Highlights - Stage 6 - Tour de France 2023

VAN AERT AND VAN DER POEL IN A 20-MAN LEADING GROUP

The start proper of stage 6 was given at 13.26 to 172 riders. Wout van Aert attacked from the gun, followed straight away by Julian Alaphilippe. A group of 20 leaders was formed at km 20 in three waves: Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates), Michal Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers), Neilson Powless, James Shaw (EF Education-EasyPost), Kasper Asgreen, Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-Quick Step), Nikias Arndt (Bahrain Victorious), Benoît Cosnefroy, Oliver Naesen (Ag2r-Citröen), Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Bryan Coquard, Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Gorka Izagirre, Ruben Guerreiro (Movistar), Krists Neilands (Israel-PremierTech), Chris Juul-Jensen (Jayco-AlUla), Matîs Louvel (Arkéa-Samsic), Tobias Halland Johannessen and Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X). Coquard passed first at the intermediate sprint of Sarrancolin (km 49.2), before Van Aert, while the peloton led by Bora-Hansgrohe was timed 3’20’’ behind.

POWLESS FIRST AT ASPIN, JOHANNESSEN FIRST AT TOURMALET

Powless crested col d’Aspin in the lead, which put him back in the situation of claiming his polka dot jersey back as Felix Gall was nowhere near the front of the race. The group with Guerreiro in second position was reduced to 14 riders. More action took place in the ascent to the Tourmalet. Alaphilippe sped up 11.5km before the summit and Shaw followed him but Van Aert, pacing the group steadily, brought them back one kilometre further. The breakaway group split up and it was action-packed in the main peloton as well. Jumbo-Visma put the hammer down so Hindley wasn’t able to follow Sepp Kuss, Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar at the exit of La Mongie with 6km of climbing remaining. Vingegaard and Pogacar were timed 1’15’’ behind the five leaders 1km before the top. Johannessen became the first Norwegian to pass the Tourmalet in first position with Guerreiro second again. Van Aert waited for his team’s leader and it made a front group of eight riders in the downhill: Kwiatkowski, Guerreiro, TH Johannessen, Van Aert, Vingegaard, Pogacar, Powless and Shaw. The yellow jersey group was two minutes adrift.

POGACAR SOLOES IN THE LAST 3KM

Powless was first to surrender in the final ascent to Cauterets-Cambasque. Van Aert stopped pulling and sat up 4.5km before the end, leaving a leading trio at the front but Kwiatkowski couldn’t take part in the finale as it went down to the expected duel between Vingegaard and Pogacar. The Slovenian attacked 2.7km before the finish. Caught by surprise, the Dane didn’t manage to make it across as the leader of UAE Team Emirates continued to increase his advantage to cross the line 24 seconds ahead of his rival. Tour de France neophyte Johannessen rounded out the stage podium. Hindley reached the finish in sixth position 2’39’’ after Pogacar. Vingegaard exited the Pyrenees with the yellow jersey and an advantage of 25’’ over Pogacar and 1’34’’ over Hindley.

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