Tour de France stage 6 report: Episode II – the Empirates strike back

Tadej Pogačar's stunningly successful rebound from stage 5 showed the Tour is far from over.

Pogačar made one fierce attack, and in the space of just a few kilometers hauled back more than half his deficit to Jonas Vingegaard. Photo © Vincent Kalut / Cor Vos

Joe Lindsey
by Joe Lindsey 06.07.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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Tadej Pogačar turned the Tour de France on its head today with a vintage performance to take the win on the first mountaintop finish of the race and take back time on rival Jonas Vingegaard. The two-time Tour winner from UAE Team Emirates rode a tactically perfect race all day, outlasting the superior numbers of Vingegaard’s Jumbo-Visma team and laying down a ferocious attack inside the closing kilometers to distance Vingegaard, who re-took the yellow jersey after overnight leader Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) lost time.

Brief Results

  1. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) 3:54:27
  2. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) @ :24
  3. Tobias Halland Johannesen (Uno-X) @ 1:22
  4. Ruben Guerreiro (Movistar) @ 2:06
  5. James Shaw (EF Education-EasyPost) @ 2:15

General Classification

  1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 26:10:44
  2. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) @ :24
  3. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) @ 1:34
  4. Simon Yates (Jayco-AlUla) @ 3:14
  5. Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers) @ 3:30
The final day in the Pyrenees brought the usual mix of breathtaking scenery, and some pretty good bike racing too. Photo © Szymon Gruchalski / Cor Vos

Brief analysis

Up next: stage 7 preview

The sprinters come back to the front again on this 170 km stage from Mont-de-Marsan to Bordeaux. The route is almost dead-flat, and although an early breakaway may go clear we’d be surprised if the sprinters’ teams have any issue bringing it back. So it’ll likely be Jasper Philipsen and his Alpecin-Deceuninck leadout extraordinaire Mathieu van der Poel going for his third stage against the usual rivals: Lotto DSTNY’s Caleb Ewan, Phil Bauhaus of Bahrain Victorious, and of course Astana-Qazaqstan’s Mark Cavendish. After Paris, Bordeaux is arguably the most prestigious finish for sprinters in the Tour, and would be a fitting spot for his record-breaking 35th stage win. In 2010, he won here as well, the fourth of his fifth stage victories that Tour.

As he signed autographs at the start of stage 6, Jai Hindley likely didn’t think he’d lose his race lead just a few hours later. Photo © Szymon Gruchalski / Cor Vos

Quote of the day

I was thinking when they start pulling on the Tourmalet, if it’s gonna happen like yesterday we can pack our bags and go home.

-Tadej Pogačar on his initial reaction to Jumbo’s aggressive tactics on the Tourmalet

Over on the Tweets (or Threads, or whatever is the flavor-of-the-week platform today)

Sepp Kuss has now played a vital role in five Jumbo Grand Tour wins. Is a sixth in the offing?

Apparently after two straight days in the break even Wout van Aert needs some time off.

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