2022 Tour de France: Tadej Pogacar Seizes the Yellow Jersey with a Dominant Stage 6 Victory

The Thrilling Victory of Tadej Pogacar in Stage 6 of the 2022 Tour de France

Stage 6 of the 2022 Tour de France witnessed a thrilling battle on the border of France and Belgium. The two-time defending champion, Tadej Pogacar from UAE Team Emirates, emerged victorious with a sprint finish in an uphill climax at Longwy, marking his first stage win of this year’s tour.

Pogacar’s impressive performance not only secured him the stage victory but also propelled him into the coveted yellow jersey, dethroning Wout Van Aert from Jumbo-Visma. This triumph puts Pogacar one step closer to his third consecutive Tour de France title.

Pogacar Seizes the Yellow Jersey from Van Aert

After Van Aert claimed the yellow jersey in Stage 2, he managed to retain it for four stages until Pogacar surpassed him following his victory in Stage 6. Van Aert’s questionable decision to break away early in the race ultimately proved detrimental as the chase pack swiftly caught up with him.

Pogacar valiantly held off Michael Matthews from Team BikeExchange-Jayco and David Gaudu from Groupama-FDJ to clinch the victory in Stage 6, showcasing his sprinting prowess. In addition to the stage win, Pogacar also gained a 10-second time bonus, further solidifying his lead.

The Stage 6 Results:

  • Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) – 04:27:13
  • Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) – +0:00
  • David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) – +0:00

Furthermore, Pogacar dashed Neilson Powless’ hopes of becoming the first American to wear the yellow jersey since Greg LeMond in the 1980s. Powless currently trails Pogacar by a mere four seconds in the overall General Classification standings. Jonas Vingegaard from Jumbo-Visma secured the third spot in the standings but fell 10 seconds behind Pogacar due to the time bonus, with a 31-second gap overall.

Stage 6: A Challenging Ride from Binche to Longwy

Stage 6 encompassed a hilly 220-km ride from Binche to Longwy, situated a day after the treacherous cobblestone-filled stage in northern France. With the first mountain stage on the horizon in Stage 7, some riders chose to conserve energy after facing a grueling route the previous day. Despite this, riders like Pogacar made their move early to inflict damage rather than waiting for the mountains.

Van Aert’s tactics raised eyebrows as he launched an early attack, possibly hoping to make his fellow Belgians proud with a daring breakaway. However, he had teammates, especially Vingegaard and Primoz Roglic, who could have aided in gaining time on Pogacar. Quinn Simmons, the youngest rider in the Tour de France from Trek–Segafredo, held his ground in the breakaway alongside van Aert and Jakob Fuglsang from Israel-Premier Tech. Nevertheless, the chase pack ultimately caught up with van Aert when he struggled during the Category 4 ascent of Cote de Montigny-sur-Chiers.

With less than 6km remaining, Pogacar and his UAE Emirates teammate Brandon McNulty launched a successful attack on the Cote de Pulventeux. McNulty provided Pogacar with an impeccable lead-out until Roglic made his move. Despite crashing and dislocating his shoulder in Stage 5, Roglic showed incredible resilience, challenging Pogacar for the stage victory. However, as Roglic overtook Pogacar, the latter staged a sensational comeback and ultimately outclassed his fellow Slovenian in a sprint finish to secure the win in Stage 6.

“Today was so hard from the start, the first two hours were so crazy because the strongest guy, Wout van Aert, went in the breakaway,” expressed Pogacar. “I was thinking that he would come to the finish, but in the end, the peloton was stronger. When we came to the final climbs, I was still feeling good.”

Matthews finished in second place, while Gaudu claimed the third spot. Roglic, despite his valiant effort, finished ninth overall along with other riders from the chase pack, including Tom Piddock from Ineos Grenadiers, Nairo Quintana from Arkea-Samsic, Dylan Teuns from Bahrain Victorious, and Vingegaard.

Preview of Stage 7: Tomblaine > La Super Planche des Belles Filles

As the Tour de France progresses, Stage 7 presents the eagerly awaited mountainous terrain, providing the General Classification contenders an opportunity to shine. This stage culminates with the first mountain summit finish at the infamous La Super Planche des Belles Filles.

Starting in Tomblaine, Stage 7 spans 176 km and concludes at Planche des Belles Filles. The route includes two Category 3 climbs, Cole de Grosse Pierre and Col des Croix, before culminating in a Category 1 ascent of Planche des Belles Filles. This final climb measures 7 km in length and possesses a steep 8.7% average gradient.

Pogacar leads the betting odds at +200 to claim back-to-back stage victories in Stage 7. His previous success in an individual time trial stage at Belles Filles in 2020 further enhances his prospects. Vingegaard stands at +800 odds as he strives to clinch his first stage win this year and narrow the gap with Pogacar. Furthermore, Dylan Teuns, the Stage 6 winner in the 2019 Tour de France at Belles Filles, possesses +2000 odds to replicate his previous triumph. Keep a watchful eye on Canada’s Michael Woods, offering +1400 odds to secure his first mountain stage victory.

Overall General Classification Standings at the 2022 Tour de France:

  • Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) – 20:44:44
  • Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) – +0:04
  • Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) – +0:31
  • Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) – +0:39
  • Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) – +0:40

Looking at the overall General Classification standings, Pogacar remains the frontrunner to claim the overall victory at -400 odds according to DraftKings. Vingegaard stands as his closest competitor with +300 odds. Alexander Vlasov from BORA-Hansgrohe and 2018 champion Geraint Thomas from Ineos Grenadiers both possess +1400 odds. Vlasov currently trails Pogacar by 52 seconds, while Thomas sits 46 seconds behind in sixth place.

Conclusion

Stage 6 of the 2022 Tour de France showcased the indomitable spirit of Tadej Pogacar as he claimed victory and reclaimed the yellow jersey. With the first mountain stage on the horizon, cycling enthusiasts eagerly anticipate further dramatic battles among the General Classification contenders. Pogacar’s dominance has positioned him as the favorite to secure another Tour de France title, but with fierce competition from riders like Vingegaard and Teuns, anything can happen in the mountains.

FAQs

1. Can Tadej Pogacar secure his third consecutive Tour de France title?

As the current leader in the General Classification and with his exceptional form showcased in Stage 6, Pogacar has a strong chance of securing his third consecutive Tour de France title. However, with challenging stages ahead and fierce competition from other GC contenders, the race is far from over.

2. Who is Pogacar’s biggest rival in the General Classification standings?

Currently, Jonas Vingegaard from Jumbo-Visma poses the most significant threat to Pogacar

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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