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Published on 07-07-2022

A finish for the toughest

The sixth stage finally allowed the puncher-climbers to show what they were capable of. Alexis Vuillermoz and Pierre Latour stepped up.

A high-speed stage

The sixth stage kicked off in Belgium and was the longest of this year’s Tour. There was a fierce battle for places in the morning break. A good group was going to be able to shine on the 220 kilometer stretch between Binche and Longwy. In the end, it was the man in the yellow jersey who attacked and broke away from the pack. Everyone was riding fast, and the breakaway finally took shape at the 72 km mark, with Van Aert, Simmons and Fulsang. Thirty kilometers from the finish line, the Belgian champion found himself alone at the front. But the Côte de Montigny-sur-Chiers proved too much and the peloton caught him ten kilometers from the end.

The punchers in the spotlight

It was left to the punchers to tough it out at the finish. Alexis Vuillermoz used the steep climbs on the Côte de Pluventeux to extend his lead. The recent stage winner on the Critérium du Dauphiné hung on until the start of the Côte des Religieuses. But the speed of Michael Matthews’ BikeExchange-Jayco team dashed his hopes with just 1.5 km to go. And the day’s strongman was Tadej Pogacar. The Slovene claimed his seventh Tour de France stage win with panache, and with it the yellow jersey. Pierre Latour finished thirteenth.

Alexis Vuillermoz: “I have no regrets”

“With an average speed of 50 kmh, I was pretty tired by the finish. But I did have strength in my legs. Everyone was going for it. I was able to attack where I wanted. I tried to manage my strength, but the teams were well organized behind me. I just needed that little bit extra after the tiring start. In any case, I have no regrets.”