Tour de France 2023 – Stage 6

Hard hitting Pogačar takes the fight to Vingegaard

Cauterets-Cambasque, Thursday, July 6th  –The day after losing his stage 5 battle with Jonas Vingegaard, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) bounced back to claim a solo victory at Cauterets-Cambasque, his 15th win 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 to leave the Pyrénées in the maillot jaune.

Tadej Pogačar wins Stage 6: Photo ASO/Charly Lopez

Stage 6 of the Tour de France was a thrilling showdown in the high Pyrenees, as Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) bounced back from his setback on stage 5 and claimed a stunning victory at Cauterets-Cambasque, dropping his main rival Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) in the final kilometre. Vingegaard took over the yellow jersey from Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe), who cracked on the Col du Tourmalet, but he lost 12 seconds to Pogacar, who moved up to second place overall.

The 144.9km stage from Tarbes to Cauterets was a brutal test for the GC contenders, with two iconic climbs – the Col d’Aspin (12km at 6.5%) and the Col du Tourmalet (17.1km at 7.3%) – before the final ascent to Le Cambasque (16km at 5.4%). The stage was animated by a large breakaway of 23 riders, which included Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Victor Lafay (Cofidis), Simon Yates (Jayco-Alula) and Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost).

The breakaway split on the Col d’Aspin, with Van Aert setting a hard pace for Vingegaard, who was sitting comfortably in the peloton behind his UAE Team Emirates rivals. On the descent, Van Aert was joined by Powless, Yates and Lafay, while Hindley was dropped from the yellow jersey group and lost contact with his Bora-Hansgrohe teammates.

The four leaders started the Col du Tourmalet with a lead of over four minutes on the peloton, but they were soon reduced to three when Yates was dropped. Behind them, Vingegaard launched a surprise attack with 1.4km to go to the summit, catching Pogacar and his group off guard. The Slovenian quickly reacted and bridged across to Vingegaard, while Alaphilippe tried to follow but could not close the gap.

Vingegaard and Pogacar crested the Tourmalet together, with Powless joining them on the descent after dropping Van Aert and Lafay. The trio had a lead of over a minute on Alaphilippe’s group, which included Uran, Bernal, Bardet and Buchmann. Hindley was over four minutes behind and out of contention for the yellow jersey.

The final climb to Le Cambasque was a tense duel between Vingegaard and Pogacar, who took turns setting the pace and testing each other. Powless hung on bravely but could not contribute to the effort. With 1km to go, Pogacar made his decisive move and accelerated away from Vingegaard, who could not respond. The defending champion crossed the line with his arms aloft, celebrating his first stage win of this Tour.

Vingegaard came home in second place, 12 seconds behind Pogacar, while Powless held on for third place, 40 seconds behind the winner. Alaphilippe led the chasing group over the line, 1:44 behind Pogacar, followed by Uran, Bernal, Bardet and Buchmann.

The stage shook up the GC standings, with Vingegaard taking over the yellow jersey with a lead of 35 seconds on Pogacar and 2:29 on Alaphilippe. Uran moved up to fourth place at 2:31, followed by Bernal at 2:35 and Bardet at 2:38. Hindley dropped to seventh place at 3:01, while Buchmann climbed to eighth at 3:03.

The Tour de France continues on Friday with a flat stage from Lourdes to Toulouse, which should favour the sprinters.

Stage 6 Results and GC