The longest stage of this year’s Le Tour hugged the border of France and Belgium. Two-time defending champion Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) secured his first stage win at the 2022 Tour de France with an impressive victory and an uphill finish in Stage 6 at Longwy. Poagcar also snatched the yellow jersey away from Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) as the young Slovenian took one step closer to winning the tour for the third year in a row.

Tadej Pogacar Stage 6 2022 Tour de France Le victory Longwy
Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) wins his first stage at the 2022 Tour de France with a sprint victory in Stage 6. (Image: Reuters)

Van Aert secured the yellow jersey in Stage 2 and retained it for four stages before Pogacar grabbed it after his Stage 6 victory. Van Aert’s foolish breakaway came back to bite him in the arse when the chase pack gobbled him up.

Pogacar held off Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) to win Stage 6 with a sprint finish after two tough climbs. He also added a 10-second time bonus with the victory at Longwy.

2022 Tour de France – Stage 6 Results
  1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 04:27:13
  2. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) +0:00
  3. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) +0:00

Pogacar denied Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) a chance to become the first American to wear the yellow jersey since Greg LeMond in the 1980s. Powless trails Pogacar by just four seconds in the overall GC standings. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) moved into third in the GC standings, but lost 10 seconds on Pogacar due to the time bonus. Vingegaard is 31 seconds off the lead.

Stage 6: Binche > Longwy

The pros call it lumpy, but the peloton was faced with a hilly, 220-km ride in Stage 6 from Binche to Longwy one day after surviving the treacherous cobblestones of northern France. With the first mountain stage on deck in Stage 7, some riders were taking it easy after a hellacious route on Wednesday. Several GC contenders, including Poagcar, didn’t until the mountains to inflict some damage, however.

Van Aert’s tactics came into question when he attacked early on. Perhaps he wanted to make Belgians proud on his early breakaway, but he had other Jumbo-Visma teammates — Vingegaard and especially Primoz Roglic — to help gain time on Pogacar. American Quinn Simmons from Colorado (Trek–Segafredo) — the youngest rider in the Tour de France — held his own in the breakaway with van Aert and Jakob Fuglsang (Israel-Premier Tech). The chase pack eventually caught up to van Aert, who was dropped during a Category 4 ascent of Cote de Montigny-sur-Chiers.

With less than 6km remaining, Pogacar and UAE Emirates teammate Brandon McNulty attacked on the Cote de Pulventeux. McNulty provided Pogacar with a perfect lead-out until Roglic made a move. The tough-as-nails Roglic crashed on the cobblestones in Stage 5 and popped his shoulder back after a dislocation. Despite the pain and road rash, he challenged Pogacar for the stage win. As soon as Roglic passed Pogacar, Pogacar surged ahead and dusted the fellow Slovenian during a sprint finish to lock up a win in Stage 6.

“Today was so hard from the start, the first two hours was so crazy, because the strongest guy Wout van Aert went in the breakaway,” Pogacar said. “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 took second, while Frenchman Gaudu took third. Roglic finished ninth overall, but was clustered with other chase pack riders, including fourth-place Tom Piddock (Ineos Grenadiers), Nario Quintana (Arkea-Samsic), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious), and Vingegaard.

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

Get ready for the mountains, where the GC contenders finally get their chance to shine. The peloton faces its first mountain summit finish at the infamous La Super Planche des Belles Filles.

Stage 7 begins in Tomblaine and ends 176 km later at Planche des Belles Filles. The route features a pair of Category 3 climbs (Cole de Grosse Pierre and Col des Croix) before ending on a Category 1 ascent of Planche des Belles Filles. It’s 7 km long with an 8.7% grade.

Pogacar is the betting favorite at +200 odds to win Stage 7 for back-to-back stage victories. He won a ITT stage at Belles Filles back in 2020. Vingegaard is +800 to win his first stage this year and try to trim his deficit versus Pogacar. Dylan Teuns won Stage 6 of the 2019 Le Tour at Belles Filles, and he’s +2000 odds to replicate the feat. Keep an eye on Michael Woods from Canada at +1400 odds to ship the first mountain stage.

2022 Le Tour – Overall GC Standings
  1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 20:44:44
  2. Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) +0:04
  3. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +0:31
  4. Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) +0:39
  5. Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) +0:40

Pogacar is the betting favorite to win Le Tour again at -400 odds at DraftKings. Vingegaard is the closest on the cycling futures board at +300 odds. Alexander Vlasov (BORA-Hansgrohe) and 2018 champion Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) are both +1400 odds. Seventh place Vlasov is 52 seconds behind Pogacar, while Thomas is 46 seconds back in sixth place.

Check out more coverage of the 2022 Tour de France.