Where will Pogacar take the yellow jersey?
The Vosges climb is cut out for Tadej Pogacar, it’s true. And since he is the best-placed favorite overall – I deliberately ignore Van Aert – to see him in yellow on the Super Planche des Belles Filles takes on an implacable logic. But I think he can put on the leader’s tunic a day in advance, from Thursday evening. The 6th stage ends at the top of the Côte des Religieuses (1.6km at 5.8%), but it is mainly preceded by the Côte de Pulventeux. It’s a real wall, 800m at 12.3%, and if Pogacar has the sock as light as this Wednesday on the cobblestones, it can hurt.
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The summit of this raidar is only 5.4 km from the finish. Attacking here doesn’t seem like an unreasonable risk to me – and we know how much Pogacar likes to play. In case of victory, it would be enough for him to arrive with 10 seconds ahead of Wout van Aert to take his yellow jersey. Nothing inaccessible for the double winner of the Tour. Provided of course that a breakaway does not deprive him of the bonuses for winning, which promises to be another story…
The profile of the 7th stage: A Super Board not to be missed
I think Tadej Pogacar will be in yellow on Friday, at the top of the Super Blanche des Belles Filles. The case is not in the bag, since he is only 21 seconds ahead of Jonas Vingegaard and we expect the first duel at altitude between the two men, on this Tour de France. Wout van Aert is not to be ruled out either, even if I don’t believe in his chances beyond this day.
To see “Pogi” in yellow, it will therefore be necessary to wait at least until Friday, in my opinion. I do not believe in an offensive from him on Thursday, towards Longwy. The end is conducive to movement, of course, but the day after a trying day on the Arenberg road and on the eve of the first meeting between climbers of this 109th Grande Boucle, the double title holder will probably be on the Reserve.
The Jumbo screwed, Van Aert blew everything up: the huge coup de force of Cap Blanc-nez
Has Vingegaard become the sole leader of Jumbo-Visma?
This does not mean that we must already bury the Slovenian – it remains to be seen all the same the state of his shoulder following his fall. But a hierarchy settles and I do not see, except glitch, where he will have the opportunity to reverse it with the pedal. Basically, it may be a chance for the Dutch team. Without a second thought, Roglic could be used as an attacking asset in an attempt to destabilize Pogacar, while leaving Vingegaard waiting for the perfect opportunity to trap the UAE Emirates leader, should such a moment come.
One puncture, three bike changes: Vingegaard in panic
No. I don’t think it’s clear yet. During the inaugural time, Primoz Roglic certainly finished behind Jonas Vingegaard, but he seemed to me to take fewer risks than him in the turns. Tuesday, in this uphill sprint on the climb to Cap Blanc-Nez, the Dane was a little stronger than the three-time Vuelta title holder, but above all better placed.
Before Wednesday’s stage, Roglic remained Jumbo-Visma’s No. 1 option in my opinion, for his experience over three weeks. The relationship was reversed, indisputably, at Arenberg. But I think you can still consider the Dutch formation as a two-headed hydra. If Vingegaard has a problem or a shot down, I bet that as it is, Roglic won’t have to wait for him. This testifies to a leadership that is still shared.
“My fall made me lose a little confidence”: Van Aert got up from it
What to expect from the arrival in Longwy?
Not much about the fight for the final victory. Five years ago, the arrival at Longwy was reduced to a hill climb, and a Peter Sagan in the prime of life had triumphed. This Thursday, the menu is more full-bodied before a final identical ascent. The Côte de Pulventeux, in particular, can make the difference five miles from the end of this 6th stage. However, I don’t believe in an attack from a favorite.
The Jumbo-Visma blew up the peloton on Tuesday, on a similar raid? I imagine him more on the defensive, licking his wounds. INEOS Grenadiers and Adam Yates might be a bit more belligerent, but I think it will be mostly about fighting for the stage win, with Michael Matthews’ BikeExchange Jayco in control. The prospect of a breakaway of 10-15 riders vying for victory cannot be ruled out either.
The profile of the 6th stage: The longest day
Sagan? He has certainly already won here, in 2017, but his fall suffered the day before will undoubtedly encourage him to keep a low profile. Cosnefroy? He hasn’t looked great for a few weeks. And it’s the same for Van der Poel, who confirmed himself that he was only a shadow of himself on this Tour. There is indeed Michael Matthews. But who wants to come ride with BikeExchange-Jayco? The Australian training may feel very alone …
And it will probably not be the teams of leaders who will come to help. These will already have their minds set on the first big arrival at the top of the Tour, scheduled for the next day at the Planche des Belles Filles. So don’t count on INEOS Grenadiers, UAE Emirates or Jumbo-Visma. Wout van Aert certainly still wears the yellow jersey. But difficult to detect in the Dutch formation a firm intention to defend the position of the Belgian… Thursday will be a day for adventurers. And it may even be a river escape.
The PR palette: A final that promises a lot, “it’s going to punch” on the 6th stage
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