Defending champion Pogacar takes Tour de France lead with stage six win
Defending champion Tadej Pogacar of the UAE Emirates team launched a blistering attack on a late climb to win stage six of the Tour de France and reclaim the overall leader’s yellow jersey on Thursday.
Pogacar attacked on a steep climb 500m from the finish and was a class above his key rivals Jonas Vingegaard and Adam Yates, who are now 31sec and 39sec behind him in the standings.
“It feels like the first time I had it, I wasn’t expecting it today, it was a real battle,” Pogacar said.
A battle he seemed to win with relative ease however.
The Slovenian took the yellow ahead of EF’s American rider Nelson Powless thanks to the 10 bonus seconds on offer for the stage winner.
The 23-year-old celebrated by repeatedly punching the air and is in prime position in his bid to win a third consecutive Tour de France.
He beat Australian Michael Matthews into second on the day while David Gaudu of FDJ was third and Briton Tom Pidcock fourth.
On his rookie Tour de France Ineos rider Pidcock, 22, will wear the best under-26’s white jersey Friday, although Pogacar leads him in those rankings.
Overnight leader Wout van Aert paraded the yellow jersey through Belgium before launching an eventually doomed but rampaging attack through 130km of rolling forest terrain before being caught 15km out.
Van Aert will race Friday’s stage in the green sprint points jersey instead and will have won many fans for his swashbuckling attitude.