Tom Pidcock: Van Aert is playing with our balls at the Tour de France

LONGWY FRANCE JULY 07 Thomas Pidcock of United Kingdom and Team INEOS Grenadiers prior to the 109th Tour de France 2022 Stage 6 a 2199km stage from Binche to Longwy 377m TDF2022 WorldTour on July 07 2022 in Longwy France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Tom Pidcock at the start of stage 6 in Binche, Belgium before his fourth-place finish in Longwy, France (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

On a day when Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) underlined his overwhelming status as Tour de France favourite with a stage win at Longwy, Tom Pidcock gave Ineos Grenadiers reasons to be upbeat after the 22-year-old secured his first top five result in this year's race.

Riding in a finale bearing more than few similarities to the hilly Classics like Amstel Gold and De Brabantse Pijl, Pidcock formed part of the select front group able to handle the radical changes in pace on the trio of sharp little climbs that comprised the stage 6 finish and completed the day in fourth place.

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.