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Tour de France stage 6 Live - Uphill puncheur finish


Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 6 of the Tour de France

The riders have just set off towards kilometre zero in Binche, on what will be the longest stage of the 2022 Tour de France.

The Tour visits its third country, after the Grand Départ kicked off proceedings in Denmark, before the caravan headed back to home soil in France. The race begins in Belgium today, heading through the Ardennes before returning to France after around 60km of racing.

Race director Christian Prudhomme waves his yellow flag and we are off on stage 6 of the Tour de France.

Immediately there is lot of interest as riders show their interest in being a part of the day's break.

Alexis Vuillermoz of Team TotalEnergies is the first to come to the fore, but there are plenty more riders trying to follow.

There has been a crash - Mathieu Burgaudeau of Team TotalEnergies is brought down at the back of the peloton and he looks pretty beaten up. The team lost another rider overnight with Daniel Oss pulling out following a collision with a fan - he has a fractured vertebra.

The bunch is strung out right the way down the undulating straight road out of Binche as the battle for the break is on.

Team BikeExchange, Lotto Soudal and Trek-Segafredo among the teams interested in escaping the bunch today, on what could well be a day for the breakaway.

Yesterday's cobbled stage saw the first breakaway win of the Tour so far, with Simon Clarke recording an incredible victory, his first at the race.

The next moves begin, with Cofidis and Bora-Hansgrohe at the head of the race.

Mathieu Van der Poel is already out the back of the peloton. He's clearly not feeling himself, as he said following yesterday's stage.

All change again at the front of the race as riders from Team DSM and QuickStep-AlphaVinyl lead the charge.

The road kicks up a steep ramp and another group of riders use it to try and launch an attack.

It's frantic at the sharp end as the wind is clearly causing havoc.

The yellow jersey, Wout van Aert, drives at the front as a gap appears between the front group and the rest. 

There's clearly a great deal of stress in the bunch today but as Wout van Aert continues to lead the front group, with Tadej Pogačar and Filippo Ganna part of the same group which is stretched across the road in an echelon.

The pace drops off for a moment as everything comes back together again. It's a hectic start on today's stage of the Tour de France.

Three riders have a small gap - Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert), Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R-Citroen) and Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo).

The three riders have a ten second gap with a fourth, from Team DSM, trying to bridge across.

A few more riders try to get away but Wout van Aert chases them down.

Van Aert has joined the breakaway and tries to encourage them to ride together.

The three leaders retain a slim lead over the chasing group of four which includes Van Aert.

Van Aert is really keen to be part of this break, it seems - he continues to drive although his chasing group were caught by the peloton.

This first 20km have been relentless. With 200km still to come, it's going to be a long, hard day for the peloton.

200km to go

The front group of three are working well together but the attacks continue in their wake, preventing them from carving out a substantial lead.

The bunch are still together but there's a strong sense that there are more attacks to come. 

The front group of Cosnefroy, Van der Hoorn and Skujins have 15 seconds.

Mathieu Van der Poel has made it back to the rear of the peloton. 

The gap to the front group is now 20 seconds, with a truce in the bunch for now.

Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) has clipped off the front of the bunch and the peloton seems content to let him go.

Burgaudeau (Team TotalEnergies) makes it back to the bunch following his crash. His  kit is ripped in a few places but he's still on his bike.

A rider from Team BikeExchange-Jayco now works his way free of the bunch - it's Amund Grøndahl Jansen. He faces an uphill battle to bridge to Wellens, let alone the front group.

195km to go

The bunch is strung out again, with Wout Van Aert continuing to do a lot of work at the front end of proceedings.

The front group now have a gap of 1'01" to the peloton. Wellens and Jansen have joined up to form a chasing group, they have a lot of work to do if they want to make it across.

The peloton executes a sharp right turn onto a narrow road beautifully, with Van Aert at the front. He immediately drives the pace on.

There's still no sense of calm among the riders, who maintain a high pace, with a group detaching itself from the front of the bunch.

Wellens and Jansen are about to be swallowed up by a chasing group which includes Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers). The rest of the bunch catches onto the group but they are stretched out in a long line along the road as they try to keep up.

Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) takes up the pace at the front of the peloton, and those in his wheel have to work hard to stay with him.

It's a lively one, with plenty of teams keen to be involved in the action.

At the back of the peloton, Jack Bauer (Team BikeExchange) has a bike change, while Jonathan Castroviejo (Ineos Grenadiers) also struggles with a mechanical.

A strung-out peloton crosses the biggest dam in Belgium, before Wout Van Aert yet again attacks.

Tom Pidcock wants to be a part of Van Aert's move, and chases onto his wheel.

185km to go

With the continued high pace, the front three still only have a gap of 25".

Jonathan Castroviejo is chasing back onto the peloton after a mechanical issue.

Team BikeExchange and Bahrain-Victorious are the next two teams to try their luck and the breakaway group are now in sight. Tough break for the three riders who have worked hard but to no avail.

You've got to feel for the three riders in the breakaway. Pain etched on their faces shows how hard they are working and yet they just can't make it stick.

180km to go

Wout Van Aert and Tadej Pogačar are both visible right at the front of the peloton now.

Van Aert is the instigator of yet more chaos, taking off again. Jonas Vingegaard pays close attention to Pogačar who is still near the front of the race. This is relentless.

The front group have a significant gap over the rest now. This has the feel of a one-day classic and yet we have more than two more weeks of this. Those GC teams who have missed this move will need to work to bring it back.

It begins again. Lotto Soudal and B&B Hotels are the next teams to try and make an impact.

Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost), who has been in every breakaway so far this Tour, is back at the front once more. You can't keep a good man down, especially when he's got a polka dot jersey to defend.

Christophe Laporte (Team Jumbo-Visma) is part of the group that has made a move. There is around ten riders here and they have 8 seconds.

Will this be the one to get away? There are some really big names here, and it could be a break that could go all the way, if the peloton allows it.

The group at the front slowly adds to their lead - it's up to 19 seconds now. 

The composition of the breakaway:

Kasper Asgreen (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl)

Christophe Laporte (Team Jumbo-Visma)

Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo)

Simon Geschke (Cofidis)

Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost)

Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates)

Andres Leknessund (Team DSM)

Stan Dewulk (AG2R-Citroen)

Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché)

Conor Swift (Arkea-Samsic)

Never say never... just when we thought there might be a chance of a lull in the action, it seems to be back on once again, as moves continue to go from the bunch, with the gap to the front group back down to 16".

Teams that have missed the break are still trying desperately to be a part of it, including Lotto Soudal and Bahrain-Victorious.

Once again, Wout Van Aert in the maillot jaune presses on, looking over his shoulder as if to ask who is going to go with him.

The gap is down to 11", and it looks as though this one, too, will be doomed.

The peloton has completed almost 60km of racing and still, there is no accord. It's an unbelievable start to a stage.

The damage being done at the back of the peloton is significant. Mathieu Van der Poel continues to suffer, along with George Bennett and Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates), two of Tadej Pogačar's key climbing domestiques.

160km to go

The gap to the front group drops below ten seconds and their days must surely be numbered.

It's back together once again, and Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal) picks that moment to launch an attack.

155km to go

Trek-Segafredo and Arkéa–Samsic are next to put their noses in the wind. 

Still no sign of anyone getting away, as Mads Pedersen tries to animate something at the front of the race.

150km to go

The race re-enters France, and the Grand Est region, as it heads at break-neck speed for Longwy.

A lone rider has a small gap - Franck Bonnamour from B&B Hotels, who won last year's most combative rider prize.

Bonnamour is swallowed back up as a group of six, including Wout Van Aert, breaks away from the bunch.

The group is Van Aert, Steven Kruijswijk (Team Jumbo-Visma), Jakob Fuglsang (Israel-PremierTech), and Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo). Taco Van der Hoorn was a part of the move but he abandons the attempt.

Van Aert, Fuglsang and Simmons have a gap. A unlikely trio - will they be able to make it stick?

145km to go

Van Aert, Simmons and Fuglsang maintain their gap at the front.

There's a large group over four minutes down including two UAE Team Emirates domestiques.

The peloton continue to drive, as the Van Aert breakaway builds up a lead of 25".

140km to go

There is finally calm in the bunch.

After a frantic, relentless 80km of racing, the peloton have allowed Van Aert, Simmons and Fuglsang their freedom, for now. 

The gap is just over 50".

Nightmare for Van Aert as he has an issue with his chain - he quickly fixes it and is on his way.

Van Aert catches Simmons and Fuglsang.

With calm prevailing in the peloton, the three-man breakaway is able to build up a 1'48" lead.

Quinn Simmons is first over the first climb of the day, the category 3 Côte des Mazures.

The peloton goes over the top of the first categorised climb of the day 2'34" behind the breakaway,

The group containing George Bennett is at 4'42".

130km to go

The gap continues to grow to 3'22", with the yellow jersey of the Tour de France Wout Van Aert, another GC contender in Jakob Fuglsang, and Quinn Simmons who is not a GC contender but will be keen to secure points in the KOM competition.

In terms of what the rest of the day has in store, there's some more bumpy terrain to contend with before a long, reasonably flat section of around 40km.

Then it's back to bumpy stuff, with two categorised climbs coming right at the end of the stage, that will be the ideal launch pad for a stage victory. Will it come from this breakaway group, or will the peloton reel them back in before then?

125km to go

UAE Team Emirates are driving the pace at the front of the bunch, despite their two missing domestiques, Bennett and Hirschi, who continue to labour in the third group. They are around 1'30" behind the main peloton.

120km to go

Guillaume Van Keirsbulck is the lone Alpecin-Deceuninck rider at the head of the bunch, ahead of the UAE train.

The average speed so far on this stage has been 50.96 km/h. 

Alpecin riding in front of UAE Team Emirates is a slightly strange tactic - it suggests that perhaps they have a plan for later in the stage.

The breakaway riders are working well together, slowly growing their lead, which is about to tip over the four minute mark.

Wout Van Aert with yet another mechanical issue - he is swiftly issued with a new machine by his team mechanic and he is off in pursuit of his breakaway colleagues. He doesn't take long to reach them.

Alex Kirsch of Trek-Segafredo has abandoned the race. He has looked to be having a difficult time of it, way off the pace early in the day.

The gap holds steady at around 3'50". The third group on the road including Bennett and Hirschi are slowly clawing their way back to the bunch, around 40 seconds behind.

A touching moment between Jack Bauer (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) and Max Walscheid (Cofidis) as they pat one another on the back, having made it back on to the back of the main peloton.

That's the group back together again then, as the UAE pair and the rest of their group finish the job off pulling back their deficit.

100km left on today's stage, almost 120km already completed. 

The gap to the break is 3'42".

100km to go

Bora-Hansgrohe and EF Education-EasyPost have added their firepower to the chase at the front of the peloton. The gap drops slightly as a result.

The break's lead continues to diminish slowly as the peloton begin to up the tempo. 

95km to go

The four teams working on the front are making an impression on the breakaway's lead, as the race travels along the 40km flat stretch of today's route. 

There is an intermediate sprint in around 30km.

The gap drops beneath 3 minutes.

90km to go

The peloton is strung out along the road once again as Bora, UAE, EF and Alpecin give chase.

Alpecin-Deceuninck confirm that Alex Kirsch suffered from sickness, citing that as the reason for his abandon from the Tour.

See more

Gap stabilises at 2'44" after a sustained period of attacking from the peloton.

85km to go

Incredible shot of Fuglsang and Simmons in the break on today's stage (image credit: Getty images).

TOPSHOT IsraelPremier Tech teams Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang L and TrekSegafredo teams American rider Quinn Simons R cycle in a breakaway during the 6th stage of the 109th edition of the Tour de France cycling race 2199 km between Binche in Belgium and Longwy in northern France on July 7 2022 Photo by Marco BERTORELLO AFP Photo by MARCO BERTORELLOAFP via Getty Images

(Image credit: Getty images)

With 80km remaining in the stage, we have an intermediate sprint incoming in around 5km, before the lumpy terrain should start to take its toll again around 15km after that.

80km to go

Despite the chase being put in by the peloton, the gap has stretched back out to around 3 minutes.

Peter Sagan receiving some assistance off the back of the peloton. He's chasing to make it back to the bunch.

75km to go

The bunch goes through the intermediate sprint - Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) takes the win ahead of Fabio Jakobsen, who wears the green jersey on behalf of Wout Van Aert.

Wout van Aert takes the full points available for the intermediate sprint. 

The gap is dropping again, with EF driving the pace in the peloton. Van Aert, Simmons and Fuglsang now have 2'09" over the bunch.

70km to go

With the gap dropping below two minutes for the first time since it went out.

The break loses one third of its firepower as Jakob Fuglsang pulls to the side of the road, presumably with a mechanical issue.

65km to go

So we are left with a breakaway of two - Van Aert and Simmons. Their gap is dropping quite rapidly now, with just under 60km still to ride and two categorised climbs remaining. 

Gap - 1'42"

Van Aert means business - he ups the tempo and forces Simmons to ride hard to keep up. The gap goes back out to around 2 minutes.

60km to go

Van Aert is forcing Simmons to his limit to keep up the pace. The race leader looks incredibly composed given the amount of effort he has expended, not just today but in the race overall.

UAE Team Emirates and Alpecin continue to drive the chase back in the peloton. They aren't making much headway though, as Van Aert and Simmons maintain the two minute gap.

55km to go

A reminder that the two remaining classified climbs both come in the final 15km of the race. It's not an easy run-in before that though, with plenty of ups and downs along the way.

Really interesting situation here. Wout Van Aert looks cool as a cucumber whereas Simmons is clearly pushing himself very hard. The peloton are chasing but can't make any impact on the two minute gap. 

Owain Doull (EF Education-EasyPost) drives the peloton but still they can't make a difference to the gap. 

The gap remains at two minutes. The peloton need to come up with a new plan if they're going to catch him.

45km to go

Alpecin-Deceuninck are back in amongst the chasers, with Sylvian Dillier on the front with Owain Doull and the UAE train.

40km to go

Finally the gap starts to show signs of falling, as the teams committed to fighting for the stage win up the tempo.

After stabilising at two minutes for a long while, the gap is now under 1'30".

35km to go

Wout Van Aert and Quinn Simmons fight to stay away on stage 6 as they approach Longwy.

LONGWY FRANCE JULY 07 LR Quinn Simmons of United States and Team Trek Segafredo and Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team Jumbo Visma Yellow Leader Jersey compete in the breakaway during 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 Michael SteeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty images)

The kilometres fall as the time gap follows suit. 32.7km remain, with around 15km until the climbing begins, and Van Aert and Simmons nurse a 1'08" lead to the rest.

The peloton have the breakaway pair in their sights. Wout Van Aert picks this moment to pull away from Quinn Simmons.

Wout Van Aert is once again a man on a mission. He sets off solo in search of stage win number two.

30km to go

The Tour de France race leader in the maillot jaune Wout Van Aert of Team Jumbo-Visma leads stage 6 solo, just over a minute ahead of a surging peloton.

Simmons slides back through the bunch after a valiant effort in the day's break.

It's peloton vs Van Aert, and Van Aert is holding them steady at 1:10.

The rest of Team Jumbo-Visma have enjoyed a day of relative calm in the bunch as the yellow jersey goes on the rampage. They will appreciate that after the chaos of yesterday's cobbled stage.

25km to go

Ineos Grenadiers come to front to join the chase. Filippo Ganna adds his considerable power to the effort and yet the gap remains over a minute.

The peloton tear through the town of Longuyen, and they take the gap below a minute. EF Education-EasyPost drive at the front with Stefan Bissegger.

Let's remember there are still two short climbs in quick succession in the run-in to the finish. How will they impact a peloton that's already done a huge amount of work on a relentless day at the Tour?

20km to go - Van Aert has 46 seconds on the bunch, who surge after him, looking after their relative interests. 

20km to go

The scales are tipping in favour of the peloton, as the gap drops to 35 seconds. No matter how this turns out, it's been some ride from Van Aert.

Ineos Grenadiers, wearing the yellow helmets as they lead in the team classification, lead the charge. 

The gap is 29 seconds.

The pace starts to tell as riders are spat out of the back of the peloton, including Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal).

Van Aert begins the climb - the Côte de Montigny-sur-Chiers is a category 4 test.

After a difficult start to the day, George Bennett (UAE Team Emirates) leads his team mates and the bunch up the climb.

Van Aert grimaces with the effort. His gap is 20 seconds.

Van Aert is digging in, the gap stabilising at 21 seconds.

Swathes of riders drop out the back of the bunch.

AG2R and Bora take over at the front and the fresh legs make all the difference, immediately shaving five seconds off the lead of Wout Van Aert.

15km to go

Van Aert completes the climb. There is one more to go, and it arrives in 7km time.

The race leader has given everything in defence of his yellow jersey today. The