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Vingegaard takes yellow, but Pogacar wins Stage 6

Kuss moves into 10th place in the Tour’s GC
Jumbo-Visma leader Jonas Vingegaard celebrates after taking over the general classification lead in the Tour de France on Thursday. (Courtesy Team Jumbo-Visma)

The general classification favorites blew up the Tour de France’s standings on Thursday during the race’s sixth stage.

Defending champion Jonas Vingegaard of Jumbo-Visma took over the GC lead, but two-time champ Tadej Pogacar of UAE Team Emirates won the dual between the two riders on Thursday to take his 10th stage win in the Tour. Pogacar is now 25 seconds behind Vingegaard while Jai Hindley of BORA-hansgrohe, who started the day in the yellow leader’s jersey, is the only other cyclist within three minutes of the Vingegaard.

Wout van Aert attacked right away for Jumbo-Visma and led an early breakaway while the rest of the team drove the peloton through the second mountain stage in the French Pyrenees.

As the race progressed and gaps were created, Durangoan Sepp Kuss and teammate Wilco Kelderman found themselves doing the heavy lifting while Vingegaard, Pogacar and Hindley drafted them in a group of five. Hindley eventually got dropped off the back. Kuss then pulled over so Vingegaard could attack and Pogacar went with him.

The two riders eventually caught Van Aert’s group, and Van Aert worked hard for his leader until midway up the final climb when he ran out of energy. A dual between Vingegaard and Pogacar ensued. Pogacar stayed on Vingegaard’s wheel before attacking about three kilometers from the day’s final summit. Vingegaard wasn’t able to counter the last attack from Pogacar, but he finished 24 seconds after him to take the Tour’s overall lead.

“I'm thrilled about it,” Vingegaard said. “It's a huge honor. The yellow jersey is the most iconic in cycling. I am where I want to be now, but the Tour de France is far from over. I thank the team for all their hard work. The team was great again today. It was fantastic to have Wout ahead of me in the final. Unfortunately, I could not win the stage, but I am happy with the yellow jersey.”

Vingegaard started the day in second in the GC, but finished 2:39 ahead of Hindley to take the yellow. Pogacar, meanwhile, moved from sixth to second while Hindley moved into third.

Kuss finished 14th on the stage, crossing 3:18 after Pogacar. With the result, Kuss moved up six places in the GC to 10th where he trails Vingegaard by 5:28. Van Aert finished 25th on the stage and Kelderman 26th for Jumbo-Visma.

Durangoan Quinn Simmons of Lidl-Trek, meanwhile, finished 163rd on Stage 6 and was 148th overall after the stage. Lidl-Trek leader Mattias Skjelmose started the day eighth in the GC, but slid 13 spots to 21st after placing 35th, losing 7:56 to Vingegaard. Giulio Ciccone was third to start the day, but slipped 19 spots to 22nd for Lidl-Trek.

American Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) regained the King of the Mountain jersey with 18 points on the day.

Jasper Philipsen, who won the third and fourth stages for Alpecin-Deceuninck, held on to the points jersey. Van Aert moved up to third in the points standings.

Jumbo-Visma also maintained the best team time while Lidl-Trek slid five spots to eighth. Pogacar extended his lead in the youth race with his stage win.