Tour de France Tour de France 2022: Stage 6 (Binche – Longwy, 219.9k)

After today's shenanigans on the cobbles (which I had to miss), the Tour heads into the Ardennes for another interesting-looking finale.

The longest stage of this year’s race sees the Tour return to Longwy, where Peter Sagan won an uphill sprint in 2017 a day before being thrown out of the race. The route is much tougher this time though, with a little wall right before the HTF, so expect a veritable Ardennes finale.

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Route description
Six of the first nine stages are partially or completely outside of France and this one is no exception, as the Tour heads to Binche for the second time in four years. Briefly the seat of the governess of the Netherlands in the mid-16th century, today it is known for its carnival, its well-preserved fortifications, and in cycling as the home of Binche-Chimay-Binche, the race dedicated to the late Frank Vandenbroucke, who won it in 1996.

The first quarter of the stage heads through Wallonia towards the French border. This section passes by the Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure, a group of reservoirs that hosted a series of Belgium Tour stages and NCs in the 2010s. Just after this, we reach the first (uncategorised) climb of the day out of Cerfontaine.


Before entering France, there are two more such hills to tackle.




Upon crossing the border, the riders will quickly reach the first GPM of the day, Côte des Mazures. Six stages in and this is the first climb above a cat. 4, you have to go back as far as 2007 for a Tour that took equally long to reach its first climb that ‘hard’…


From here, the road rises and falls across a plateau, before descending into the departmental capital of Charleville-Mézières, after which the roads become flatter for a while as we follow the Meuse. This section takes us through Sedan, dominated by its vast fortress (among Europe’s largest), and to the intermediate sprint in Carignan.




By this time the route has started to turn away from the Meuse to stay close to the Belgian border, and the terrain slowly becomes more rugged again as we pass the citadel of Montmédy. The final 20 kilometres feature four hills, starting with the Côte de Montigny-sur-Chiers and the harder, but uncategorised Côte de Lexy.


These are the climbs to thin out the bunch, but Côte de Pulventeux, just 5.3k from the line, should see attacks.


The briefest of flats and a descent down two hairpins brings us to the bottom of the final climb, Côte des Religieuses. The first 2.2k of the profile below, it’s exactly the same as the 2017 finish.


Final kilometres


Located on the borders with Belgium and Luxembourg, Longwy was originally a small town that was built into a sizeable citadel by Vauban. It became the centre of the French steel industry in the 19th century, however after the plants shut down in the 1970s the town experienced a significant economic downturn and today it is mainly a commuter town for Luxembourg.


The Pont d’Arches connects the two halves of Charleville-Mézières.
 
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A nice stage after a grueling day.
Lengthy, lumpy, with a punchy finale. Only the wind is missing to complete a pair of mixers.
I wouldn't say that the wind is missing.

There is wind coming from northwest all day. Around 25 km/h, with gusts up to 50 km/h. Light rain possible. It could be a really fast stage. Is the route along open terrain?
 
Yesterday I would have bet money on a JV win. Now I am not so sure. WVA looked out of it after his crash but he recovered and finished strong. At his best Roglic probably beats Pog in an uphill sprint 8/10 times but he crashed and was dropped when JV pushed it on a CAT4. Vingegaard isn´t known for his punch.

On paper MVP should be the favorit but today proved that he doesn´t have it. Five years ago Sagan would have been the heavy favorit but even though he looked really good in the sprints I don´t think he has the climbing legs of old.

That leaves Pog. Maybe Vlasov, Gaudu or one of the Ineos guys among the GC riders with a good punch.
Not sure if classic guys with a good sprint like Mohoric or Schachmann will have the freedom to go for the stage.
 
Yesterday I would have bet money on a JV win. Now I am not so sure. WVA looked out of it after his crash but he recovered and finished strong. At his best Roglic probably beats Pog in an uphill sprint 8/10 times but he crashed and was dropped when JV pushed it on a CAT4. Vingegaard isn´t known for his punch.

On paper MVP should be the favorit but today proved that he doesn´t have it. Five years ago Sagan would have been the heavy favorit but even though he looked really good in the sprints I don´t think he has the climbing legs of old.

That leaves Pog. Maybe Vlasov, Gaudu or one of the Ineos guys among the GC riders with a good punch.
Not sure if classic guys with a good sprint like Mohoric or Schachmann will have the freedom to go for the stage.
In a climb like tomorrow, Pog wins 8/10 against Roglic
 
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Again, I don’t know why I need to say this, but the Tour is NOT over. A hay bale hit by a moto took out Roglic. That is not indicative of anything other than crappy luck. The same thing can happen to anyone, including Pogacar. Yes, it’s likely Pogi wins, but nothing is over.
i don’t think anyone thinks something cannot happen to make Pog lose.

however, does anyone really want that?

beaten on the merits? That will not happen. He is two or three levels above those named as his rivals.

it will be fun to see how the old gang of Bardet, Quintana, Uran, G and Pinot do now that they have come through this somewhat unscathed.

And then there are the young group of Vlasov, Mas, Powless and Vingo that will be looking to confirm.

but none of the above are even close to the Poginator.
 

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