Pogacar takes Tour de France lead with stage six win

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Pogacar appears to be coming into his own, after a mild start at the Tour de France. (Photo: A.S.O/Pauline Ballet/Charly Lopez/Jered & Ashley Gruber)
Pogacar appears to be coming into his own, after a mild start at the Tour de France. (Photo: A.S.O/Pauline Ballet/Charly Lopez/Jered & Ashley Gruber)

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 31- and 39-seconds 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.

Tour de France
The defending champion showed his intent, with an assertive ride to victory. (Photo: A.S.O/Pauline Ballet/Charly Lopez/Jered & Ashley Gruber)

Claiming his bonus

Slovenia's greatest rider 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.

Tour de France
Bringing racing, to the people, as the peloton threads through a village. (Photo: A.S.O/Pauline Ballet/Charly Lopez/Jered & Ashley Gruber)

Van Aert loses yellow

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.

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