This Thursday, Binche welcomed the start of the sixth stage of the Tour de France, the longest of this 109th edition. It was a warm welcome for the riders of team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in the city close to its heart. The 220 kilometer stage led to Longwy (Lorraine), where the race finished on top of the Côte des Religieuses (1.6 km at 6%).
The second of a memorable stage on the cobbles of the north, Dutchman Taco van der Hoorn, was again one of the first attackers of the day. Also Georg Zimmermann was part of a breakaway attempt during a particularly nervous first race hour.
The power of the wind caused crosswinds, then a breakaway of three riders with yellow jersey Wout Van Aert managed to escape. This trio animated the the long day in the lead until the peloton caught the last survivor with 10 kilometer to go to the final climb, which was preceded by three other short hills.
This rapid succession of difficulties resulted in a reduced peloton of around 30 riders to start the Côte des Religieuses. South-African rider Louis Meintjes and Italian rider Andrea Pasqualon crosses the line 29 seconds behind winner Tadej Pogacar, on 29th and 30th place respectively. Last named is now eighteenth in the general classification on the eve of a finish on top of La Super Planche des Belles Filles.