Home > News

Pogačar strikes back, Vingegaard in yellow after Tour de France summit finish showdown

Slovenian pulls back 28 seconds with 10th stage win

Photo by: Sirotti

On the second big day in the Pyrenees, Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogačar showed why they are the co-favourites to win the Tour de France, using the Tourmalet and a summit finish to put their rivals in the rearview mirror. After losing a minute to his rival on Wednesday, Pogačar dropped Vingegaard on the final climb, took his 10th career Tour stage win, and brought back 28 seconds. Vingegaard pulled on the yellow jersey from Jai Hindley, and leads the race 25 seconds ahead of Pogačar. Michael Woods had a tough day and tumbled out of the top-20.

The Course

There were four categorized climbs on Thursday’s menu, but only two really had any consequence. The mighty Tourmalet, one of the most storied climbs of the Tour de France, was the 110th edition’s second HC-rated mountain. At 17 km of 7.4 percent, it was this year’s Souvenir Jacques Goddet. After a very long descent, the riders tackled the summit finish of Cauterets-Cambrasque, 16.2 km at 5.3 percent, with a steeper top.

Another big breakaway formed before the first categorized climb. This platoon contained Wout Van Aert, his pal Mathieu van der Poel, Julian Alaphilippe and Neilson Powless, the latter clearly on board to get his KOM jersey back from Felix Gall. Powless crept closer by being first over Cat. 3 Côte de Capvern-les-Bains. The 20-strong group started up Cat. 1 Col d’Aspin with a 3:00 lead. While Van Aert turned the screws in the breakaway, Jumbo-Visma took over the pace-making in the peloton. Powless snagged the maximum KOM points to yank back his polka dots.


By the foot of the Tourmalet, the break’s advantage was 4:30. Alaphilippe tried a dig early on the slopes but he didn’t get far. Van der Poel fell away, but he certainly wasn’t alone. Jumbo-Visma chipped away at the gap. Unfortunately, Michael Woods was ejected from the peloton.

Rusty waves goodbye on the Tourmalet.

Powless fell back from the breakaway just as Jumbo-Visma attacked. Wilco Kelderman, Sepp Kuss, Vingegaard, Pogačar and yellow jersey Hindley were in the move, but the yellow jersey was the first to fade. Then it was the same trio as Wednesday’s: Kuss, Vingegaard and Pogačar. It closed in on the small Van Aert group. With 1.8 km to climb Vingegaard attacked and the Slovenian went along.

Tobias Halland Johannessen of Uno-X took the prize at the top. Vingegaard and Pogačar crested 45 seconds later, almost 2:00 ahead of Hindley and other GC riders. Vingegaard had set the Tourmalet record at 45:11. Van Aert waited for his captain while Johannessen and three others descended ahead.

On the long downhill off Tourmalet, the Vingegaard-Pogačar quartet found the Johannessen quartet. They hurtled towards the final climb.


Van Aert hauled the octet to the foot of the Cat. 1. The large Hindley group was 2:30 behind and didn’t budge by the time it went through the 10-km-to-go point.

The Hindley chase snakes up Cauterets-Cambrasque.

When the road kicked up even steeper, Van Aert stopped and Vingegaard surged, the white jersey holder hopping on. Wily vet Michal Kwiatkowski made it back to them but not for long.

Pogačar attacked with 2.8 km remaining and after his gap hovered at 8 seconds for over a kilometre, the Slovenian finished 24 seconds ahead, bowing as he crossed the line. He celebrated his tenth Tour triumph. “I’m coming for you, Mark,” he joked afterwards, alluding to Mark Cavendish.

Friday calms things down a bit with a sprinter’s stage.

2023 Tour de France Stage 6
1) Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia/UAE-Emirates) 3:54:27
2) Jonas Vingegaard (Denmark/Jumbo-Visma) +0:24
3) Tobias Halland Johannessen (Norway/Uno-X) +1:22
70) Michael Woods (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) +23:22
78) Hugo Houle (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) s.t.
97) Guillaume Boivin (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) +30:52

2023 Tour de France GC
1) Jonas Vingegaard (Denmark/Jumbo-Visma) 26:10:44
2) Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia/UAE-Emirates) +0:25
3) Jai Hindley (Australia/Bora-Hansgrohe) +1:34
33) Michael Woods (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) +24:32
66) Hugo Houle (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) +52:15
125) Guillaume Boivin (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) +1:25:15