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    Tour de France: Pogacar rallies to win stage, Vingegaard takes lead
    • July 6, 2023

    CAUTERETS-CAMBASQUE, France — Two-time Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar claimed a 10th career stage win at cycling’s biggest race on Thursday after launching a stunning counterattack and dropping defending champion Jonas Vingegaard in the finale.

    A day after losing more than a minute to Vingegaard in the first Pyrenean stage, Pogacar showed he was not ready to give up and revived the suspense.

    Vingegaard crossed the finish line 24 seconds behind Pogacar following their pulsating duel and seized the race leader’s yellow jersey, 25 seconds ahead of his Slovenian rival, according to provisional results.

    Overnight leader Jai Hindley dropped to third place overall, one minute, 34 seconds off the pace.

    The brutal 145-kilometer (90-mile) Stage 6 with a mountaintop finish from the southwestern city of Tarbes to the Plateau of Cambasque featured three tough climbs including the legendary Col du Tourmalet.

    It was on the steepest part of the famed mountain pass, in thin air, that Vingegaard, riding behind a small group of breakaway riders, started the battle.

    After his teammates asphyxiated competition with a frenetic pace that made most of other contenders crack, Vingegaard launched a sharp attack about 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) from the summit. Pogacar was the only one able to follow.

    Vingegaard’s teammate Wout Van Aert, who was part of the early breakaway and rode furiously throughout the day, waited for his leader in the downhill as a group of eight riders gathered at the front before the final grind with some steep sections with an 11% gradient.

    The tireless Van Aert accelerated again with five kilometers (3.1 miles) left to set up Vingegaard’s second attack of the day, with Pogacar and Michal Kwiatkowski taking his wheel.

    The Polish rider was quickly dropped and the duelists were on their own for the last three kilometers (1.8 miles) of the stage, spurred on by the vociferous cries of buoyant fans lining up the road and lighting flares.

    Pogacar then placed his explosive counterattack with 2.6 kilometers (1.6 miles) left and never looked back.

    ​ Orange County Register