Stage 6 of the Tour de France 2022 is another hilly ride, and at 220km it is a long one. It is from Binche to Longwy via the Ardennes. A punchy climb, the Mur de Pulventeux, comes at 6km before the finish. After that, there's also a pull up the Côte des Religieuses to the line.
|Date||Thursday 7th July 2022|
At the time of writing, the only map available is one of those annoying video ones:
Profile of Stage 6 Tour de France 2022 to follow.
Stage 6 starts in Binche.
Binche is a town in the Province of Hainaut, in the French-speaking Walloon part of Belgium (Wikipedia).
It's in a former coal-mining area. The Binche Carnival is the most famous in Belgium, and involves participants dressing up as 'Gilles', with wax masks and colourful clothes.
Binche hosted the start of Stage 3 of the 2019 Tour de France, when Julian Alaphilippe won in Epernay.
Leaving Binche, the riders head south to Merbes-le-Château, Beaumont, and the Eau d'Heure lakes.
The route crosses into France at Regniowez. This is the Ardennes. The peloton passes through Bourg-Fidèle, Les Mazures, and Sécheval.
After the Ardennes, the race heads to Charleville-Mézières, on the Meuse (a river which is called the Maas in Dutch, and flows north through Maastricht towards the Netherlands and the North Sea). The route shadows the Meuse and reaches Sedan; it then continues east south east to Longuyon.
The final kilometres of Stage 6 are north east to Longwy.
The Tour previously tackled the Côte des Religieuses on Stage 3 of the Tour de France 2017. Ritchie Porte got a gap and looked as though he might win, but Peter Sagan caught him and, despite unclipping at a crucial moment, managed to out-sprint Michael Matthews, Dan Martin, and Greg van Avermaet.
This is the last kilometre of the 2017 race:
Longwy is a town in the Meurthe-et-Moselle département of France. Its ville neuve, fortified by Vauban (Louis XIV's military architect), is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Its traditional industry was mining and smelting iron ore, but this declined in the late 1970s, and all the furnaces had closed by the late 1980s.
Decorative glazed pottery is made in Longwy.
It is fair to say that Stage 6 is designed for Julian Alaphilippe. We saw in the 2021 World Championship road race that he copes well with long distances, and punchy climbs are his cup of tea.
Other candidates for the win could include Wout van Aert, Matthieu van der Poel, and even Tom Pidcock.
Who do you think will win Stage 6?
Ardennes 1944 by Antony Beevor.
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