Stage 6 Tour de France 2022

Stage 5 | Stage 6 | Stage 7

The Ardennes
The Ardennes, by Vincent van Zeijst, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

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.

Stage 6 Tour de France 2022: Race Details

Race details - Stage 6, Tour de France 2022
Date Thursday 7th July 2022
Stage classification Hilly
Distance 219.9km
Intermediate sprint Carignan
Climbs Côte des Mazures (Cat. 3)
Côte de Montigny-sur-Chiers (Cat. 4)
Côte de Pulventeux (Cat. 3)

Stage 6 Tour de France 2022: Map & Stage Profile

Map showing Stage 6, TDF 2022
Map showing Stage 6, Tour de France 2022, © ASO/Tour de France, powered by Esri

There's an annoying video map of Stage 6:

This is the profile of Stage 6 Tour de France 2022:

Profile of Stage 6 Tour de France 2022
Profile of Stage 6 Tour de France 2022

Stage 6 Tour de France 2022: Timings

Timings - Stage 6, Tour de France 2022 - Local French Time

Caravan Fast Schedule Slow Schedule
Start Time (départ fictif) 1005 1205 1205
Start Time (départ réel) 1015 1215 1215
Intermediate Sprint (145.9km) 1354 1534 1554
Final Climb at Côte de Pulventeux (214.6km) 1537 1708 1737
Finish Line (219.9km) 1545
1715 1745

Stage 6 Tour de France 2022: Route Notes

Stage 6 starts in Binche.

Binche

Binche
Binche, by Vander_Didier, Licence CC BY 2.0

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. The carnival tradition may date back to 1549, when Mary of Hungary, ruler of the Netherlands and sister of Holy Roman Emporer Charles V, welcomed her brother to Binche. People appeared in costume as part of the celebrations.

Because of the unique carnival, locals say 'there's only one Binche in the world'.

The Tour de France says that food and drink associated with the town includes Binche doubles (buckwheat pancakes filled with cheese), and La Binchoise beer from the local brewery.

Wanty Group is based in Binche. They are involved in civil engineering.

Binche hosted the start of Stage 3 of the 2019 Tour de France, a stage which Julian Alaphilippe won in Epernay. Another rider who thrives in this part of the world is Yves Lampaert; he won the 2018 Belgian national road championships in Binche.


The Route of Stage 6 Tour de France 2022

Leaving Binche, the riders head south to Merbes-le-Château, Beaumont, and the Eau d'Heure lakes.

Lacs de l'Eau de l'Heure
Lacs de l'Eau de l'Heure, by Marc Lambert, Licence CC BY-SA 2.5

There's downhill mountain biking near the lakes, at Natura Bike.

The route passes close to Chimay, best-known for the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Scourmont where Trappist monks make beer and cheese.

The route crosses into France at Regniowez. This is the Ardennes.

The Ardennes
The Ardennes, by Vincent van Zeijst, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

The peloton passes through Rocroi, known for the Enclosure of Rocroi fortifications. They are earthworks in pentagonal form surrounding the village.

Rocroi
Rocroi, by Cherry bx2, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Whenever there are fortifications, it's a fair bet that military architect to Louis XIV Vauban (1633-1707) was involved in building them. The Rocroi fortifications pre-date Vauban, having been started in 1555, but he did tinker with them.

Bourg-Fidèle and Les Mazures are the next settlements along the way. The day's first categorised climb is the Côte de Mazures after 87.2km. It's 2km of climbing at 7.6%, and that makes it Category 3.

After leaving the Regional Natural Park of the Ardennes, the race heads to Charleville-Mézières, on the Meuse (a river which is called the Maas in Dutch, and that flows north through Maastricht towards the Netherlands and the North Sea).

Charleville-Mézieres
Charleville-Mézières, by Dietmar Rabich, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

The poet Arthur Rimbaud was born in Charleville-Mézières, and there's a museum dedicated to him in a nice brick and stone mill building. Apparently there's also a World Puppet Theatre Festival here.

The route shadows the Meuse and reaches Sedan.

Sedan

Sedan
Château de Sedan, by MOSSOT, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Until 1651, the Principality of Sedan belonged to the La Tour d'Auvergne family, but in that year it submitted to France.

It's famous for the First Battle of Sedan, in the Franco-Prussian War, when French Emperor Napoleon III lost and was taken prisoner. This resulted in France losing territory, and the unification of Germany; Sedantag was declared a national holiday there.

The Second Battle of Sedan was during World War II, when Germany attacked neutral Belgium, bypassing the Maginot Line, and took the town.

Yannick Noah was born in Sedan.

The sedan chair is named after Sedan, where it was first used.

Sedan chair
Sedan chair, public domain image

The intermediate sprint is at Carignan, after 145.9km.

The race route then continues to Thonelle. Louis XVI was making for the Château de Thonelle when he escaped from Paris in 1791 during the Revolution, but of course he didn't make it because he was discovered and stopped at Varennes-en-Argonne.

Montmédy
Montmédy, by Zairon, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

The riders head on to Montmédy and Marville. Between the two there's an aerodrome that was used by Canadian NATO air force units in the 1950s and 1960s. It now has a wealth of solar panels.

Next up is Longuyon, then Montigny-sur-Chiers. The second categorised climb is at Montigny, and it's 1.6km at 4.4%, making it Category 3.

That climb comes with 205km ridden, and the race is now approaching the finish at Longwy. There's still one more categorised climb to go, plus the steep pull up to the line.

The Punchy Climbs at the End of the Stage

Mur de Pulventeux and Cote des Religieuses at the end of Stage 6 TDF 2022
Profiles of Mur de Pulventuex and Côte des Religieuses at the end of Stage 6, © ASO/Tour de France

The Côte de Pulventeux comes at 214.6km. It's 800m at a steep 12.3%, and classed as Category 3. That's not the end of the climbing though, because there's still the Côte des Religieuses to conquer.

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

Ramparts & Porte de France, Longwy
Ramparts & Porte de France, Longwy, by Initsogan, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

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.


Stage 6 Tour de France 2022: the Favourites

Peter Sagan
Peter Sagan, by Malmont2012, Licence CC BY 2.0

Stage 6 may have been 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. Unfortunately he is not taking part in the Tour de France, after not recovering sufficiently from injury.

This leaves the top candidates for the win as Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel, Peter Sagan and Michael Matthews.

Could some of the GC contenders get involved? Primoz Roglic, Tadej Pogacar and Geraint Thomas might have a chance.

Who do you think will win Stage 6?



Ardennes 1944

Ardennes 1944 by Antony Beevor

Ardennes 1944 by Antony Beevor.

Price £9.34 from Amazon as at 8th January 2022.

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