Wout van Aert (66/1 Tour de France 2022 outright) remains race leader as this year’s Tour de France enters stage six of the prestigious event on Thursday.
After managing to negotiate the cobbled sections on the 157km route between Lille Metropole and Arenberg Porte du Hainaut on Wednesday, riders can now look forward to the hilly 219.9km run from Binche to Longwy.
Stage five saw Australia’s Simon Clarke edge a photo finish against Dutchman Taco van der Hoorn, while Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen had to settle for third.
It was certainly not a stage without incident, with 20km of cobbles in the final 80km causing issues for even some of the most established riders.
Former Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas (14/1 Tour de France 2022 outright) and Slovenian star Primoz Roglic (20/1) both had crashes, with the latter suffering a dislocated shoulder.
After managing to pop it back in and finish the stage, Roglic admitted he was fortunate to still be in the race.
“Luckily, I’m still here,” Roglic said. “I didn’t see really good, but I think a motor touched the protection and it slid into the middle of the road.
“I couldn’t put it immediately back in on the road so I needed to sit on the chair of spectator and put it back in.”
Meanwhile, it’s still Van Aert (3/1 Stage 6 Winner) who holds on to the yellow jersey going into Thursday’s action but the Belgian admitted to some frustrations after seeing his overall lead cut to 13 seconds with Neilson Powless closing in.
“I didn’t know I was saving my yellow jersey,” Van Aert said. “In the middle of the stage I thought for sure I would lose it in the end, because I was not in a position in the bunch to ride.
“For me it was an easy decision to fully commit to the teamwork, and we needed all of us to minimise the damage.”