Tour Moments of Joy: Stage 6 – Wout Power

‘Wout is in a pout.’ ‘What’s Wout doing? Is he riding for himself?’ ‘Wout isn’t looking very good this Tour.’ Blah de blah de Wout de blah – and that was just on our VeloVoices WhatsApp chats! One of my moments of joy for Stage 6 of Tour de France 2023 was Wout putting to bed all the Netflix-inspired theories of a Jonas/Wout split, bad form and a pouty Wouty, all in one looooooooooong blazing display of strength.

The Jumbo team tactics for Stage 6 were simple. Put Wout van Aert in the break – wait – let’s rephrase that. Ask Wout van Aert to start the breakaway and make sure it gets away. Let him ride what seemed like hundreds of kilometres on the front of said break, across the mighty Tourmalet and down to the valley floor. The other Jumbos stay with Jonas Vingegaard, until there’s only Sepp Kuss left on said mighty Tourmalet. Jonas then takes the race to both Jai Hindley and Tadej Pogacar… and takes himself up to Wout, who was waiting on the descent.

Get on Wout’s wheel and just keep following it as he blazes up the final climb …

Wout can then peel off, so empty he nearly ‘throws the Oakleys’, to leave it to his teammate to finish the stage.

That doesn’t look like a guy who is pissed off with his team or his teammate … it looks like a guy who is about to barf up his own lungs, such was the consistent power he put out today.

All hail Wout the Magnificent.


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