2018 Tour de France stage 6 — Dan Martin sprints to win

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Dan Martin of Team UAE won stage six of the 2018 Tour de France after a sprint finish in Mur de Bretagne.

Irish rider Martin broke with one kilometer remaining on the final climb with French rider Pierre Latour offering the only competition. Alejandro Valverde of Team Movistar finished in 3rd. Martin’s timing was perfectly judged and he was able to hold onto until he crossed the line.

“I was a bit nervous because of the headwind, I didn’t think it was going to happen,” Martin, 31, said. “I thought, why not have a try? So I did.

“Today I just attacked as hard as I could. It makes this Tour de France a success for us already, and anything else is a bonus.”

Greg Van Avermaet retains the yellow jersey and remains first in the general classification for the fourth consecutive stage.

Tom Dumoulin, winner of the 2017 Giro D’Italia, suffered badly following a mechanical issue with only 5km to go, dropping 40 seconds on the leaders.

A breakaway group of five riders — Laurent Pichon (Fortuneo-Samsic), Anthony Turgis (Cofidis), Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Damien Gaudin and Fabien Grellier (both Direct Energie) — hit the front from the off and built a gap of almost seven minutes before it stabalised.

The peleteon split in three just under the 100 kilometre mark with Quick-Step and the main contenders in the first chasing group, followed by a second group which included Movistar’s Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida), Dan Martin (UAE), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) and Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang.

While they fought back to join the chase group, a third group led by Lotto and their rider Primoz Roglic struggled to stay in touch.

Gaudin attacked following the intermediate sprint and was out on his own with 40km remaining. The Direct Energie rider built up a gap of 25 seconds but was caught soon after and dropped out of the leading pack.

The pace of the peleton quickened ahead of the category three climb to Mur de Bretagne, with the gap to the front shortening to under a minute with 20km to go.

The breakaway group were then caught by the peleton at the start of the 2km climb, won by Toms Skujins, the wearer of the polka dot jersery.

Jack Bauer of team Mitchelton-Scott finished the climb behind Skujins but then pushed on to build a gap of 20 seconds with 12 km remaining. Bauer led at the bonus point stage and picked up three seconds. Behind him, Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas took two seconds to move three seconds behind Greg Van Avermaet in general classification.

Dumoulin then ran into mechanical issues that could badly hurt his Tour de France hopes. The Dutchman was seventh going into this stage only 13 seconds behind Van Avermaet but will now be a minute behind.

At the front, Martin timed his burst perfectly and held on to secure victory,

More to follow.

Top-5

1. Daniel Martin (IRL) UAE Team Emirates 4:13:43

2. Pierre Latour (FRA) AG2R La Mondiale +1

3. Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar Team +3

4. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) Quick-Step Floors “

5. Rafal Majka (POL) BORA – hansgrohe “



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