Unbelievable scenes as Ireland's Dan Martin wins Tour de France stage

Rex Christensen
July 13, 2018

170 riders started Stage 6 but it was Martin who triumphed despite taking an almighty gamble to sprint for the front.

Chris Froome, Egan Bernal (both Team Sky), Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac) and Steven Kruisjwijk (Lotto NL-Jumbo) all lost small amounts of time on the finish line, while Bardet and Dumoulin were the big losers of the day. Alejandro Valverde of Team Movistar finished in 3rd.

Martin began the day one minute and 40 seconds down on Greg van Avermaet in the yellow jersey, but picked up 13 seconds to move up to 21st overall in the general classification.

Team Sky's Geraint Thomas was part of a group three seconds behind but climbed to second overall after securing two bonus seconds during the stage.

"There's no reason I can't look at it [the Mûr de Bretagne], even though I'm contending for GC [the general classification]", Martin said earlier this week.

Dumoulin then ran into mechanical issues that could badly hurt his Tour de France hopes.

Van Avermaet, a BMC support rider for Porte, kept the yellow jersey for a third straight day.

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Martin becomes just the third Irish rider to win two or more stages on the Tour alongside Ireland's cycling royalty Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche.

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

"(Porte) can be confident after this climb, " Van Avermaet said.

Dumoulin, the time trial world champion and 2017 Giro d'Italia victor, started the stage 44 seconds ahead of Froome, but finished just behind him.

Martin came home second the last time a Tour stage ended in Mur de Bretagne three years ago and he admitted he had been obsessed about winning here this time on a punchy climb that suited his abilities. It's never good to lose time, " said Bardet, who has finished on the podium in the past two Tours.

Martin was one of several team leaders along with former Tour victor Vincenzo Nibali and two-time runner-up Nairo Quintana who were caught off-guard by an attack by Quick-Step 100 kilometers into the stage during a straightaway that was exposed to crosswinds.

Saturday's (NZ time) flat 231-kilometer leg from Fougeres to Chartes is the longest stage of this Tour.

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