Martin wins Tour de Frances 6th stage, Van Avermaet keeps yellow jersey

Heather Diaz
July 14, 2018

Dan Martin celebrates as he crosses the line to take yesterday's sixth stage of the Tour De France.

"I tried to win the stage but it was pretty complicated", Van Avermaet said. But it was on the final climb that the action took flight. "I'm disappointed of course, I would have liked to be in a better position on (general classification) but that's how it is".

Bardet and Dumoulin entered the three-week race among the chosen few riders considered strong enough to challenge four-time champion Chris Froome.

Martin, riding for UAE Team Emirates, attacked with over a kilometer left of the second climb up the Mur-de-Bretagne, and it was a move that stuck as the Irishman proved to have the most legs at the end of the 181km ride from Brest.

Thomas Degand (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) was the first lone rider to escape and after he was caught, a group of ten that included Oliver Naesen, Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale), and Simon Gerrans (BMC), also managed to break free.

In a tense finish, Marin held off a late push from AG2R La Mondiale's Pierre Latour to cross the line alone, just ahead of the pack as the general classification hopefuls scrapped for seconds. Dumoulin is one more second behind.

"Then I had to chase and that effort was fatal".

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"The first time up the climb, I saw everyone was at the limit".

"I don't know if he did it on objective or if he wanted to drop everybody but I have to say thanks", Sagan said.

Alejandro Valverde finished third for Movistar ahead of Quick-Step Floors' Julian Alaphilippe, who missed out on bonus seconds. He was one of eight top Tour contenders to gain some handy time that may prove vital come the Tour finish in Paris on July 29. "There are a lot of twists on the Tour and this time luck was not on our side". He has a three-second lead over Briton Geraint Thomas of Team Sky and his BMC teammate Tejay Van Gardenan.

"I was a bit nervous because of the headwind, I didn't think it was going to happen", Martin, 31, said.

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.

This was the first summit finish of this Tour.

The Dutch cyclist, who rides for Team Lotto NL-Jumbo, clocked almost six hours over the 231-kilometer (143.5-mile) trek from Fougeres, home to the best-preserved and largest medieval fortress in Europe, to Chartres, site of a vast cathedral known for its stained-glass windows.

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