Ireland’s Dan Martin attacked to claim stage victory on the steep finish to Mûr-de-Bretagne in the sixth stage of the 2018 Tour de France. Martin, whose climbing punch on the steepest hills, made him one of the pre-stage favourites, held off a last ditch pursuit from the French rider Pierre Latour, a teammate of Romain Bardet, who was third overall in the 2017 Tour.
Meanwhile, Geraint Thomas of Team Sky inched closer to the race leader’s yellow jersey as the race turned east to begin a series of long flat stages across northern France. But Greg van Avermaet of Belgium held onto the race lead after finishing in the group of favourites, chasing Martin to the line.
Thomas’s teammate Chris Froome slipped a few seconds behind the front group in the closing metres, but worse luck befell the 2017 Giro d’Italia champion, Tom Dumoulin, who lost the best part of a minute, after puncturing 5km from the finish. Bardet, who suffered a broken wheel, was forced to swap bikes with a teammate and lost over half a minute to the stage winner Martin.
Stage six result
1 Dan Martin (UAE-Emirates) 4hr 13min 43sec
2 Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) at 1sec
3 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) at 3sec
4 Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step) same time
5 Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) st
6 Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) st
7 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) st
8 Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) st
9 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) st
10 Primoz Roglic (Lotto NL-Jumbo) st
1 Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing) 22hr 35min 46sec
2 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) at 3 sec
3 Tejay van Garderen (BMC) at 5 sec
4 Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step) at 6sec
5 Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step) at 12sec
6 Bob Jungels (Quick-Step) at 18sec
7 Rigoberto Uran (EF-Drapac Cannondale) at 45sec
8 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) at 51sec
9 Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 52sec
10 Jakob Fuglslang (Astana) at 53sec