With Daring Uphill Attack, Dan Martin Wins Tour De France Stage 6
Ireland’s Dan Martin capped a daring, late attack on the steep Mûr de Bretagne to win Stage 6 of the Tour de France on Thursday.
Martin, of the UAE team, broke free from the pack only about a kilometer from the finish, which came during the day’s second climb up the Mûr. The 31-year-old puncheurfinished ahead of AG2R’s Pierre Latour and Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde.
Overnight leader Greg Van Avermaet, meanwhile, finished just behind the lead group. Though he came in 12th, it was just enough to hold onto the yellow jersey for another day. The BMC rider, who has led the Tour since winning Stage 3, now leads Sky’s Geraint Thomas by three seconds, teammate Tejay van Garderen by five seconds, and Quick-Step’s Julian Alaphilippe by six seconds.
Many pre-Tour favorites struggled on this stage. Defending champion Chris Froome lost eight seconds to his key rivals, while Romain Bardet cracked in the heat of the final ascent and lost 31 seconds. Fellow contender Tom Dumoulin, who won the 2017 Giro d’Italia, lost nearly a minute after suffering a mechanical.
With 100K remaining, the peloton split in three. Nairo Quintana, already two minutes and 10 seconds down, and former Sky rider Mikel Landa were caught in the second of three groups and had to work long and hard to get back in the lead pack. Jakob Fuglsang, also caught in the split, failed to close the gap and dropped to 10th overall, at 53 seconds behind.
But it was on the final climb that the action took flight. Adam Yates and the Mitchelton Scott team shaped up for an attack, only for BMC’s Richie Porte to beat them to it. As the Australian started to put his foot down, Martin flew past everyone and swiftly opened up a gap with a full 500 metres to climb.
Martin held on with a fast-closing Latour on his tail, claiming the win and avenging his defeat on the Mûr three years ago, when he was denied by AG2R’s Alexis Vuillermoz. He had previously won stages at the 2013 Tour and 2011 Vuelta a España.
READ MORE ON: Tour de France