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Tour de France 2018: Stage 6


The Tour de France peloton has assembled in Brest for the start of stage 6, which brings the race through the department of Finestere and into Cotes-d'Armor ahead of a demanding finale - twin ascents of Mur-de-Bretagne, with an uphill finish on the category 3 climb. Roll out is at 13.05 local time, with the bunch slated to hit kilometre zero at 13.25.

The general classification ahead of stage 6 is as follows:


1 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 18:22:00
2 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:02
3 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:03
4 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:05
5 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:06
6 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:09
7 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:13
8 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb
9 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:00:37
10 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:52
11 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:53
12 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team
13 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:55
14 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team
15 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:57
16 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:01:02
17 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:08
18 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:17
19 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo
20 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo


This is the Tour's third finish at Mûr-de-Bretagne after Cadel Evans won there in 2011 and Alexis Vuillermoz triumphed in 2015. There is a twist to the usual finale this afternoon, of course, as the race tackles the 2km ascent (average gradient 6.9%) twice in succession. They cross the finish for the first time with 16km to go. A bonus sprint follows at 13km to go, and then it's full gas to the base of the climb. Patrick Fletcher has written this preview of a stage with the potential to shake up the overall standings.



The peloton has rolled away from the start line and is negotiating the 10km neutralised zone. As ever when the Tour visits Brittany, the crowds on the roadside are numerous and raucous. 



Today is the 20th anniversary of Tom Steels' victory in Dublin's Phoenix Park on the opening road stage of the 1998 Tour de France, and the 20th anniversary of Zinedine Zidane's brace in the World Cup final that evening. And it is, of course, now twenty years since the Festina Affair shook the Tour. We're now a few 'new generations' on from that tumultuous summer, but what, if anything, has really changed? William Fotheringham reflects on the Festina Affair in a special edition of the Cyclingnews Podcast, which is available here.


181km remaining from 181km

The peloton reaches kilometre zero and stage 6 of the Tour de France is formally underway. The first climb of the day is the category 3 Cote de Ploudiry after 44km, followed by the category 4 Cote de Roc'h Trevezel after 68.5km.


The intermediate sprint is at Plouguernevel (135km) before the first ascent of Mur-de-Bretagne after 162km.


180km remaining from 181km

Once again, the early break drifts clear without any difficult in the opening kilometre. And, not surprisingly, it's made up of five riders from the four wildcard teams.


177km remaining from 181km

The five riders in the break are Damien Gaudin (Direct Energie), Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie), Anthony Turgis (Cofidis), Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Laurent Pichon (Fortuneo-Samsic). They have 1:12 in hand on the peloton and their lead is growing steadily.


Dion Smith had a spell in the polka dot jersey earlier in the week and the New Zealander might be hoping to regain the tunic by picking up points early on here.


173km remaining from 181km

The leading quintet continue to stretch out their buffer as BMC set a gentle pace at the head of the peloton. 2:40 the gap.


169km remaining from 181km

Stephen Farrand reports that Bahrain-Merida have signed British climber Stevie Williams for 2019. The Welshman, who rides for SEG cycling, will ride as a stagiaire from August 1 before moving to the professional ranks full-time from January 1, 2019. He won the tough Ronde de l'Isard in May and then placed 5th overall at the GiroBio last month. Read the full story here.


166km remaining from 181km

A nice moment as the peloton allows Olivier Le Gac (Groupama-FDJ) to ride ahead as the race passes through his home village of Plouvien, which is very much en fete for the occasion. A professional since 2014, Le Gac was junior world champion in 2010. The break, meanwhile, is now more than 4 minutes clear.


Fresh from helping Tom Dumoulin to 2nd overall at the Giro d'Italia, Chad Haga (Sunweb) is making his Tour de France debut and is writing about the experience for Cyclingnews. Read the second instalment of his blog here.


159km remaining from 181km

Gaudin, Grellier, Smith, Turgis and Pichon are working well in these opening kilometres and have edged their lead out to five minutes.


The early part of this stage brings the race through Tro-Bro Leon country, though not, of course, on the dirt and gravel roads that characterise the event. Damien Gaudin seems inspired nonetheless - he won the race last year.


146km remaining from 181km

BMC lead the peloton, though not with any real urgency at this early juncture. The break's lead has stabilised at around the 5:30 mark as they continue towards the Cote de Ploudiry.


Quick-Step Floors have two riders within touching distance of the maillot jaune today. Philippe Gilbert is 3 seconds down on Greg Van Avermaet, and Julian Alaphilippe is a further 3 seconds back in 5th overall. Today's finale, in theory at least, lends itself better to Alaphilippe than to Gilbert, but the Belgian showed real strength in sprinting to 3rd yesterday after attacking with 800 metres to go.  "People will say we did wrong because we didn't win but I think we did well," Gilbert said. Patrick Fletcher has more here.


138km remaining from 181km

The five leaders hit the category 3 Cote de Ploudiry (1.5km at 7%) with a lead of 6:10 over the peloton.


137km remaining from 181km

Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) takes the 2 points on offer atop the Cote de Ploudiry after a spirited battle with Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie). The New Zealander is now a point off Toms Skuijns' lead in the king of the mountains.


133km remaining from 181km

Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic) had dropped back to his team car over the top of the climb and he is chasing back on through the convoy over the other side. 6:30 the gap to the escapees.


Peter Sagan claimed his second stage win of the Tour yesterday to cement his position atop the points classification. After the stage, he noted that his Classics rival Greg Van Avermaet had provided an inadvertent lead-out. "We controlled the race from middle with BMC and the guys put me in good position next to Sky in the finale. They did full gas from bottom of the climb, then Philippe (Gilbert) attacked but I didn't let him go. Then Greg van Avermaet started his sprint really early and it was a perfect lead out. Thanks Greg!" Sagan said. And, amid all the - justifiable - talk of Ardennes contenders like Alaphilippe, Dan Martin or Alejandro Valverde winning on Mur-de-Bretagne today, it's worth noting the name of the rider in fourth place when the Tour visited in 2015 - one P. Sagan.


At the start in Brest today, Sagan noted that the finale is rather tougher than it was in 2015, though much will depend on how his rivals approach the twin ascents of Mur-de-Bretagne. "Today it’s very important to have legs in the final, I think," Sagan said. "It depends on the style of the race, for sure. We will see. I did it 2015, just once, and that was enough. Making it twice with another hard climb in between is going to be a hard final. It’s going to be about legs and not about patience. Everything is possible and I have some chance for sure, but it depends on how it’s going to be in the final."


120km remaining from 181km

There is still no particular urgency in the peloton, which is being led by BMC and is 6:50 down on the break. Paddy Bevin has once again been very prominent for the team in red and black.


115km remaining from 181km

The escapees approach the category 4 Cote de Roc'h Trevezel with a lead of 7 minutes over the peloton. We can expect to see Dion Smith on the hunt for another king of the mountains point here.


112km remaining from 181km

Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) leads over the top of the category 4 climb to draw level with Skuijns atop the king of the mountains standings.


110km remaining from 181km

Gaudin, Grellier, Smith, Turgis and Pichon have suddenly nudged their lead over the peloton out to 9 minutes, and that seems to be the signal for Quick-Step Floors to take up the reins at the head of the bunch. Tim Declerq assumes his familiar position on the front.


108km remaining from 181km

I'm not entirely sure if the GPS is 100% accurate, but the time gap per the on-screen graphic has leapt out to 10:30. Whatever the real gap, Quick-Step have decided that it is time to get to work.


104km remaining from 181km

Normal service has been resumed. The on-screen graphic tells us the gap between the break and the peloton is 6:45, which seems rather more accurate. Yves Lampaert sits on the front of the bunch for Quick-Step.


103km remaining from 181km

The bunch swings into a section of cross-tailwind and Quick-Step Floors mass on the front in a bit to split the peloton. This will have woken some riders up and will sting some legs, but will it split the bunch?


In a word, yes. There is a front group of around 40 riders, led by Quick-Step and seemingly containing most of the GC contenders, but there are a few other groups of riders scrambling to get back on terms.


The bunch has been splintered into three distinct groups as Quick-Step continue to pile on the pressure at the head of the race. Greg Van Avermaet, Peter Sagan and Chris Froome are all in this front group with Quick-Step.


Quick-Step might allies of circumstance in BMC and Bora-Hansgrohe in this front group. Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), Rigoberto Uran (EF-Drapac) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) seem to be aboard, but who has missed the bus?


Movistar are leading the chase in the second part of the peloton, which suggests that Mikel Landa has missed the split.


Correction. Nairo Quintana is in this second group, together with Jakob Fulgsang. Movistar and Astana lead the chase in pursuit of the front group. Valverde is the Movistar man in the front part of the peloton.


The third portion of the peloton is being led en masse by LottoNL-Jumbo, who appear to have been caught badly wrong-footed.


Vincenzo Nibali, Dan Martin, Steven Kruijswijk and Jakob Fuglsang are also in this second echelon with Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa, but they look set to catch up to the Quick-Step-led front end of the peloton.


The third portion of the peloton, meanwhile, is a minute down on this Quick-Step-propelled group and will struggle to get back on terms.


The Quintana group has bridged back up to the front end of the peloton. They are 4:30 down on the five escapees, while the third group on the road is 5:30 behind.


Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) appears to be the only rider with GC aspirations to be missing from the front of the peloton. His LottoNL team leads the third group on the road, and they have more than a minute to make up on Froome, Quintana, Porte, Bardet and company.


90km remaining from 181km

Yves Lampaert continues to pile on the pressure at the head of the peloton, which is now 4 minutes behind the five leaders. Quick-Step are fully committed to their task here. It goes without saying, of course, that Peter Sagan is in this front part of the peloton, and he pokes his head to one side to survey the lie of the land.


86km remaining from 181km

The bunch is now 3:25 down on the escapees. The sizeable Roglic group, meanwhile, is still more than a minute down on the rest of the peloton, and they will struggle to claw back that ground given Quick-Step's current rate of knots.


83km remaining from 181km

Robert Gesink leads the chase for Roglic. They are 1:30 behind the front of the peloton, where Tim Declerq sets a fierce tempo for Quick-Step Floors.


81km remaining from 181km

The five escapees will not have appreciated that sudden injection of intensity from Quick-Step Floors. Their lead over the peloton is down to just 2:35.


78km remaining from 181km

A slight slackening of the pace in the front of the peloton - combined with a decent chase effort from LottoNL-Jumbo - sees the Roglic group draw closer to the main peloton. The peloton is 2:10 behind the break, with the Roglic group a further 30 seconds back.


74km remaining from 181km

The Roglic group has finally regained contact with the front of the peloton. The escapees reach Carhaix-Plouguer, meanwhile, with a lead of 2:15. 


Shortly after he regains contact with the peloton, Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) pauses for a change of bike. It seems the Slovenian mounted a traffic island and fell, though it's not clear what damage he did to his bike in the incident.


66km remaining from 181km

Tim Declerq's pace-making continues to make inroads into the break's lead, which stands at 1:46.


63km remaining from 181km

The Tour's first finish at Mur-de-Bretagne came in 2011, when Cadel Evans sprinted to victory atop the Breton Alpe d'Huez. Alberto Contador placed second, after sprinting with his hands on the hoods, and Alexandre Vinokourov placed third. This is how Cyclingnews reported on that stage in 2011.


60km remaining from 181km

Quick-Step continue to dictate terms in the peloton, 1:50 behind the leaders. Yellow jersey Greg Van Avermaet and his BMC team are tucked in just behind Patrick Lefevere's squad.


Alexis Vuillermoz claimed the honours at Mur-de-Bretagne in 2015, ahead of Dan Martin, who rued his positioning at the base of the climb. It was a day that also saw Vincenzo Nibali unexpectedly lose 10 seconds to his GC rivals - a pointer as to how his Tour defence would go - and the Sicilian will hope for better this afternoon.


52km remaining from 181km

A reminder of our escapees: Damien Gaudin (Direct Energie), Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie), Anthony Turgis (Cofidis), Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Laurent Pichon (Fortuneo-Samsic). They are 6km from the intermediate sprint with a lead of 1:50 over the peloton.


50km remaining from 181km

A delegation from AG2R La Mondiale moves up towards the head of the peloton. Positioning will be of pivotal importance on what is sure to be a fraught finale.


46km remaining from 181km

Laurent Pichon (Fortuneo-Samsic) jumps forward to lead the break through the intermediate sprint in Plouguernevel. They are 1:50 ahead of the peloton.


Pichon's spirited sprint has fractured the unity of this front group. Damien Gaudin attacks immediately afterwards and opens a small gap. Turgis leads the chase.


In the main peloton, Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates) wins the sprint for 6th ahead of Fernando Gaviria and Peter Sagan.


43km remaining from 181km

Gaudin is pressing on alone, and is still around 150 metres or so clear of Pichot, Grellier, Turgis and Smith. He has 2 minutes in hand on the peloton.


38km remaining from 181km

Gaudin continues with his lone effort, and he now has 20 seconds in hand on his breakaway companions. The peloton is at 2:05.


Gaudin is back at Jean-Rene Bernaudeau's team this year after starting his career with Bouygues Telecom in 2008. His best season to date at WorldTour level came in his final year at Europcar in 2013, when he won the prologue of Paris-Nice and then claimed 5th place at Paris-Roubaix, though he had a very decent campaign in the colours of Armee de Terre last year after a low-key three seasons at AG2R La Mondiale.


34km remaining from 181km

The first ascent of Mur-de-Bretagne begins with 18km to go, and the scramble for positions is already beginning in the main peloton. Quick-Step still set the pace, 1:47 behind the lone leader Gaudin.


A delegation from Dimension Data is moving up, perhaps with an eye to setting up Tom Jelte Slagter for the finale.


32km remaining from 181km

Gaudin is caught by Pichon, Grellier, Smith and Turgis as the race crosses into the Morbihan department. Their lead on the peloton is down to 1:30.


Grellier forces the pace on an unclassified ascent, and Gaudin and Turgis are distanced, though not irretrievably.


28km remaining from 181km

Dimension Data set the pace in the main peloton on behalf of Slagter, 1:24 behind the five leaders.


A crash in the peloton sees Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) go down. Fuglsang appeared to have a (relatively) soft landing in the verge, and he sets off again after a bike change. 


26km remaining from 181km

BMC, Quick-Step and Dimension Data are massed on the front. The five members of the break are back together but one wonders if their unity has survived the forcing of the Direct Energie pairing.

24km remaining from 181km

Jakob Fuglsang has three Astana teammates as he makes his way back up to the peloton. The Dane evinces calm, but this a far from ideal approach to the double ascent of Mur-de-Bretagne.


23km remaining from 181km

Gaudin, Grellier, Pichot, Turgis and Smith have 1:10 in hand on the peloton. Fuglsang still has 40 seconds to make up on the bunch.


21km remaining from 181km

Astana are back en masse trying to bring Fuglsang up to the peloton, which trails the break by just over a minute.


As the pace increases and the road rises and dips, a selection is being forced in the peloton. A number of sprinters like Marcel Kittel, Mark Cavendish and Alexander Kristoff have been distanced. Fuglsang and his teammates are picking their way through the stragglers.


20km remaining from 181km

Damien Gaudin, meanwhile, has sat up from the break, which is now down to four riders. 43 seconds the gap to the peloton.


The four leaders approach the base of the first ascent of Mûr-de-Bretagne with a lead of 30 seconds over the fragmenting peloton.


Fuglsang rejoins the peloton just ahead of the ascent to Mûr-de-Bretagne.


Movistar and Team Sky are prominent at the head of the peloton on the approach to Mûr-de-Bretagne.


18km remaining from 181km

Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie) slips away from the break ahead of Mûr-de-Bretagne and he begins the ascent alone at the front of the race.


Bora-Hansgrohe hit the front as the peloton catches the remants of the break. Only Grellier and Smith survive out in front. Grellier is struggling with the gradient, and he has just 15 seconds in hand.


17km remaining from 181km

Midway up the climb, Grellier has a small lead over Smith, but the peloton is just behind them. They surely won't last to the summit, though the gradient is gentler near the top.


Smith is caught and now Grellier is about to be pegged back by the bunch. 


Toms Skuijns (Trek-Segafredo) is poised as the peloton closes in on Grellier. The Latvian will surely look to pick up the mountains points if he can summon the strength.


Grellier is caught within sight of the summit. Sky, Movistar and Bahrain-Merida are all represented near the front, and though the pace has abated slightly, the tension remains.


16km remaining from 181km

Smart riding from Toms Skuijns (Trek-Segafredo) who clips away to lead over the category 3 Mûr-de-Bretagne as he bids to defend his polka dot jersey.


15km remaining from 181km

Jack Bauer (Mitchelton-Scott) followed Skuijns over the top and the New Zealander presses on alone on the descent. He has built up a small lead over the peloton, which is being led by Bora-Hansgrohe.


There is a bonus sprint in Saint-Mayeux with 13km to go, and it will be fascinating to see who sprints for the seconds from this reduced peloton.


Bauer, meanwhile, has a lead of 10 seconds over the peloton.


Van Avermaet marks Gilbert on the approach to the bonus sprint. Bauer has 22 seconds in hand and should lead through the 13km to go point.


13km remaining from 181km

Jack Bauer (Mitchelton-Scott) leads through the bonus sprint to pick up three bonus seconds.


Geraint Thomas (Sky) jumps to take second place - and two bonus seconds. It was an uphill sprint, with the gradient touching 9% near the line.


12km remaining from 181km

Bauer, meanwhile, has 21 seconds in hand on the reduced peloton as Bora-Hansgrohe again take up the reins of pursuit.


Geraint Thomas is now just 3 seconds behind Van Avermaet on GC, and the Welshman could yet find himself in yellow by day's end.


Tomasz Marczynksi (Lotto Soudal) took the 1 second bonus for third at that sprint, incidentally.


10km remaining from 181km

LottoNL-Jumbo take over at the head of the peloton, which is 17 seconds behind Bauer.


9km remaining from 181km

Bora-Hansgrohe are back on the front in support of Peter Sagan and Rafal Majka, who have overlapping objectives this afternoon on Mûr-de-Bretagne.


8km remaining from 181km

Bauer has 13 seconds in hand as he presses on alone in front. His teammate Adam Yates will expect to perform strongly on Mûr-de-Bretagne.


7km remaining from 181km

Bora-Hansgrohe still lead the reduced peloton, but it's notable that Van Avermaet is well placed near the front. Tom Dumoulin and his Sunweb team are moving up.


6km remaining from 181km

15 seconds for Jack Bauer, who is putting in a fine solo shift off the front here. The New Zealander is pedalling at 65kph on the approach to Mûr-de-Bretagne.


Disaster for Tom Dumoulin, who suffers a puncture on the approach to Mûr-de-Bretagne. He gets a wheel change from Simon Geschke but he looks destined to lose ground here. He has considerable ground to make up before the climb begins and the pace is extremely high.


5km remaining from 181km

Dumoulin has 40 seconds to make up on the bunch. He is tucked in behind a Sunweb team car as he tries to make up the deficit.


4km remaining from 181km

Bauer's lone effort comes to an end as Bora-Hangrohe shut him down.


Dumoulin is now working his way through the convoy of cars, and some Sunweb riders have dropped back to help him.


Romain Bardet also punctured, but he looks to have had a quick change and he seems to be at the very rear of the peloton. He still has some ground to make up to his fellow GC contenders, however.


3km remaining from 181km

Dumoulin is still chasing frantically off the rear of the peloton, and he will struggle to regain contact before the road rears up for the climb to the line.


Dumoulin has 33 seconds to make up on the peloton, which is now being led by Michal Kwiatkowski for Team Sky.


2km remaining from 181km

Kwiatkowski leads the reduced peloton as the climb to Mûr-de-Bretagne begins. Dimension Data are also prominent.


Dimension Data set the tempo on the early slopes, then Daniel Oss takes over for Bora-Hansgrohe. Alaphilippe is on his wheel.


Dumoulin is on the climb and performing an uphill time trial as he chases the rear of the bunch.


1km remaining from 181km

Richie Porte accelerates with Thomas on his wheel. This move has strung out the peloton.


1km remaining from 181km

When Porte relents, Dan Martin attacks, and the Irishman has opened a small gap.


1km remaining from 181km

Martin leads into the final kilometre as Porte heads the chase.


Romain Bardet has been dropped from the front group... Dumoulin is also destined to lose time.


Dan Martin still has what seems to be a winning lead, but Pierre Latour is chasing hard...


Pierre Latour closes as the road flattens out but Dan Martin looks to have it...


Dan Martin (UAE-Team Emirates) wins stage 6 of the Tour de France at Mûr-de-Bretagne.


Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) was second, 1 second back, while Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) took third at 3 seconds.


Alaphilippe was 4th ahead of Rafal Majka.


Bardet conceded ground in the final kilometre, while Dumoulin came across the line 50 seconds down after his late puncture.




1 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 04:13:43
2 Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:00:01
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:00:03
4 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
5 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
6 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
8 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
9 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
10 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo


That's Dan Martin's second stage win at the Tour after his triumph in Bagneres-de-Bigorre in 2013. Despite reports of a headwind in the finale, Martin went from distance and had the strength to hold off Latour as the road flattened out.


Bardet conceded 31 seconds and Dumoulin lost 53 seconds. Both riders suffered mechanical problems in the run-in to Mûr-de-Bretagne.


Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) was 12th on the stage, 3 seconds behind Martin, and he will retain the yellow jersey.


Chris Froome was distanced slightly as the front group broke up. He crossed the line 18th on the stage, 8 seconds behind Martin.


General classification after stage 6:


1 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 22:35:46
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 00:00:03
3 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 00:00:05
4 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 00:00:06
5 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 00:00:12
6 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 00:00:18
7 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 00:00:45
8 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:00:51
9 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:52
10 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 00:00:53




Dan Martin speaks: "t’s a great feeling to actually get a win again. So many second places at the Tour since the last one. I was a bit nervous because of the headwind, I didn’t think it was going to happen. The race went so hard on the first part of the climb - I saw everyone was on the limit, and there were no teammates left, so why not have a try? The legs just were there - I don’t know what happened. Maybe adrenaline or what. I felt really good yesterday and didn’t quite get up there in the final to have a go. It was a good sign for today, I was really relaxed all day - not confident but looking forward to having a crack, looking forward to racing hard on the last climb. The last time I got second here, I had already lost a bit of time before the stage, and I thought maybe they’d let me go. Today there was no question, I just attacked as hard as I could. It makes this Tour de France a success, and everything else will be a bonus."


Greg Van Avermaet on holding yellow for another day: "I’m really happy to keep it - it was a really hard climb. The tempo never slowed down, and that is what kind of killed me to do a better placing. I’m really happy I didn’t lose any time on the rivals, and Alaphilippe was not second on the stage so I could keep it. Overall a good day for me and Richie.

[On Dan Martin’s ride] I was expecting this kind of thing from him, he’s pretty good at finding the right moment, and of course being super strong - if you could hold this on the final stretch it’s an impressive effort. I think he really deserved the win."


Pierre Latour admitted after the stage that he had been unaware of Bardet's mechanical problems on the run-in: "We said that if we were in a good place on today’s stage we would try and win the stage, perhaps with Alexis, that was if Romain didn’t have any problems. At the beginning of the climb there weren’t any problems, so I pushed hard. When I was fighting with Richie Porte, the wind gusted in from the right and it meant that I just missed the point of attack, which wasn’t great. I didn’t actually know about that [Bardet's problem], nobody told me. I don’t think there was anything I could have done. We’ll try to fight to get it back."



Here are some of the initial reactions from today's stage. Stephen Farrand, Patrick Fletcher and Brecht Decaluwe will have more in-depth news and reaction in due course.

Tom Dumoulin is now 19th overall at 1:23 and he had this to say on his ill fortune in the finale: “It was just bad luck – I got a wheel from Simon as soon as possible and we tried to go as quickly as possible to the finish after that. I knew I wouldn’t make it back so it was about limiting the time loss. There was a movement in the peloton and I couldn’t avoid it. I hit the wheel in front and needed to change wheel and chase to the finish as hard as possible but it was very difficult. We knew that the first 5 days we were very lucky, but we also knew that bad luck could hit us too and it did today. It’s very unfortunate but it is how it is. I’m disappointed of course, I would have liked to be in a better position on GC but that’s how it is.”


Thanks for joining our live coverage of today's stage. A full report, results and pictures are available here, and we'll be back with more on Cyclingnews tomorrow. In the meantime, we'll have all the news and reaction from Mur-de-Bretagne.




1 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 04:13:43
2 Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:00:01
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:00:03
4 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
5 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
6 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
8 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
9 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
10 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo


General classification after stage 6:



1 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 22:35:46
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 00:00:03
3 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 00:00:05
4 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 00:00:06
5 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 00:00:12
6 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 00:00:18
7 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 00:00:45
8 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:00:51
9 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:52
10 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 00:00:53


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