Tour de France: Dan Martin wins on the Mur de Bretagne

Three years after AG2R La Mondiale denied Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) a stage atop the Mur de Bretagne the Irishman had his revenge, holding off a late challenge from Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) to secure stage 6 of the Tour de France.

Martin demonstrated his uphill prowess with a long-range attack with over a kilometre to go and quickly opened up a significant gap while the yellow-jersey group struggled as the gradient continued to rise. In 2015, it was Alexis Vuillermoz who held off Martin to take the win on the same climb and when LaTour jumped away in pursuit of the Irishman it looked as though Martin would be denied once more. However, as Latour tightened up, Martin found an extra gear to win ahead of the Frenchman and a fast-finishing Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

Behind Martin, the battle for the yellow jersey burst into life ahead of the final of two accents up the Mur de Bretagne with Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) suffering mechanicals. The Frenchman lost 31 seconds to his rivals, with the Giro d'Italia runner-up fairing even worse and dropping a further twenty seconds.

Martin though deserved his win, and a second career stage in the Tour de France after his first triumph in Bagnéres de Bigorre in 2013. The 31-year-old had it all to do in the final 1,500m of the climb. He responded when Richie Porte (BMC Racing) lifted the pace, and immediately shot by the Australian with 1,200m to go. A reluctant looking Porte and then Adam Yates (Mitchelton Scott) and Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) tried to bring Martin to a heel, but despite a headwind the UAE Emirates rider had enough to keep a slim margin on the chasers.

"It'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," Martin said at the finish.

"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."

Van Avermaet holds yellow but GC riders lose time

The pace on the final climb was too high for defending champion Chris Froome (Team Sky), who conceded five seconds to the group containing Porte, Yates, Nairo Quintana and Vincenzo Nibali, but the Giro d'Italia winner still faired better than several of his other key rivals.

Last year's Tour de France runner-up, Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac) lost a further three seconds but that was a relative success compared to Bardet, with France's main hope forced to take a teammate's bike after a late puncture interrupted his charge up the final climb.

Dumoulin's problems started much earlier with a front wheel puncture inside 6km to go. Despite a high-intensity chase the Dutchman was unable to regain contact with the front of the race, and he crossed the line 53 seconds in arrears. Froome and Dumoulin are now tied on time, 1:03 off Van Avermaet's lead, with Thomas inching himself closer to a slightly more stable leadership bid.

Gentle beginning disrupted by crosswinds

As the race departed from Brest a five-man move established itself from the gun, with Damien Gaudin (Direct Energie), Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie), Anthony Turgis (Cofidis), Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Laurent Pichon (Fortuneo-Samsic), allowed to build a healthy lead as the route wound its way towards two ascents of the Mur de Bretagne.

The leaders drew out over six minutes on the main field as they crested the Cote de Ploudiry, and added a further minute by the time they reached the fourth category, Cote de Roc'h Trevezel. Smith, who wore the KOM jersey earlier the race, took the points at both checks but the race changed dramatically when with 100km to go the route changed direction and Quick-Step made use of a crosswind section.

The conditions were far from extreme but they were enough to see Vincenzo Nibali, Dan Martin, Steven Kruijswijk, Jakob Fuglsang and Movistar's pairing of Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa lose contact. Promiz Roglic was caught even further behind and endured a near 30km chase before finally regaining contact. The intensity and energy exerted from LottoNL-Jumbo to bring the Slovenian back into contention was the clearest indication yet that the Tour de Romandie winner is not here at the Tour for just experience but a possible GC challenge of his own.

The increase in pace saw the break's advantage more than halved and with 80km to go the gap stood at 3:19 with Quick-Step still setting a brisk tempo. The situation remained stable as the stage headed into the final hour of action, but as the first ascent of the Mur de Bretagne drew closer tensions started to fray. A crash involving Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors) held up Jakob Fuglsang with a full quota of Astana riders ordered to wait for the Danish leader.

At the head of affairs, Gaudin attacked through the intermediate sprint and although the Frenchman drew out a 25-second lead, his sole responsibility was to try and weaken his enemies within the break before teammate Grellier surged clear. The plan worked to some extent, but with Team Sky and Peter Sagan's Bora-Hansgrohe leading the charge the last remaining rider from the break was absorbed into the bunch before the summit of the first ascent up the Mur de Bretagne. Thomas' sprint to take two seconds at the top of the first ascent appeared to be a canny move but only he will know if it sapped his energy before the final climb.

Jack Bauer then launched a move in order to force Yates' rivals to wear themselves out, and the Kiwi dutifully built up a lead close to 30 seconds before he too was caught as the final climb approached. Although Bardet and Dumoulin appeared well-placed before their respective mechanicals they quickly lost ground as the fight for position intensified.

Surprise package Dimension Data hit the front, alongside Team Sky but it was Daniel Oss who ignited the flames with a powerful acceleration through the middle of the road. Julian Alaphilippe made it onto the Italian's wheel but it was Porte who looked the most comfortable when he came through with Thomas on his wheel.

Martin's surge started from further back, with the Irishman later revealing that he attacked from a similar place in 2015 but had been boxed in on that occasion. When the eventual winner soloed clear it looked as though the rest were waiting to pounce, but the truth was that a headwind, Martin's superior legs and telling aggression were enough to take the win. After so many second places it was just what he deserved. 

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Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates4:13:43
2Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:01
3Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:03
4Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
5Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
6Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott
7Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
8Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
9Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
10Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo
11Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team
12Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
13Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
14Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
15Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
16Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team
17Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team0:00:06
18Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky0:00:08
19Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:00:11
20Warren Barguil (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic0:00:12
21Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors
22Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
23Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
24Arthur Vichot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
25Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
26Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky
27Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
28Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
29Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data
30Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
31Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
32Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:16
33Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:31
34Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team
35Pierre Rolland (Fra) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
36Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
37Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert0:00:41
38Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data0:00:43
39David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
40Maxime Bouet (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
41Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team0:00:45
42Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
43Rein Taaramäe (Est) Direct Energie
44Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott
45Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb0:00:53
46Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb
47Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie0:00:58
48Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
49Elie Gesbert (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic0:01:04
50Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie0:01:05
51Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott0:01:16
52Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo
53Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ0:01:23
54Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team
55Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
56Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
57Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:01:58
58Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:02:00
59Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
60Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team
61Magnus Cort (Den) Astana Pro Team0:02:14
62Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal
63José Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team0:02:17
64Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
65Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
66Amael Moinard (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
67Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
68Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
69Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky
70Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
71Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team
72Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
73Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team Emirates
74Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team
75Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
76Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
77Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
78Jerome Cousin (Fra) Direct Energie0:02:29
79Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
80Julien Vermote (Bel) Dimension Data0:03:07
81Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
82Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb
83Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
84Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:03:09
85Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb
86Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe0:03:27
87Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie0:03:28
88Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
89Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie0:03:38
90Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb0:03:44
91Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Team Sunweb
92Florian Vachon (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic0:03:59
93Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
94Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic0:04:13
95Paul Martens (Ger) LottoNL-Jumbo0:04:34
96Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
97Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
98Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky0:04:59
99Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal
100Silvan Dillier (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:38
101Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:05:41
102Edward Theuns (Bel) Team Sunweb
103Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-Merida0:05:45
104Ian Boswell (USA) Katusha-Alpecin
105Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
106Jack Bauer (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott0:05:46
107Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
108Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
109Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:05:55
110Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:06:11
111Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky0:06:18
112Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:06:28
113Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:06:43
114Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step Floors0:07:18
115Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team Sky0:07:30
116Simon Gerrans (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:07:45
117Kristijan Koren (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:08:25
118Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
119Tom Scully (NZl) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
120Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
121Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie0:09:06
122Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:09:35
123Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert0:09:37
124Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
125Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
126Laurent Pichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic0:09:39
127Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo0:10:13
128John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
129Mathew Hayman (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
130Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
131Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty-Groupe Gobert0:10:51
132Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky0:11:14
133Jay Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data
134Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team Emirates
135Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
136Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:11:32
137Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:11:45
138Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
139Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar Team
140Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
141Rory Sutherland (Aus) UAE Team Emirates0:14:30
142Michael Valgren (Den) Astana Pro Team
143Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
144Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
145Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal
146Michael Hepburn (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
147Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
148Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
149Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
150Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
151Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data
152Marcel Kittel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
153Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
154Oliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
155Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors
156Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
157André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
158Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data
159Patrick Bevin (NZl) BMC Racing Team
160Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
161Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors
162Taylor Phinney (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
163Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
164Jesper Hansen (Den) Astana Pro Team
165Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
166Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) LottoNL-Jumbo
167Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJ
168Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
169Roberto Ferrari (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
170Damien Gaudin (Fra) Direct Energie
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Sprint 1 - Plouguernevel, 135km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Laurent Pichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic20pts
2Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits17
3Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty-Groupe Gobert15
4Damien Gaudin (Fra) Direct Energie13
5Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie11
6Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates10
7Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors9
8Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe8
9Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe7
10André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal6
11Julien Vermote (Bel) Dimension Data5
12Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors4
13Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data3
14Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data2
15Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data1
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Finish - Mur de Bretagne, 181km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates30pts
2Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale25
3Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team22
4Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors19
5Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe17
6Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott15
7Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo13
8Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe11
9Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky9
10Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo7
11Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team6
12Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team5
13Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team4
14Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida3
15Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team2
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Mountain 1 - Cote de Ploudiry, 44km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty-Groupe Gobert2pts
2Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie1
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Mountain 2 - Core de Roc'h Trevezel, 68.5km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty-Groupe Gobert1
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Mountain 3 - Mur de Bretagne (1st passage), 165km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo2pts
2Jack Bauer (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott1
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Mountain 4 - Mur de Bretagne Guerledan, 181km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates2pts
2Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale1
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Combative
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Damien Gaudin (Fra) Direct Energie
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Young rider
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale4:13:44
2Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky0:00:11
3Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert0:00:30
4David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:00:42
5Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb0:00:52
6Elie Gesbert (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic0:01:03
7Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo0:01:15
8Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:59
9Magnus Cort (Den) Astana Pro Team0:02:13
10Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:02:16
11Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team
12Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
13Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie0:03:27
14Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic0:04:12
15Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:05:40
16Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin0:05:44
17Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky0:06:17
18Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:08:24
19Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie0:09:05
20Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty-Groupe Gobert0:10:50
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Team
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Movistar Team12:41:18
2BMC Racing Team0:00:03
3Team Sky0:00:14
4Quick-Step Floors0:00:18
5Bahrain-Merida
6AG2R La Mondiale0:00:35
7Fortuneo-Samsic0:01:50
8Mitchelton-Scott0:01:55
9Wanty-Groupe Gobert0:02:01
10Astana Pro Team0:02:02
11LottoNl-Jumbo0:02:04
12Groupama-FDJ0:02:09
13Cofidis, Solutions Credits