Tour de France stage 6 -- Dan Martin sprints to win
13 July, 2018, 13:23 | Author: Suzanne Horton
Irish rider Martin broke with one kilometer remaining on the final climb with French rider Pierre Latour offering the only competition.
Dumoulin, who punctured six kilometres from the finish, rallied to come home 53 seconds down while Bardet - two times a podium finisher in Paris - swapped bikes with a team-mate at the foot of the two-kilometre climb but cracked on the steepest gradient to finish 31 seconds adrift.
This means that after six stages Dumoulin is now 1 minute 23 seconds behind current race leader Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing).
"I hit the back wheel of Bardet when there was the movement in the peloton and I couldn't avoid it", the Dutch rider said.
AG2R's Romain Bardet cracked in the heat of the final ascent and lost 31secs, while fellow contender Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb), the 2017 Giro d'Italia champion, lost almost a minute after suffering a mechanical problem.
Having finished sixth on the previous day's uphill finish and remembering back to his second place behind another Ag2r rider, Alexis Vuillermoz, when the Tour was last on the Mur-de-Bretagne back in 2015, Martin gambled on an early attack yesterday.
Dumoulin and his Sunweb team compounded the mechanical mishap by getting a 20-second penalty when Dumoulin stayed too close to the team auto while trying to catch the pack, thereby benefiting from its draft that pulled him along.
Dumoulin, the time trial world champion and 2017 Giro d'Italia victor, started the stage 44 seconds ahead of Froome, but finished just behind him.
"I felt really good yesterday and that was a really good sign for today". "I knew if I could get a gap it would be hard to close from behind".
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.
A group of around 40 riders including Froome opened up a gap of over a minute, but Martin and the rest hustled back.
Friday will see the riders take on the longest stage of the race at 218km when they take off from Fougeres and finish in Chartres.
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