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Tour de France 2018: Dan Martin takes victory at Mûr de Bretagne as Froome and Bardet lose time

Dan Alexander
12 Jul 2018

Martin takes the stage while Froome, Bardet and Dumoulin all concede time to their rivals

Dan Martin (UAE-Team Emirates) attacked under the flame rouge and held off a late surge from Pierre Latour (AG2R) to take the win. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) finished with the favourites to keep yellow.

Chris Froome (Sky), Romain Bardet (Ag2R) and Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) all lost time in the general classification on the final climb.

Stage 6 of the 2018 Tour de France took the peloton 181km from Brest to a finishing circuit including the Mûr de Bretagne. 

After the first uphill finish yesterday the Mûr represented a stiffer test for the peloton with two kilometres at an average gradient of 6.9%. This average is boosted by the opening kilometre up the dead straight road at 10%. 

Once again, the breakaway formed quickly and consisted of Laurent Pichon (Fortuneo-Samsic), Fabien Grellier (Direct-Energie), Anthony Turgis (Cofidis), Damien Gaudin (Direct Energie) and Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert). 

They established a seven minute advantage over the peloton by the time they reached the first king of the mountains climb of the day. Dion Smith added to the points he earned on stage 2 beating Grellier to the line. 

The second climb, the fourth category Côte de Roc’h Trévézel was also won by Smith who increases his tally to four in the king of the mountains standings.

Quick-Step Floors sensed an opportunity with 100km left to ride and pushed hard at the front in a crosswind section. Echelons started to form and the peloton was split into three smaller groups. Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) and Mikel Landa (Movistar) missed the first split but were quickly brought back into the fold by teammates. 

Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) was further back, in the third group, and with Sky and BMC aiding Quick-Step on the front of the peloton the gap grew to two minutes. Roglic’s teammates rode hard for 20 kilometres to make the junction. 

Having bridged the gap Roglic faced further adversity crashing just minutes after returning to the peloton. Once again, his teammates came to his aid bringing him back into contention.

With the pace high the advantage of the breakaway was cut to two minutes by the time they rolled through the intermediate sprint in Plouguernével. Pichon jumped the rest to take an uncontested win. In the peloton, Alexander Kristoff (UAE) pipped Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) and Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) for the minor places. 

Grellier was the last survivor of the day’s break to be caught with 16km remaining on the first ascent of the Mûr. Tom Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) rolled off the front to take the mountains points to secure the jersey for another day. 

Just three kilometres later came the bonus second sprint where Jack Bauer (Michelton-Scott) took a three second bonus having attacked over the top of the Mûr. Geraint Thomas (Sky) won the sprint behind to move within three seconds of yellow. 

On the undulating finish circuit Bauer extended his lead to 30 seconds. However, it was always an unlikely move and with Bora-Hansgrohe riding hard for yesterday’s winner Sagan, Bauer’s lead fell.

Having avoided the danger of the opening weekend Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) suffered a puncture with 5km to go losing him almost a minute by the end of the day. Bardet also fell foul to a mechanical ending any chances of stage. victory.

Bauer was inevitably reeled in at the 4km mark as the bunch charged towards the final climb.  

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