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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 18 July 2018

UAE Team Emirates rider Dan Martin wins Stage 6 of Tour de France

It is the Irishman's second stage win on the Tour after a victory in the Pyrenees in 2013

UAE Team Emirates rider Daniel Martin of Ireland wins Stage 6 of the Tour de France. Reuters
UAE Team Emirates rider Daniel Martin of Ireland wins Stage 6 of the Tour de France. Reuters

Ireland's Dan Martin won stage six of the Tour de France atop the Mur de Bretagne, his second career stage win in the race.

UAE Team Emirates' Martin attacked with 1.2 kilometres left of the 181km stage from Brest, which finished with two ascents of the Alpe d'Huez of Brittany separated by a rolling 19km circuit.

The Birmingham-born rider held off a late push from AG2R La Mondiale's Pierre Latour to cross the line alone, just ahead of the pack as the general classification hopefuls scrapped for seconds.

There was a slight split in the peloton behind, with Mitchelton-Scott's Adam Yates part of a group that picked up a couple of seconds on the main pack, which contained Team Sky's Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas, Movistar's Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa, and BMC's Richie Porte.

But there were losses further back, with AG2R La Mondiale's Romain Bardet hit by problems on the short two-kilometre climb and Team Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin also distanced after suffering a mechanical problem with six kilometres left.

At the end of the stage, BMC's Greg Van Avermaet retained the yellow jersey, with Team Sky's Geraint Thomas moving up to second, three seconds back.

The provisional results showed Froome giving up five seconds to his general classification rivals.

As such, Yates was listed in 13th place and Froome in 14th, both 62 seconds off yellow, and now one second ahead of Dumoulin who dropped to 15th.

Martin, whose other career Tour stage win came in Bagneres-de-Bigorre in 2013, had finished second on this climb when it featured in the 2015 Tour and timed his attack to perfection, launching off the wheel after the Australian had made his own move and riding clear.

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Latour's counter-attack came with 500 metres left but though the Frenchman closed, he could not bridge over.

"It's great to get a win after so many second places since the last one," Martin said.

"I was afraid of the crosswinds and maybe it was adrenaline but the legs were there and it all worked out.

"There were a lot of contenders in that group so I was glad to hang on."

Martin dedicated his win to his new team, who he joined from Quick Step after overtures from Sky and BMC in the close season.

“I came to this team to be the leader and the pressure at the beginning, of being the leader is why I didn’t do so well in Spring,” said Martin.

“But there’s a great feeling in the bus now, laughing and joking and this win is for them, they really looked after me.

“It was an early break but it was my only opportunity for the stage win as I’d never have got it in a sprint,” explained Martin.

“When you get an opportunity, if you think about it, it’s gone. You just go.

“So I set off, kept my head down, kept going and my legs felt good.”