Daniel Martin has the sixth stage in the Tour de France won. The Irishman was by far the strongest on the steep finish of Mûr-de-Bretagne, a vicious little climb of third category. Greg Van Avermaet remains the yellow jersey, Tom Dumoulin and Romain Bardet – two big favourites – lost precious time after materiaalpech in the final.
The stage to the Mûr-de-Bretagne would spectacle, which was pre-fixed. In 2011 and 2015, had the Tour, after all, also an arrival on the pimple of 2.2 kilometers (6,5% on average) and both times it was a thrilling spectacle. In 2011 he won Cadel Evans – that year’s winner of the yellow jersey – somewhat surprisingly, in a sprint ahead of Alberto Contador, four years later, surprised Alexis Vuillermoz, the rest of the race with a long sprint. This year, however, there was a now open on: for the first time, it was the Mûr-de-Bretagne, not one, but two times climbed. In addition to the arrival of the riders had twenty kilometers before the finish again, puffing on the well-known Breton slope.
From kilometer one pulled five riders on an adventure together. With Damien Gaudin, Fabien Grellier (both Direct Energy), Laurent Pichon (Fortuneo-Samsic) and Anthony Turgis (Cofidis) was an almost exclusively French company: the New Zealander Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) was the strange duck in the bite. Smith also had a mission. In the second stage he had the polka dot jersey conquered, to which Wednesday lost to play the Note Toms Skujins (Pull-Segafredo). With a slope of third category, a fourth category, and the double ascent of the Mûr-de-Bretagne were in any case sufficient bergpunten to pick it up.
The peloton let them be, and so if the five of us to prepare for a long day ahead. Régional de l’étape Olivier Le Gac got the pleasure to take a first ride and was in his hometown even for a moment stop to his mother’s embrace. Also Warren Barguil would be around forty kilometres away, ample time to take the family to greet. All the way in the front, however, it was bitter severity, because on the Côte de Ploudiry (third category) fell points to pick it up. Grellier tried Smith to be a surprise, but still, it was the New Zealander that his point total to three aandikte. A few kilometres away, the Côte de Roc’h Trévézel (fourth category), did Smith there is still a dot on top, which he is at the same height came out of Skujins.
After the first two slopes began the long wait until the first ascent of the Mûr-de-Bretagne, 16 km from the finish line. Turn a boring run, you say? QuickStep Floors had other thoughts. The blue armada pulled the peloton is in pieces with slightly more than 100 miles to go. The peloton split into three pieces, and with Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) were some cute names in the second group get hooked up. The leader of LottoNL-Jumbo, Primoz Roglic, was even further behind in the third group. Chase blown.
Team Sky, BORA-Hansgrohe and BMC had ears to the map of QuickStep Floors and helped, did tempobeulen Tim Declercq, and Yves Lampaert the largest part of the work. After a small thirty km hard races came the entire pack together under the impulse of the geelhemden of Roglic. And so was the lead of the five leaders suddenly from seven to two minutes shrunk. For Roglic was the drama is still not done, because he came just after the regrouping, fell on a speed bump. The Slovenian ex-jumper, last year’s winner in the stage over the Col du Galibier, could be way happy continue.
The trip towards Mûr-de-Bretagne was continued, but the front was the order after a while. 45 kilometres from the finish was Damien Gaudin only. After a solo of a small 15 km he was again seized by his four companions, and then prompt once again an attack came. With a slight lead reached five yet, the foot of the first ascent of the Mûr-de-Bretagne. Smith and especially Grellier empty still long against it, but could not make up for the fresh pack. Skujins relished as the two bergpuntjes way at the top and reinforced his polka dot jersey. Jack Bauer slipped on his kousenvoeten road and opened solo for the final.
In the sprint to the bonusseconden grabbed Bauer’s full loot, but in the background came suddenly Geraint Thomas (Sky) to participate. The Brit sprokkelde two seconds and came so suddenly on the count of three leader Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) in the state: interesting when you consider that there is an uphill finish was to come. Tom Dumoulin ( if in the meantime hearty curses: he had a puncture at a mere six kilometers from the finish. The Dutchman tried all the power – and in the slipstream of the team car of his team – half a minute to catch up. Two kilometres away, also saw Romain Bardet (AG2R) at the worst possible moment materiaalpech. The Tour is relentless: Team Sky continued to prompt on the head of the peloton.
On the final climb, it was Daniel Oss (BORA-Hansgrohe) that the debates opened. Shortly afterwards names the klassementsmannen the command and the first strong attack came from the pedals of Daniel Martin. Pierre Roger Latour jumped behind him, but the tough Irishman was not. He took it eventually with a few meters lead over the Frenchman. The sprint of the chasing group was won by Alejandro Valverde. Greg Van Avermaet was in the first group as twelfth within and remains leader. Bardet and Dumoulin did not come back in front and lost precious time, the difference between the other klassementsmannen was low.
Result of sixth stage:
1. Daniel Martin (Ire/UAD) the 181km in 4u13:43
2. Pierre Latour (Fra/ALM) at 0:01
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/MOV) 0:03
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/QST) 0:03
5. Rafal Majka (Pol/BOH) 0:03
6. Adam Yates (GBr/MTS) 0:03
7. Bauke Mollema (Ned/TFS) 0:03
8. Peter Sagan (Slk/BOH) 0:03
9. Geraint Thomas (GBr/SKY) 0:03
10. Primoz Roglic (Sln/TLJ) 0:03
General classification after the sixth stage:
1. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel/BMC) the 999,5 km in 22u35:46
2. Geraint Thomas (GBr/SKY) at 0:03
3. Tejay van Garderen (Usa/BMC) 0:05
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/QST) 0:06
5. Philippe Gilbert (Bel/QST) 0:12
6. Bob Jungels (Lux/QST) 0:18
7. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EFD) 0:45
8. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/MOV) 0:51
9. Rafal Majka (Pol/BOH) 0:52
10. Jakob Fuglsang (Den/AST) 0:53