Friday, 17 August, 2018

Martin wins Tour de France stage six on the Mûr-de-Bretagne

The Tour continues on Thursday with the 181km run from Brest to Mûr de Bretagne The Tour continues on today with the 181km run from Brest to Mûr-de-Bretagne Credit Getty Images
Shannon Reynolds | 14 July, 2018, 00:40

However, Groenewegen - who won the final stage on the Champs Élysées a year ago - seemed fresher and more powerful and beat all of his rivals by a sizeable margin.

Domont, who broke his collarbone, was a key member in Romain Bardet's bid to win a first Tour de France after the climber finished second in 2016 and third in 2017.

"I'm not sure the riders knew how to take advantage of it, the stage really could have been much more interesting", he said of the course some were describing as riddled with traps.

"There's no reason I can't look at it [the Mûr de Bretagne], even though I'm contending for GC [the general classification]", Martin said earlier this week.

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

"It was quite long - 230k".

"People had been saying I was not good enough to win a stage on this Tour, so I put my finger to my lips to tell them to shut up", said Groenewegen, explaining his gesture at the finish line.

"The Mur de Bretagne is much harder than this", said Van Avermaet, who would not rule Sagan out of contention for the sixth stage.

After a few early attacks failed, Yoann Offredo launched a solo effort 35 kilometers in.

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Laurent Pichon, another French rider with Fortuneo-Samsic, then also got away alone for a spell.

Dylan Groenewegen surprised all with a powerful sprint that gave him the victory of the seventh stage of the Tour de France on Friday.

The overall favourites should be tested again in the cobblestoned Stage 9 on Sunday to Roubaix, before heading down to the Alps next week.

It's set up for a sprint, but watch out as there's a kick at the end - the finale is a 600 metres kick-up at 4% before the last 200 metres flatten out.

Dutchman Groenewegen showed impressive power to burst clear of Quick-Step Floors' Fernando Gaviria and world champion Peter Sagan of Bora-Hansgrohe at the top of a gradual climb to the finish of the 231-kilometre stage from Fougeres.

While this was very bad news for the rider himself, his team and France's hopes of a first win since 1985, it was a boon to Bardet's rivals, as a Tour de France victor generally relies on the support of a full team.

The short climb inside the final kilometre tempted a number of the classics specialists to the fore, including BMC's Greg Van Avermaet in the yellow jersey, but once the road levelled off it was Sagan who still had the most power left in his legs.

This was the first summit finish of this Tour.

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