Martin ends five-year wait for second Tour win
Dan Martin produced a superb late attack to win stage six of the Tour de France on Thursday, as Greg Van Avermaet held on to the yellow jersey.
UAE Team Emirates rider Martin attacked with over a kilometre left of the second climb up the Mur-de-Bretagne, and it was a move that stuck as the Irishman proved to have the most legs at the end of the 181km ride from Brest.
Pierre-Roger Latour threatened to snatch the stage victory from Martin, but the AG2R La Mondiale rider could not bridge the gap and had to settle for second.
It marks Martin's second career stage win and first since 2013, his only other Grand Tour stage triumph coming at the 2011 Vuelta a Espana, and also serves as redemption for him after he finished second on the Mur-de-Bretagne three years ago.
Alejandro Valverde finished third for Movistar ahead of Quick-Step Floors' Julian Alaphilippe, who missed out on bonus seconds.
Though the stage was billed as one that could change the yellow jersey holder, it is Van Avermaet who remains in the overall lead, having finished 12th, three seconds behind Martin.
Defending champion Chris Froome was 18th, eight seconds back, while both Tom Dumoulin and Romain Bardet suffered significant setbacks.
Dumoulin and Bardet each fell victim to mechanical problems in the closing stages, the former losing 53 seconds and the latter 31.
He was strong on le @dauphine, he's even stronger on @letour : @danmartin86 gets his second win on Le Tour!-- Le Tour de France (@LeTour) July 12, 2018
Il était fort sur le @dauphine, il l'est encore plus sur Le Tour : 2e victoire d'étape pour Dan Martin ! #TDF2018pic.twitter.com/Bq3tRJOVh1
'I HOPE MY WIFE HASN'T GONE INTO LABOUR'
Unable to immediately bask in the glory of his victory, Martin's major consideration as he clinched the stage was his pregnant partner.
"My first thought was "I really hope my wife hasn't just gone into labour", Martin told Eurosport.
"It's a great feeling to win again. I didn't think it was going to happen. The legs were just there all the time, I don't know if it was adrenaline or not.
"It makes a Tour de France a success for us already and anything else is a bonus."
STAGE 6 RESULTS
1. Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates) 4:13:43
2. Pierre-Roger Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) +0:01
3. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +0:03
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors)
5. Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe)
1. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) 22:35:46
2. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) +00:03
3. Tejay van Garderen (BMC) +00:05
1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 199
2. Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) 156
3. Alexander Kristoff (Team Emirates) 88
UP NEXT ...
It is a day for the sprinters on Friday with a largely flat 231km route from Fougeres to Chartres. Those looking to add a stage win to their resume will need to be wary of potentially strong winds in the final 40km.