Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

Dan Martin wins Tour de France stage after attacking window of opportunity

Dan Martin wins Tour de France stage after attacking window of opportunity

It was a first stage win of this Tour for the LottoNL-Jumbo rider and the second of his career after victory on the final stage in Paris past year.

Behind him, Team Sky's Geraint Thomas took two seconds to move three seconds behind Greg Van Avermaet in general classification.

It means for the overall standinsgs, a matter of just six seconds separate the top four.

France's Pierre Latour, of Ag2r La Mondiale, finished in second place, followed by Spaniard Alejandro Valverde, of Movistar, in a stage that started in Brest and ended in Mur-De-Bretagne Guerledan. But Froome was not alone.

Tom Dumoulin, victor of the 2017 Giro D'Italia, suffered badly following a mechanical issue with only 5km to go, dropping 40 seconds on the leaders.

"I had a good day", said the Slovak, who has, like Gaviria, two stage wins so far.

"It's a great feeling to win again".

"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.

"When you get an opportunity, if you think about it, it's gone".

"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.

Van Avermaet accelerated for the stage win 300 meters before the finish line, but failed to maintain his pace throughout the sprint and ended up in seventh.

"I went to go but Quick-Step and Bora-Hansgrone just seem to have another level".

The Welshman has been given free reign by Team Sky in the first week to race with Froome for the yellow jersey, although will be expected to revert to the role of super-domestique after the first rest day after stage nine.

Having finished sixth on the previous day's uphill finish and remembering back to his second place behind another Ag2r rider, Alexis Vuillermoz, when the Tour was last on the Mur-de-Bretagne back in 2015, Martin gambled on an early attack yesterday.

Movistar's Nairo Quintana, already 2 minutes 10 seconds down, and his teammate Mikel Landa were caught in the second of three groups and had to work long and hard to get back in the lead pack.

There was a slight split in the peloton, with Mitchelton-Scott's Adam Yates part of a group that picked up a couple of seconds on the main pack.

As the Australian started to put his foot down, Martin flew past everyone and swiftly opened up a gap with a full 500m to climb.

Groenewegen, who won the final stage on the Champs Elysees previous year, crushed the pedals with 200 metres to go to easily beat Colombian Fernando Gaviria.

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