Tour de France stage 6 -- Dan Martin sprints to win

Dan Martin surges to stage win at Mur-de Bretagne as Dumoulin loses time

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.

BMC's Greg Van Avermaet hung on to the yellow jersey, with Team Sky's Geraint Thomas moving up to second place, three seconds down. "It was good to finish second back then but this time I was coming for victory", Martin said.

"I'll have to get through the Alps and see how I am, see how Froomey is and go from there".

"I was afraid of the crosswinds and maybe it was adrenaline but the legs were there and it all worked out". It's unbelievable, I'm really grateful for myself and for my team.

"The other day I was with a youth cycling coach and before races parents have been giving Ventolin to children who aren't sick", the Frenchman said.

Yesterday's sixth stage was expected to shake up the peloton as it culminated in the double ascension of the feared Mur de Bretagne climb, a 2km long and 6.9 per cent gradient affair.

Bardet would lose 31 seconds on the stage in a blow to the Frenchman's general classification hopes, while 2017 Giro d'Italia victor Dumoulin lost 53 seconds. "I had no legs to beat the first two guys".

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BMC captain Porte is 56sec off the lead, Adam Yates 1min 05sec, defending champion Chris Froome at 1min 06sec, with Thursday's stage winer Dan Martin at 1min 30.

Dumoulin and his Sunweb team compounded the mechanical mishap by getting a 20-second penalty when Dumoulin stayed too close to the team vehicle while trying to catch the pack, thereby benefiting from its draft that pulled him along.

"I was pretty disappointing in the first few stages but now I've got the power back in my legs", said the 25-year-old from Amsterdam who dislikes comparisons to Briton Mark Cavendish.

"Having already lost 53 seconds on the stage - finishing 46th after a big effort from team-mate Soren Kragh Andersen, in the white jersey, to minimise their losses, he now drops to 19th - 1'23" behind yellow jersey Greg van Avermaet. The Dutchman was seventh going into this stage only 13 seconds behind Van Avermaet but will now be a minute behind.

A long day - it's the longest stage of the race - flat day with even the one solitary climb of the Côte de Buisson de Perseigne (Category 4, 1.5km at 3.9%) not really counting as Toms Skujiņš can't be dislodged from the polka dot jersey.

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

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