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Dan Martin ends 5-year wait for second Tour win

14 July 2018

Yesterday's Stage - A lung busting ascent of the Mûr-de-Bretagne was preceded by a frantic chase for position towards it, and Dan Martin took the honour on the day, sustained an incredible burst for over a kilometre and just holding off Pierre LaTour to take a huge stage win on many levels given that he was second here in 2015 when coming late.

Team Sky's Thomas lost three seconds on overall leader Greg van Avermaet, who will again wear the yellow jersey on Saturday's 181km stage from Dreux to Amiens Metropole.

"It was a good GC (general classification) day and it will be interesting now with Team Sky to see if they back Geraint Thomas or Froomey", Porte said.

Riders twice went up the Mur de Bretagne, or "Wall of Brittany", which the local cycling-crazed Bretons affectionately refer to as their smaller version of the famous Alpe d'Huez.

"I'd like to thank Greg because he did me a favor when he went for it".

"This win was fantastic for my self confidence, I feel under less pressure now, a sprinter needs confidence".

"I had a good day", said the Slovak, who has, like Gaviria, two stage wins so far. It's incredible, I'm really grateful for myself and for my team.

"I hit the back wheel of Bardet when there was the movement in the peloton and I couldn't avoid it", the Dutch rider said.

Dylan Groenewegen powered home to take victory at the end of a marathon seventh stage of the Tour de France.

Defending champion Chris Froome would lose eight seconds at the finish on rivals Vincenzo Nibali of Italy, Colombia's Nairo Quintana and Australia's Richie Porte.

"I had good sensations but nothing outstanding, I was at my maximum".

There was further fallout too from Tom Dumoulin's time penalty, imposed after Thursday's finish to Mûr-de-Bretagne, when Froome's rival slipstreamed his team auto after suffering a broken wheel five kilometres from the finish.

This wasn't as bad as Tom Dumoulin however, who had a puncture with 5 kilometres to go and ended up losing 50 seconds, ceding the time that' he'd gained over the rest of the favourites - and he had a 20-second penalty for pacing too. "I knew if I could get a gap it would be hard to close from behind".

"I have my own style", he said when asked about his similarity to the veteran Manxman with 39 stage wins under his belt.

The 231km stage from Fougeres to Chartres saw multiple breakaway attempts, but on a flat route with occasional crosswinds, none seemed likely to stick - not least because the majority were undertaken by lone riders.

This was the first summit finish of this Tour.

Dan Martin ends 5-year wait for second Tour win