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

Tour de France 2018 stage five – live updates

Ireland's Dan Martin produced a superb late attack on the Mur de Bretagne to win stage six of the Tour de France.

The peleteon split in three just under the 100 kilometre mark with Quick-Step and the main contenders in the first chasing group, followed by a second group which included Movistar's Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida), Dan Martin (UAE), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) and Astana's Jakob Fuglsang.

Dream big and dare to fail. He finished ahead of a hard-charging Pierre LaTour (AG2R La Mondiale) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

Van Avermaet's nearest challenger is now Sky's Thomas who is three seconds back on GC after the Welshman picked up two bonus seconds in the bonus sprint 13km from the finish.

"I was a bit nervous because of the headwind, I didn't think it was going to happen", Martin, 31, said.

Dumoulin, the time trial world champion and 2017 Giro d'Italia victor, was slowed by a tire puncture at the foot of the final ascent and lost 53 seconds.

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

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Dumoulin then ran into mechanical issues that could badly hurt his Tour de France hopes.

Van Avermaet is the first former Olympic road race champion to wear the yellow jersey after winning gold since 1903 and has set a target to retain the jersey until the peloton reaches Roubaix on stage nine, which will be the next stage that could provide a general classification shake up. He entered the stage seventh overall and finished it 15th and one second behind Froome. "There are a lot of twists on the Tour and this time luck was not on our side".

Martin was one of several team leaders along with former Tour victor Vincenzo Nibali and two-time runner-up Nairo Quintana who were caught off-guard by an attack by Quick-Step midway through the stage during a straightaway that was exposed to crosswinds.

Martin becomes just the third Irish rider to win two or more stages on the Tour alongside Ireland's cycling royalty Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche.

A group of around 40 riders including Froome opened up a gap of over a minute, but Martin and the rest hustled back.

Friday's flat 231-kilometre leg from Fougeres to Chartes is the longest stage of this Tour.

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