Sagan wins 5th stage to consolidate points lead

Florence Fletcher
July 14, 2018

He made a break in the last kilometre into Mur de Bretagne (pron: Brit-an-yah) to register his first stage victory at the event since 2013.

Martin won the stage by one second from Frenchman Pierre Latour (AG2R-La Mondiale) and 3s on a group of 13 riders that included Valverde (3rd) Yates (6th), Thomas (9th), Porte (11th), Quintana (13th), Nibali (14th) and Fuglsang (15th); as well as Porte's Belgian teammate and overall race leader, Greg Van Avermaet (12th) who kept the yellow jersey.

"The fact he wasn't in the sprint was good for me", Sagan, who now leads Gaviria by 33 points, said.

While this was very bad news for the rider himself, his team and France's hopes of a first win since 1985, it was a boon to Bardet's rivals, as a Tour de France victor generally relies on the support of a full team.

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

Dylan Groenewegen hasn't been in the right place to show his sprinting legs but this resembles the stage of Paris-Nice that he won.

"I was second here last time". It's awesome, I'm really grateful for myself and for my team.

The sixth stage runs from Brest to Mur-de-Bretagne Guerledan, and also features significant elevation change.

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"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. "I had no legs to beat the first two guys".

Defending champion Chris Froome crossed eight seconds after Martin in 18th. The legs were just there all the time, I don't know if it was adrenaline or not.

"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.

Dumoulin, the time trial world champion and 2017 Giro d'Italia victor, started the stage 44 seconds ahead of Froome, but finished just behind him.

It would have put him level with Froome overall, but the Team Sunweb rider was later handed a 20 second penalty for drifting behind the team cars. Van Avermaet said. "But everyone kind of enjoyed it - the first day we could really relax".

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.

Friday will see the riders take on the longest stage of the race at 218km when they take off from Fougeres and finish in Chartres.

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