Dumoulin and Bardet lose time at Tour after bikes break

Toms Skujins

Tour de France 2018: Dan Martin surges to stage win on Mûr-de-Bretagne as Tom Dumoulin loses time

I didn't think it was going to happen.

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

Third when the Tour last visited the climb dubbed "The Breton Alpe d'Huez" in 2015, UAE Team Emirates rider Martin made his move early, dancing clear of the field ahead of the kilometre-to-go banner before holding off a strong challenge from Frenchman Pierre Latour (Ag2R-La Mondiale) to claim only the second Tour stage win of his career and the first since 2013.

"It was nice to relax because over this first week we have had very little chance to do that, believe me", said the BMC man. "I was picking wheels and seemed to be a good position", the Manxman said.

"This win was fantastic for my self confidence, I feel under less pressure now, a sprinter needs confidence". I was quite excited and when I kicked my power was pretty good actually, but it wasn't enough.

"It was quite long - 230k".

Mûr-de-Bretagne: Australian Tour de France hope Richie Porte had pencilled in Thursday's finishing climb of stage six, the Mûr de Bretagne, as a "good showdown" for overall contenders like himself.

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

After a few early attacks failed, Yoann Offredo launched a solo effort 35 kilometers in.

Three-time world champion Peter Sagan warned his sprint rivals there was more to come after he powered to victory on stage five of the Tour de France.

The pack leaves Fougeres, rear, during the seventh stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 231 kilometers (143.5 miles) with start in Fougeres and finish in Chartres, France, France, Friday, July 13, 2018.

Laurent Pichon, another French rider with Fortuneo-Samsic, then also got away alone for a spell.

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.

Primoz Roglic was caught out behind echelons but managed to re-join and then finish in the Top 10 of the stage, suggesting he has the legs he's shown all season ahead of Sunday's crucial test on the cobbles. But, in the end, it came down to a bunch sprint as expected.

Van Avermaet, a BMC support rider for Porte, kept the yellow jersey for a third straight day.

This was the first summit finish of this Tour.

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