Martin wins Stage 6 of Tour de France, Van Avermaet keeps lead

Mark Cavendish

The Team UAE Emirates rider jumped away from the main pack inside the final kilometre and never looked back, beating France's Pierre Latour by one second and Spain's Alejandro Valverde by three.

Having been boxed in the last time the Tour finished on the Mur three years ago, the punchy climber made no mistake this time when jumping off the front of the peloton with 1,200m to go and opening a gap on the highest point of the climb.

Porte sits in 11th spot on the general classification 53 seconds behind his teammate, Belgian Greg van Avermaet, who is clinging on to the yellow jersey, three seconds ahead of Team Sky's Thomas.

Tom Dumoulin, victor of the 2017 Giro D'Italia, suffered badly following a mechanical issue with only 5km to go, dropping 40 seconds on the leaders.

"My first thoughts are that I hope my wife hasn't gone into labour", smiled Martin as he caught his breath.

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However, the commissaries retrospectively handed Dumoulin his 20 second time penalty pushing him further down the standings.

It was in 2011 when the Tour first finished a stage on the steep, two-kilometre climb to Mur-de-Bretagne.

"I saw the moment".

Thirteenth in the stage one sprint, 23rd in the stage two sprint, second in the team time trial on stage three, 30th in the stage four sprint, and now 12th and ninth on the two lumpiest days yet. "Unfortunately I couldn't get a podium there, as I'd have had enough seconds to get the jersey".

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.

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

Joining Porte in those time gains was Irish stage victor Daniel Martin (UAE), Spaniards Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Mikel Landa (Movistar), Briton Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Welshman Geraint Thomas (Sky), Colombian Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), and Dane Jacob Fuglsang (Astana). "I was second there before and I feel like I should have won that day perhaps".

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.

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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