Dan Martin third on Criterium du Dauphine stage six

Ireland's Dan Martin resisted a late challenge from Sky's Welsh all-rounder Geraint Thomas to clinch his first win in 16 months on FridayMore

Ireland's Dan Martin resisted a late challenge from Welsh all-rounder Geraint Thomas to clinch his first win in 16 months after a thrilling summit duel at the Criterium de Dauphine on Friday. Thomas was clearly the strongest rider in the field, moving up into the top five after Sky won the team time trial, and then remaining consistent in the mountains.

Thomas extended his lead at the Criterium du Dauphine after finishing second behind stage six victor Pello Bilbao, but Martin put in another fine showing with one day of racing to come.

Welshman Thomas accused AG2R La Mondiale of lacking decorum after he suffered a puncture on the descent of the Col des Saisies with around 40km left of the closing stage, won by fellow Brit Adam Yates of Mitchelton-Scott.

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"Without the boys here I would not have won the Dauphine".

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"I was always thinking of the next stage, the next climb and it's an unbelievable feeling [to win] and I think it will really start to sink in tonight".

"I'm just going to enjoy this win now, rest up and recover and look forward to July".

It came on a 110 kilometres stage from Frontenex which is nearly a carbon copy of this year's Tour de France stage 11. I get to ride the races I want and I am a leader in majority.

"It was a hard stage, especially back to back with yesterday's, which was hard too". Geraint Thomas (GBR) Team Sky 24:43:12 2. "Romain Bardet was trying to overtake me in the GC but every time I responded".

The 32-year-old Thomas registered his first win at the Dauphine, probably the greatest success of his professional career, topping even his Paris-Nice victory in 2016.

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