Unbelievable scenes as Ireland's Dan Martin wins Tour de France stage

Mark Cavendish

Dumoulin and his Sunweb team compounded the mechanical mishap by getting a 20-second penalty when Dumoulin stayed too close to the team vehicle while trying to catch the pack, thereby benefiting from its draft that pulled him along.

It was Martin's second Tour stage win after his first in 2013.

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.

This means that after six stages Dumoulin is now 1 minute 23 seconds behind current race leader Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing).

Martin broke away at the midway point of the straight two-kilometer ascent of the Mur de Bretagne, winning the 181-kilometer (112-mile) leg that started in the western port city of Brest in over four hours. He entered the stage seventh overall and finished it 15th and one second behind Froome. He was one of eight top Tour contenders to gain some handy time that may prove vital come the Tour finish in Paris on July 29.

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"I felt really good yesterday and that was a really good sign for today. I don't know what happened - maybe adrenaline - but I wasn't going to let anyone beat me".

The likes of Vincenzo Nibali, Richie Porte, Geraint Thomas, Nairo Quintana, Mikel Landa and even Peter Sagan were part of the group - although defending champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) found himself on the other side of a slight split to concede five seconds to many of his GC rivals, while Colombian Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac) was a further three seconds in arrears. Bardet, who suffered a broken wheel, was forced to swap bikes with a teammate and lost over half a minute to the stage victor Martin.

A breakaway group of five riders - Laurent Pichon (Fortuneo-Samsic), Anthony Turgis (Cofidis), Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Damien Gaudin and Fabien Grellier (both Direct Energie) - hit the front from the off and built a gap of nearly seven minutes before it stabalised. After the relatively flat first nine days, the race will head south and into the Alps and then the Pyrenees Mountains.

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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