Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Sport | By

Dutchman takes Tour stage - Martin in the bunch

Dutchman takes Tour stage - Martin in the bunch

Martin, whose other career Tour stage win came in Bagneres-de-Bigorre in 2013, had finished second on this climb when it featured in the 2015 Tour and timed his attack to perfection, launching off the wheel after the Australian had made his own move and riding clear.

Though the stage was billed as one that could change the yellow jersey holder, it is Van Avermaet who remains in the overall lead, having finished 12th, three seconds behind Martin.

"I had started wondering myself, thinking "shit, am I good enough", so this win feels really good after six days waiting".

The French rider with the Wanty-Groupe Gobert team established an advantage of more than eight minutes _ the biggest breakaway lead in this year's Tour _ before being caught by the pack with 90 kilometres to go.

"The first time up the climb, I saw everyone was at the limit".

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. "The legs are good now and I am very happy with this win".

Martin now lies in 21st position in the general classification ahead of today's stage - the longest of this year's Tour, with a total of 231km for the riders to cover.

"It was a boring stage, no wind, no stress just boring, I was talking to everybody", he said.

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

This wasn't as bad as Tom Dumoulin however, who had a puncture with 5 kilometres to go and ended up losing 50 seconds, ceding the time that' he'd gained over the rest of the favourites - and he had a 20-second penalty for pacing too.

The peloton set off amid good racing conditions for the longest stage on the race, with a finish line opposite the 800-year-old cathedral of Chartres, a UNESCO world heritage site.

Belgian Greg Van Avermaet retained the leader's yellow jersey ahead of Saturday's eighth stage and said he hope to go to the mountains with it next week after what he described as a relaxing day. "Also, if those cycling journalists talked about some really choppy riders rather than me, trying to get clicks, then we'd see who they really are".

The slightly-built Bardet's AG2R team will have to race 17 stages of the 2018 Tour a man down after an over-curious roadside fan stepped into the path of the onrushing peloton to take a photo.

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