Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

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

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

But it was boring. "I'm happy that I could take those three extra seconds in the bonus sprint", he continued.

"I knew I wouldn't make it back so it was about limiting the time loss", Dumoulin said.

"I positioned myself in Kristoff's wheel and with two hundred metres to go I thought: this is the moment".

Halfway through the stage, the AG2R-La Mondiale, Trek and Movistar teams accelerated in crosswinds and caused splits in the peloton, with Irishman Dan Martin, one of the overall contenders, trapped behind.

Greg Van Avermaet held on to the yellow jersey he grabbed on stage three and doubled his lead over Geraint Thomas to six seconds by winning an intermediate bonus sprint.

Gaviria and Sagan have each won two stages in this year's Tour and were marking each other when Groenewegen surprised both and surged ahead on the final straight.

Five years after his first stage win and the last Irish victory on the Tour, at Bagneres-du-Bigorres in the Pyrenees, Martin took glory on the shorter but equally steep slopes of the aptly named Mur de Bretagne, or "Wall of Brittany".

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

"I had a good day", said the Slovak, who has, like Gaviria, two stage wins so far. '"With 200 metres to go I saw the gap and I was going to the finish line".

2nd suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion's murder
The investigation continues, say police, who are offering a reward of up to $3,000 for tips that lead to an arrest in the case. Boatright was picked up by police on an unrelated drug charge last week, and was charged with first degree murder on Tuesday.

After crossing the line, Groenewegen placed his finger to his lips in a gesture of silence.

"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.

The Dutch cyclist, who rides for Team Lotto NL-Jumbo, clocked almost six hours over the 231-kilometer (143.5-mile) trek from Fougeres, home to the best-preserved and largest medieval fortress in Europe, to Chartres, site of a vast cathedral known for its stained-glass windows. "You can ask the question, is this really necessary in a Grand Tour?"

Greg Van Avermaet retains the yellow jersey and remains first in the general classification for the fourth consecutive stage.

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

Another Frenchman, Laurent Pichon, then tried his luck alone too, but the pace was controlled by the sprinters' teams, and the Fortuneo-Samsic rider was reined in about 40km from the finish.

This year the stage will be expected to finish in another bunch sprint, but the potential for strong winds to form could further impact the general classification if teams are not switched on.

But with Sunday's "Roubaix stage" to tackle first, BMC won't be the only team hoping for another quiet day on Saturday's eighth stage between Dreux and Amiens.

Like this: