Tour de France stage 6 -- Dan Martin sprints to win

Cycling – Tour de France 2012 – Stage 20 – Rambouillet – Paris

Martin is now 21st overall, one minute and 30 seconds off the lead which is still held by Belgium's Greg Van Avermaet.

"I talked to everyone", Sagan said when asked how he passed the time after finishing third in the mass sprint which, with its uphill finish, suited him.

The only exception is the man they call "G", who sits three seconds off Van Avermaet in yellow and, as the victor of the traditional pre-Tour warm-up race the Criterium du Dauphine, has every right to be considered a serious contender himself.

"I'd like to thank Greg (Van Avermaet) because he did me a favour when he went for it, I don't know if he did it on objective but he dropped a lot of people", said Sagan, who has tightened his grip on the points classification's green jersey.

Yesterday's Stage - A lung busting ascent of the Mûr-de-Bretagne was preceded by a frantic chase for position towards it, and Dan Martin took the honour on the day, sustained an incredible burst for over a kilometre and just holding off Pierre LaTour to take a huge stage win on many levels given that he was second here in 2015 when coming late.

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

"I tried to win the stage but it was pretty complicated", Van Avermaet said. "I had no legs to beat the first two guys". "Third is okay, if I win what do I get except an extra point or two?"

"Gilbert attacked a bit early, trying to drop everybody".

Thai Boys in High Spirits Following Cave Rescue
He's got a very bouncy Australian accent and they [the rescued boys] seemed to find that quite relaxing and reassuring. Thank you so much to everyone that has been praying for us and the boys and helping us; thank you".

Dutchman Groenewegen showed impressive power to burst clear of Quick-Step Floors' Fernando Gaviria and world champion Peter Sagan of Bora-Hansgrohe at the top of a gradual climb to the finish of the 231-kilometre stage from Fougeres.

Riders twice went up the Mur de Bretagne, or "Wall of Brittany", which the local cycling-crazed Bretons affectionately refer to as their smaller version of the famous Alpe d'Huez.

Laurent Pichon, another French rider with Fortuneo-Samsic, then also got away alone for a spell.

Sunday's key stage over the cobbled roads of the "Hell of the North", used in the spring classic Paris-Roubaix, is now looming on the horizon, and most teams are focusing on the sporting and logistical demands of racing on roads that are sure to create drama.

It's set up for a sprint, but watch out as there's a kick at the end - the finale is a 600 metres kick-up at 4% before the last 200 metres flatten out.

The stage, the longest of this year's Tour, was ridden at such a serene pace at times it might have been mistaken for the first rest day.

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.

This was the first summit finish of this Tour.

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