Sagan wins 5th stage to consolidate points lead

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

Martin finished runner-up at Mur de Bretagne in a Tour stage three years ago.

While his team once again showed cracks when finishing 15th of 22 squads in the stage three team time trial in Cholet last Monday, Martin's victory yesterday sees him move into 21st place overall, a minute and 27 seconds behind current race leader Greg Van Avermaet of BMC.

"I came to this team to be the leader, and the pressure at the beginning of being the leader is why I didn't do so well in Spring", said Martin afterwards, "But there's a great feeling in the bus now, laughing and joking and this win is for them, they really looked after me".

Groenewegen grew up in a cycling environment as his grandfather was a bike manufacturer and his boyhood coach was Jean-Paul van Poppel, victor of nine sprint finishes at the Tour de France.

"But when I went to go, Quick-Step and Bora have just got a different kind of level of top speed".

"I was afraid of the crosswinds and maybe it was adrenalin but the legs were there and it all worked out".

"Boring stage", said Sagan, the three-time reigning world champion. "I thought the corner was closer to the finish than it really was". "I'll try my best to win but you saw all that today".

Martin was one of several team leaders along with former Tour victor Vincenzo Nibali and two-time runner-up Nairo Quintana who were caught off-guard by an attack by Quick-Step 100 kilometers into the stage during a straightaway that was exposed to crosswinds. "I knew if I could get a gap it would be hard to close from behind".

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

Defending champion Chris Froome crossed eight seconds after Martin in 18th.

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

Bardet would lose 31 seconds on the stage in a blow to the Frenchman's general classification hopes, while 2017 Giro d'Italia victor Dumoulin lost 53 seconds.

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.

"He was in effect Romain's bodyguard, the one who would ride beside him and had been due to do so over the first nine stages", said Jurdie, who has been with the team for 12 years.

"I tried to win the stage but it was pretty complicated", Van Avermaet said.

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