Tour de France: Tom Dumoulin gets 20 second time penalty for drafting

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Ireland's Dan Martin attacked to claim stage victory on the steep finish to Mûr-de-Bretagne in the sixth stage of the 2018 Tour de France.

However, Groenewegen - who won the final stage on the Champs Élysées a year ago - seemed fresher and more powerful and beat all of his rivals by a sizeable margin.

"I hit the back wheel of Bardet when there was the movement in the peloton and I couldn't avoid it", the Dutch rider said.

"I was following quite good wheels but it was choppy".

'I just keep trying, our backs are against the wall all the time here.

Thomas picked up two bonus seconds during the stage, and left Froome in his wake on the final climb as he rode away from the reigning champion with a group of the other favourites.

After a somewhat inauspicious start to the season with his new UAE Emirates team, Martin showed a timely return to form last month when he won a stage and finished fourth overall at the week-long Criterium du Dauphine, the final pre-Tour tune-up for most of the pre-race favourites.

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Tom Dumoulin, victor of the 2017 Giro D'Italia, suffered badly following a mechanical issue with only 5km to go, dropping 40 seconds on the leaders.

Watch the stage 7 highlight video from the Tour de France above.

Great French hope Romain Bardet (Ag2r) and last year's Giro d'Italia victor Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) were the biggest losers among the overall favourites, losing 31 seconds and 53 seconds respectively.

"I could see Latour coming". "I knew if I could get a gap it would be hard to close from behind".

The general classification contenders all crossed the line safely in the main group, but BMC's Greg Van Avermaet doubled his slender advantage in yellow to six seconds by winning the bonus sprint 31km from home.

The Welshman has been given free reign by Team Sky in the first week to race with Froome for the yellow jersey, although will be expected to revert to the role of super-domestique after the first rest day after stage nine. Van Avermaet said. "But everyone kind of enjoyed it - the first day we could really relax".

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 midway through the stage during a straightaway that was exposed to crosswinds.

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