Sat, Jul 14, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Dumoulin and Bardet lose time due to collision


The peloton crosses a bridge in the sixth stage of the Tour de France between Brest and Mur-de-Bretagne Guerledan, France, on Thursday.

Photo: EPA

Sometimes in cycling the bike can be the rider’s biggest enemy.

Tour de France contenders Tom Dumoulin and Romain Bardet on Thursday both lost significant time in the general classification after spokes on their wheels snapped near the uphill end of stage 6.

Both title hopefuls were left behind by the rest of the top riders as they increased the pace hunting for the win that finally went to Daniel Martin of Ireland.

Dumoulin said his bike broke when he knocked into Bardet near the foot of the second of two 2km ascents up the Mur-de-Bretagne to the finish line.

“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 needed to change wheel and chase to the finish as hard as possible, but it was very difficult.”

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

“I knew I wouldn’t make it back, so it was about limiting the time loss,” Dumoulin said. “I’m disappointed of course, I would have liked to be in a better position on [general classification], but that’s how it is.”

Dumoulin and AG2R La Mondiale’s Bardet entered the three-week race among the chosen few riders considered strong enough to challenge four-time champion Chris Froome.

Dumoulin, the time trial world champion and last year’s Giro d’Italia winner, started the stage 44 seconds ahead of Froome, but finished just behind him.

Froome trails race leader Greg van Avermaet by 1 minute, 2 seconds. Dumoulin is one more second behind.

Bardet was already trailing Froome and after losing 28 seconds is now 1:45 off the leader’s pace after he broke his back wheel and had to change bikes with teammate Tony Gallopin.

“Then I had to chase and that effort was fatal. It’s never good to lose time,” said Bardet, who has finished on the podium in the past two Tours. “There are a lot of twists on the Tour and this time luck was not on our side.”

Martin took the win for UAE Team Emirates after he broke away on the final kilometer, winning the 181km stage that started in the western port city of Brest in just over four hours.

Martin counterattacked when Richie Porte jumped ahead and nobody immediately tried to reel him in.

“I saw the moment. I had really good legs, and when I went my legs kept coming and coming,” Martin said. “I knew if I could get a gap it would be difficult to close from behind.”

AG2R’s Pierre Latour crossed the line second followed by Alejandro Valverde of Movistar Team.

Van Avermaet, a BMC Racing Team support rider for Porte, kept the maillot jaune for a third straight day.

Froome’s teammate Geraint Thomas moved into second place overall at three seconds behind Van Avermaet.

Martin was one of several team leaders along with former Tour winner Vincenzo Nibali of Bahrain-Merida and two-time runner-up Nairo Quintana of Movistar who were caught off-guard by an attack by Quick-Step Floors midway through the stage on a road exposed to crosswinds.

A group of about 40 riders, including Froome, opened up a gap of more than a minute, but Martin and the rest hustled back.

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