Another aggressive ride from Dan Martin

Irish rider unable to make attacks stick as he tried to make his mark

 Dan Martin of Ireland and QuickStep Floors climbs the Col d’Izoard on stage eighteen of the 2017 Tour de France. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Dan Martin of Ireland and QuickStep Floors climbs the Col d’Izoard on stage eighteen of the 2017 Tour de France. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

 

Dan Martin was once again one of the most aggressive riders on a mountain stage of the Tour de France, firing off several attacks on the final climb of the Col d’Izoard and animating the race. It was the final day in the mountains and Martin was determined to make his mark. His surges gapped stage five winner Fabio Aru, who at one point was second overall in the race but finally slipped to fifth.

“I tried today. Everybody is tired at this point, so it is hard for anyone to do any big attacks,” he said. “It was just a case of seeing if there was any poker face [bluffing] going on amongst the top four overall but in the end there wasn’t.

“I think the podium is decided now. I think the top three guys are pretty set now. The final time trial might affect that a little bit. But it’s only 22 kilometres and you saw in Dusseldorf that everybody is so close.”

Martin’s attacks were ultimately reeled in and he finished eighth on the stage, 39 seconds behind the winner Warren Barguil (Team Sunweb) and 19 seconds behind race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky) and the rider in second overall, Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale).

He remains sixth overall. He has increased the gap over the rider behind him, likely safeguarding his position in the general classification. He will start Friday’s stage two minutes 56 seconds behind Froome.

First cousin Nicolas Roche finished 33rd on the stage and is now 32nd.

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