Dubai, UAE, July 12, 2018: Today UAE Team Emirates took on a race of two halves as they tackled Stage five of the Tour – a 204.5km course from Lorient to Quimper that began as a pan flat coastal course, before heading inland towards a series of short and tough climbs on highly technical Breton roads, which suited Dan Martin's style of riding.
Once again, the team worked well within the peloton, protecting Martin and avoiding a number of crashes along the route. As the race unfolded the terrain began to favour the figure of Dan Martin who came to the front of the pack and – in the last few kilometres – started to up his tempo, going toe-to-toe with the Tour's fast men. The final run in took the riders into an uphill sprint which Martin contested well, narrowly missing out on fifth place. The stage was won by Peter Sagan (BORA hansgrohe).
The team's sprinter Alexander Kristoff also held his position well in the early part of the race and, as the pack neared the Roudouallec intermediate sprint at the 92.5km mark, he pressed forward to cross the line 10th and take an addition 6 bonus points, which keeps him in third position in the green jersey standings.
Commenting on today's result, Martin said: “I had a good feeling all day and in the last kilometre I thought I might have a chance, but the legs just weren't there for a big sprint because I've been training for the mountains. That said, I was really happy to be in the front with those guys and when we slowed down with 400m to go I considered jumping, but because of the corners it would have been impossible to get ahead. The team did a great job of protecting me all day which meant I've saved a lot of energy and will be fresher as the week goes on. Overall I am happy to get this result under my belt in the Tour and it's a nice little opener for tomorrow.“
Stage 6 will be another hilly day in the saddle, as the team rides 181km from Brest to a summit finish at Mur de Bretagne. Along the way they will face three additional categorized climbs including Mur de Bretagne which they pass over once, less than 16km before returning to power up it towards the finishing line. Just like yesterday's stage, the final run in will suit the punchy riders who can both climb and contest a sprint in the last few hundred meters.
Stage Five Results
1. Peter Sagan (Slo) – BORA – hansgrohe 4:48:06
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) – Bahrain Merida “
3. Phillipe Gilbert (Bel) – Quick-Step Floors “
6. Dan Martin (Ire) – UAE Team Emirates “
General Classification Standings
1. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) – BMC Racing Team 18:22:00
2. Teejay Van Garderen (USA) – BMC Racing Team +0:02
3. Phillipe Gilbert (Bel) – Quick-Step Floors +0:03
24. Dan Martin (Ire) – UAE Team Emirates +1:40