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Stybar Steals Stage in Le Havre; Martin Down, Maybe Out

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Zdenek Stybar of Etixx-Quick Step stole away from the peloton on the final short climb to the finish in Le Havre to win stage 6 of the Tour de France, but behind him was an unfolding drama that will make this in fact a dark day for the team. Overall leader Tony Martin was involved in a crash on the climb that sent him down onto his shoulder, and while Martin finished and will retain the yellow jersey by rule regarding crashes inside the final 3km, the scene strongly suggested that the race leader was injured and is unlikely to carry on tomorrow.

Martin was climbing along the left-hand barriers when he suddenly veered to the right, going straight down and taking several riders with him, including Astana's Vincenzo Nibali, and delaying several of the overall favorites. It was a low-speed affair, relatively non-violent, but road surfaces are hard, and Martin hit squarely on his shoulder. Martin will undergo a medical exam to determine if he can continue tomorrow.

Tony Martin Injured

Photo by Bryn Lennon, Getty Images Sport

As for the stage, it was always expected to be a sprint from a reduced group of riders who could make it over the climb.The BMC, Giant and Etixx-Quick Step were the most aggressive teams entering the climb, with the Maillot Jaune himself working for his squad before his calamity, and ultimately it paid off. With eyes on Peter Sagan of Tinkoff-Saxo, Stybar accelerated away on the climb and the former cyclocross world champion went into time trial mode to hold his gap on the final flat 400 meters. It was, or would have been, a dramatic win for the Czech, riding in his first Tour de France, and making the most of it. Sagan led the rest of the front group home two seconds later, just ahead of Bryan Coquard, putting him closer to, but not quite into, the green jersey. André Greipel still holds the lead by three points.

The race was animated somewhat by the breakaway of Perrig Quémeneur (Europcar), Kenneth Van Bilsen (Cofidis), and Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka), which became an historic event when Teklehaimanot hoovered up the KOM points and became the first African (and Eritrean) to hold the Tour de France's polka dot jersey. This comes after Teklehaimanot won the final KOM classification at the Critérium du Dauphiné. As far as their stage dreams were concerned, reality began closing in on the escapees with 18km to go, and the trio rarely had much more than a minute in hand, so Van Bilsen made a solo attack at the 12km mark, which ended about how you'd expect... with the Most Aggressive Rider prize going to his break-mate Quémeneur.

Chris Froome of Sky stands to inherit the maillot jaune if Martin cannot continue. On the podium Martin was unable to put on a new yellow, further indication that his injury is serious.


  1. Zdenek Stybar, EQS
  2. Peter Sagan, Tinkoff-Saxo, at 0.02
  3. Bryan Coquard, Europcar, s.t.
  4. John Degenkolb, Giant-Alpecin, s.t.
  5. Greg Van Avermaet, BMC, s.t.
  6. Tony Gallopin, Lotto-Soudal, s.t.
  7. Edvald Boasson Hagen, MTN-Qhubeka, s.t.
  8. Davide Cimolai, Lampre, s.t.
  9. Julian Simon, Cofidis, s.t.
  10. Gorka Izagirre, Movistar, s.t.
No change on GC.

  1. André Greipel, Lotto-Soudal, 161 points
  2. Sagan, 158
  3. Degenkolb, 120