Dan Martin saved by team after falling long way back on Tour stage 5

Posted on: July 10th, 2019
Dan Martin had a mechanical and then he fell a long way behind the bunch as the pace was just cranking up. However, his team pulled the brakes, waited for him and got him back on

Dan Martin and his team passed a nervous test towards the end of today’s stage 5 on the Tour de France when the Irishman suffered a mechanical.

While normally not an overly nervous moment for a rider a long way from the finish, the problem today – gears that stopped working – took a long time to recover from.

Martin was left waiting by the roadside for a service for a long period before getting a spare bike and getting underway again.

And while his team mates waited for him and they all regained contact, they were well over one minute down at one point just after the race had entered the last 50km.

The riders still had two climbs to go at that point; the 4.9km Côte des Trois-Epis and the 4.6km Côte des Cinq Chateaux.

The early breakaway was also still being hunted down when Martin’s gears gave up and forced him to stop for a bike change.

And with some of the teams keen to jettison the pure sprinters on the final climbs, Martin and his UAE Team Emirates men had a hard chase back.

Simon Clarke leads what was a very strong breakaway
The race leader looking sharp and relaxed in yellow
Team Sunweb pull on the front after the breakaway in a bid to set up Matthews

The pace was increasing at the time and though Martin lost no time, it was unwanted drama – not to mention dipping a little into his reserves – ahead of a big stage tomorrow.

However, on the upside the team really swung into action in support of him; something that hopefully bodes well for the racing to come.

The stage – some 175.5km from Saint-Dié-des-Vosges to Colmar – was won by Peter Sagan of Bora-hansgrohe in a bunch sprint.

Nicolas Roche’s Team Sunweb did a lot of riding for Michael Matthews today; trying to bring back the breakaway and then set him up for a shot at stage victory.

However, in the final sprint to the line Matthews got squeezed and had to be content with 7th; scant reward for his team’s efforts.

Martin and Roche finished in the bunch today on the same time as winner Sagan; in 66th and 77th positions respectively.

It was all about Peter Sagan at the first; a superstar in green and back on top

The early breakaway today was a strong one, featuring yesterday’s attacker and king of the mountains Tim Wellens of Lotto-Soudal.

He got clear with Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin), Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) and Simon Clarke (EF Education First).

However, they were caught and while Dan Martin’s team mate Rui Costa put in a strong lone attack with just under 8km to go, he too was overhauled.

Sagan then won the stage from Wout Van Aert (Jumbo Visma) and Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton Scott).

There was no change in the overall with Deceuninck-QuickStep’s yellow jersey wearer Julian Alaphilippe finishing 10th on the stage.

He was in the bunch on the same time as Sagan and never looked troubled during his second day in yellow.

Going into what could be a decisive stage tomorrow, the French rider enjoys a lead of 14 seconds of Wout van Aert of Jumbo Visa.

In 3rd place, and some 25 seconds off yellow, is another of the Jumbo-Visma men, Steven Kruijswijk; who may take the race lead tomorrow.