Dan Martin went on the attack on the Col du Galibier on today’s seventeenth stage of the Tour de France and despite being reeled back in and distanced on the descent, moved up one place on GC to sixth.
The Irishman surged clear seven kilometres from the top of the Galibier and managed to put pressure on the yellow jersey group, which got stretched out and thinned down. He was caught with around five kilometres to go to the summit, but continued to push a hard tempo at the front of the group sensing that some of his opponents weren’t having the best of times on the 7% gradients of the HC climb.
Martin’s efforts paid off when Simon Yates (Orica-Scott), sixth in the overall standings, got dropped long before the top and lost more than a minute by the end of the day.
On the long descent to Serre Chevalier, five riders – Chris Froome and Mikel Landa (Team Sky), Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac) and Warren Barguil (Team Sunweb) – got a gap and fought for the remaining places on the podium behind solo winner Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo).
Martin led home the chasing group half a minute later and concluded the stage in seventh place, for another strong top-10 finish at this edition, after a day that delivered over 4000 metres of vertical gain.
“I attacked because I wanted to test my rivals,” said Martin. “I didn’t go too deep, but this doesn’t mean I wasn’t tired. Actually, everybody’s tired 17 days into the race, so this is turning more into a mental battle. I’m glad we left this stage behind and I got to jump one place in the GC.”
He went on to explain how he was distanced from the yellow jersey group on the descent of the Galibier.
“Contador was in front of me and missed a corner, leaving a gap to the others, so that was that,” he explained. “It’s already in the past and now my focus is on the Col d’Izoard, tomorrow. The war of attrition will continue there and Disco Dan is ready to dance!”