Martin crashes out of Tour, Froome takes the lead
By Julien Pretot
LE HAVRE, France (Reuters) - Tour de France leader Tony Martin abandoned the race on Thursday after breaking his collarbone in a sixth stage crash that also sent 2014 winner Vincenzo Nibali and others tumbling in the final 500 meters.
"He abandons," an Etixx-Quick Step spokesman said of the German.
Briton Chris Froome, Team Sky's 2013 Tour winner, will take over as race leader going into Friday's seventh stage, a 190.5 km ride from Livarot to Fougeres.
He leads American Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) by 13 seconds.
After a few days of crashes and nervous racing the peloton took it relatively easy on the Normandy coastline until the last kilometer when Martin lost his balance and several leading contenders followed him down.
Among the casualties were Italian Nibali, Colombian Nairo Quintana and van Garderen as Martin's team mate, Zdenek Stybar of the Czech Republic, sprinted to victory in the 191.5-km leg from Abbeville to Le Havre.
Nibali had bruises on his knee while Quintana had blood on his arm.
Quintana's Movistar team mate Alejandro Valverde also crashed earlier in the stage, hurting his leg and buttocks. Both will continue the race, the team said. Continued...