Ireland's Dan Martin has won stage six of the Tour de France to Mur de Bretagne.

UAE Team Emirates' Martin attacked with 1.2 kilometres left of the 181km stage from Brest, which finished with two ascents of the 'Alpe d'Huez of Brittany' separated by a rolling 19km circuit to claim a third grand tour stage victory in the race following successes in the Tour 2013 and the Vuelta in 2011.

Martin held off a late push from AG2R La Mondiale's Pierre Latour to cross the line alone, just ahead of the pack as the general classification hopefuls scrapped for seconds.

Martin began the day one minute and 40 seconds down on Greg van Avermaet in the yellow jersey, but picked up 13 seconds to move up to 21st overall in the general classification.

The 31-year-old  finished sixth in yesterday’s sprint finish, and said it stood to him on today’s challenging stage.

"I felt really good yesterday and that was a really good sign for today. I felt comfortable," he said.

"It's great to get a win after so many second places since the last one," Martin said.

"I was afraid of the crosswinds and maybe it was adrenaline but the legs were there and it all worked out.

"There were a lot of contenders in that group so I was glad to hang on."

There was a slight split in the peloton behind, with Mitchelton-Scott's Adam Yates part of a group that picked up a couple of seconds on the main pack, which contained Team Sky's Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas, Movistar's Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa, and BMC's Richie Porte.

But there were losses further back, with AG2R La Mondiale's Romain Bardet hit by problems on the short two-kilometre climb and Team Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin also distanced after suffering a mechanical problem with six kilometres left.

At the end of the stage, BMC's Greg Van Avermaet retained the yellow jersey, with Team Sky's Geraint Thomas moving up to second, three seconds back.