"I'll try my best to win but you saw all that today".
Martin counterattacked when Richie Porte jumped ahead and nobody immediately tried to reel him in.
"There's no reason I can't look at it [the Mûr de Bretagne], even though I'm contending for GC [the general classification]", Martin said earlier this week.
"It was a brutal stage, just brutal", Froome said. The four-time Tour victor, aiming for a fourth successive Grand Tour victory, went straight on at a bend entering the eighth cobbled sector but recovered to finish in the main group.
"They perfectly led me out".
The first 179 km of the stage were boring with none of the favorites daring to make a move, even when the peloton went up the final hill a first time with 16 km to go.
In a quiet stage, separate solo breaks from Yoann Offredo and Laurent Pichon - as well as a brief split in the peloton amid high winds - had all come to nothing by the time 23 miles remained, when the latter was caught by the bunch. I think I went too early in the sprint.
But in 2016 the 29-year-old German came close to losing a finger amid a litany of injuries suffered when a vehicle driving down the wrong side of the road wiped out him and several team-mates during a training ride in Calpe, Spain.
"I had a good day", said the Slovak, who has, like Gaviria, two stage wins so far.
Belgium's Greg van Avermaet, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, rides in the pack during the seventh stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 231 kilometers (143.5 miles) with start in Fougeres and finish in Chartres, France, France, Friday, July 13, 2018.
"I was really relaxed all day - not over-confident, but looking forward to having a crack, looking forward to racing hard on the last climb".
But the peloton slowed and hostilities began with a "faux plat" incline to the final 150m, with Sagan's Bora, Gaviria's Quick-Step and the winner's Lotto outfit prominent into the final stretch.