Tour de France: Dan Martin vows to try again for stage win if legs have recovered
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tour de France: Dan Martin vows to try again for stage win if legs have recovered

by Shane Stokes at 6:35 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Irishman went into red with aggressive racing on Tourmalet

Dan MartinOne of the strongest riders on the Tourmalet yesterday but arguably putting in too much oomph there and putting himself into the red zone, Daniel Martin will try for a Tour stage win again today if his body is up to the task.

“The plan today is to see how I feel when the stage starts and take it from there,” he told VeloNation. “You never really know until that point, but the fact that my legs were still feeling good after the stage was encouraging. I didn’t feel too destroyed, unlike how I felt after the stage to La Toussuire.”

The Garmin-Sharp rider was aggressive from the off yesterday, making it into the day’s big break and then riding solidly on the Aubisque to help build an advantage.

He was more active on the Tourmalet, ramping up the pace and shattering the break. Laurens ten Dam (Rabobank) and mountains leader Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) joined him but didn’t do much pacemaking; the trio were then joined by Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Brice Feillu (Saur Sojasun), who went clear with Martin closer to the summit.

The Irishman continued to push the pace, but his engine started to stutter in the final kilometres of the climb. He was unable to hold the other two riders and went over the top just over a minute back, then was passed by several others between there and the line. He placed seventh on the stage.

“Perhaps I got a bit excited on the Tourmalet, but I was feeling really good at the time and I have no regrets about pushing hard,” he said. “I was super confident in how I was feeling, maybe a bit over confident. I wanted to see who was strong on the day, who to follow.

“I didn’t bank on the two French guys attacking so hard. I really killed myself to try to stay with them as I knew that was the stage win disappearing if I didn’t do that. I think I paid for that effort later.”

Martin is riding his first Tour and while he picked up a stage win in last year’s Vuelta a España, he admits that he’s still learning. The 25 year old went into the race with the aim of taking a stage, and is sticking to that goal, even if time is running out.

His chances today will depend in part on his recovery. “If the legs are strong after the flag drops, I’ll aim to get in the breakaway again,” he vowed. “Looking at how the Tour has played out thus far, I think the only way to take the stage win will be to be in the break. We have got a category one climb after 17 or 18 kilometres tomorrow, so things could all happen there.”

One thing which could help Martin is the fact that he was sick earlier in the race, and deliberate saved as much energy as possible by sitting up on certain stages. That was done to help his body recover from the illness, but has the added effect of potentially giving him more reserves than the other riders who have been racing hard each day.


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