Dan Martin video interview: Next target Tour de France, but I won’t make predictions
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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dan Martin video interview: Next target Tour de France, but I won’t make predictions

by Shane Stokes at 12:45 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Tour de France, Liège-Bastogne-Liège , Video
Irishman takes ‘wait and see approach’ after Liège success, admits his confidence is growing

Dan MartinSuccessful this year in the Volta a Catalunya and in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Dan Martin is looking towards his second Tour de France with increasing confidence and relishes the chance of seeing what he can do in the event.

The Garmin-Sharp rider is making continuous progression as he ages. Now 26 years of age, he has proved he can take on and beat the biggest riders in world cycling, and he hopes to further advance his career in July.

However he won’t make any big predictions about the Tour, even if he is starting to believe that he could become a Grand Tour contender.

“I am not going to set any ambitions. It is still only my second participation and we have got an incredibly strong team with a lot of cards to play,” he told VeloNation in a long video interview conducted in recent days. “Obviously whoever is strongest during the three weeks will have all our efforts put into them, as the boys have done for me in Catalunya and Liège.”

Martin has long had a laid back approach in terms of taking on pressure, although he is also extremely focussed when he has an objective. He wants to continue that philosophy. “I am just enjoying my racing. I don’t really feel a pressure in that way because as long as I am content with my performance and the fact that I have done my best, all the supporters will be happy with that,” he said, explaining how he rationalizes away the weight of expectation.

“I think that is what is so special about the Irish people as well; we really support somebody who gives their all, and you can be sure that I will be giving my all in every race I do. Whether that is win, place 100th or not even finishing, I am fully committed and I will do my best.”

However despite that, he admits that he has more self belief about what he might be able to achieve. “As far as Grand Tour ambitions, that is something that will come. I did the Vuelta in 2011 and it wasn’t a bad result [he was thirteenth and won a mountain stage - ed.]. If you take away the time trial that was a disaster for me because I had a bit of an illness in the morning and then the time penalty I had, I would have been fighting for a top five or top six position.

“If I had finished fifth or sixth in the 2011 Vuelta, people would be looking at me as a Grand Tour contender.”

Born in Birmingham to a British father and Irish mother, he declared for the latter country several years ago and has fully embraced that nationality. He took a break after becoming the first Irish winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège since Sean Kelly in 1989 and spent several days in Ireland before and after Saturday’s DID Electrical Cycle4life event.

Martin is patron of the charity, which has the goal of raising money for the Temple Street children’s hospital. It had a strong turnout last year but that ramped up further this time round, not least because of Martin’s presence and his world-beating victories in Catalunya and Liège. Over 1000 took part in the rides over three distances on Saturday, with Martin spending time with each of those groups. In total over 200,000 has been raised, and will be used to open a new Cystic Fibrosis suite in the hospital.

“Something like 100,000 people a year go through the hospital,” said Martin. “I was a premature baby myself. Having been once in that situation [of needing treatment in a children’s hospital – ed.], it is great to be able to put some work back and use my status, my present situation, to raise some money for such a good cause.”

In the extensive interview below*, Martin speaks about his victories in Liège and Catalunya, his increasing confidence, the specific preparation he does which he feels gives him an edge, as well as talking about what was an at-times tough debut Tour last year.

The many topics covered also include the reaction he has experienced to his recent success, how that has affected his mentality, plus his scheduled build-up to this year’s Tour.

What’s clear is that his belief has changed post-Liège. “I am lot stronger than I have ever been,” he said. “The Grand Tour thing is still an unknown. I have definitely developed psychologically and physically now, so maybe this is the year I start to shine in them too.”

*Note: please excuse sound quality


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