Tour de France: Unfortunately-timed nature break nearly cost Dan Martin dearly
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Saturday, July 06, 2013

Tour de France: Unfortunately-timed nature break nearly cost Dan Martin dearly

by Shane Stokes at 9:41 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Irishman could have seen GC chances leak away on yesterday’s stage

Dan MartinIrish climber Dan Martin will hope to advance on his current overnight position of fifteenth overall in the Tour de France today, but things were close to being very different indeed on yesterday’s seventh stage.

Martin was one of a large group of riders who found themselves behind at the worst possible moment, and faced a long chase as a result.

The issue was the attack by Peter Sagan’s Cannondale squad on the second category Col de la Croix de Mounis, over 100 kilometres from the end of the stage.

“I made an error of judgment; I stopped for a pee just before that team went ballistic. Luckily the whole Movistar team had also stopped,” Martin wrote in his online diary for the Irish Times. “We got moving again, riding very fast up the climb, but we were not getting any closer to the peloton. We were looking at each other wondering what the heck was going on.

“Fortunately I was with two strong riders, Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana, and we were able to get back up. I think we were the only ones to do so out of the 15 guys who had stopped.”

The riders who were distanced ultimately ended up finishing almost fifteen minutes behind; had Martin not made the junction and instead been in that group, it would have been lethal for his hopes of a high overall finish in his second Tour de France.

“I was never actually stressed, but looking back it was a bit of a risky moment in the race,” he admitted. “I could have lost everything in that one silly mistake. But it worked out in the end.”

While he said that his legs were not in prime condition yesterday due to not drinking enough the day before, he said that his return to the bunch was relatively comfortable, and that this gives him encouragement for today’s first mountain stage.

Martin won the Volta a Catalunya and Liège-Bastogne-Liège this spring. As a result of that he has greater self confidence and form heading into this year’s Tour, and is one to watch. He is co-leader of the Garmin-Sharp team with Ryder Hesjedal and Andrew Talansky, although Hesjedal has been under pressure since crashing on stage one.

Martin has said that he hopes to perform well today, and that tomorrow’s stage could also suit him well too.

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