Dan Martin: "After eleven days of racing, to be two minutes twenty off second place is far above what I expected”
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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dan Martin: "After eleven days of racing, to be two minutes twenty off second place is far above what I expected”

by Shane Stokes at 6:14 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Irishman refuses to get downbeat after difficult time trial

Dan MartinSitting eighth overall before the stage, Dan Martin’s hope of a solid performance in yesterday’s Tour de France time trial fell some way short, with the Irishman placing 62nd in the test.

Martin wasn’t at ease on a course which featured a large proportion of flat roads, with the wind also making things tough for his light 63 kilogramme build.

“As far as my ride went, I am content,” he told VeloNation after the stage. “I did my best possible. The result is not great, but I was tired…maybe I’m still paying a little for the efforts I put in on Sunday [in winning the stage – ed.] I didn’t feel bad…I just didn’t have the power to push the gear.”

Martin described the route as one of two halves; he said that the first fifteen kilometres were ‘quite up and down, with some big rollers where you could carry really high speed into quite steep climbs.’ The second half was quite different, though. “The last 15 kilometres were definitely a lot flatter and there was a lot of wind. It was mainly tail-crosswind until the very end, when there were headwinds, and when it is really fast it doesn’t really benefit me either.

“Obviously the faster speeds benefit the heavier guys. I did pretty much the same time as Quintana and Rodriguez, who are are similar-type guys to me. I would have just liked to have been a little bit closer to Contador and Valverde, but I did my best.”

Martin conceded three minutes and 36 seconds to the stage winner Tony Martin (Omega Pharma Quick Step) and three minutes 24 to race leader Chris Froome (Sky). He finished one minute 14 seconds off the pace of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who in turn was three seconds faster than Contador.

Despite being outside the top fifty, Martin’s time trialling has been improving gradually. He was twelfth in the final time trial at the Tour de Suisse, for example, although the final ten kilometres of that climbed over 900 metres and therefore played to his strengths.

Yesterday’s result did cause him to drop back in the overall standings to thirteenth place, but he is still close to the top ten; Jean Christophe Peraud (Ag2r La Mondiale), the rider in that position, is thirteen seconds ahead of Martin.

There is plenty of climbing from Sunday onwards for Martin to move back up the overall standings, although he doesn’t want to think too much about that at this point in time. “I have to reiterate that I am taking it day by day. Obviously the general classification is in the back of my mind, but I am not obsessed about it,” he said.

“We are still there or thereabouts. After eleven days of racing, to be two minutes 20 off second place is far and away above what I expected coming into the race.”


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