Dan Martin relaxed about missing stage thirteen break, believes gains could be outweighed by losses
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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Dan Martin relaxed about missing stage thirteen break, believes gains could be outweighed by losses

by Shane Stokes at 6:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
“Those guys had a really hard ride…I felt really fresh at the finish, really good”

Dan MartinWhile he accepts that Alberto Contador (Saxo Tinkoff) and Bauke Mollema (Belkin Pro Cycling) need to try to take back time on Chris Froome (Sky) where they can, Dan Martin also believes that there is a chance that the effort used in yesterday’s near forty kilometre break could weigh heavily on Sunday’s stage to Mont Ventoux.

The Garmin Sharp rider, who moved up to eleventh overall yesterday when Alejandro Valverde and his Movistar team-mate Rui Costa were stranded after Valverde’s wheel problem, believes riding hard into the wind could exact a toll tomorrow.

For that reason, he said that he is fine with missing the break which gained one minute and nine seconds.

“It would have been really hard up there – those guys had a really hard ride to the finish. That is an effort that I didn’t have to do today, and I only lost a minute,” Martin told VeloNation. “Hopefully that will pay off on Ventoux.

“I think today’s stage is going to be a really hard stage too, and there are going to be a lot of tired bodies. I think yesterday was the last chance to really recuperate and that that turned into a really hard stage too. But my team-mates did great work, kept me out of the wind all day and I felt really fresh at the finish, really good.”

Martin made it into the first split when teams such as Omega Pharma Quick Step put the hammer down early in the stage. He said that he saw the later attack happen, but was not close enough to it at the time to be able to react. Even if he had wanted to go with it, he didn’t have the chance.

“When the second split happened, we weren’t too far back at all. But the road was blocked by Belkin riders sitting up, and BMC trying to organise themselves and to decide whether they were going to ride. It was the disorganisation which caused the gap.”

Once clear, he believed that those up the road had a strong likelihood of staying clear. “I definitely think that once the gap goes, there is a lot of help for those in the front group. You have got all the motorbike cameras in front of you, you have the cars in front of you and you definitely get a draft. For sure that played into the hands of the front group.”

Martin’s prediction for today’s lumpy stage is that a break could well stay away to the finish. The parcours is up and down all day and that makes it a tough ask for the pure sprinters. However he believes that there will be a lot of hard racing with many riders trying to get into such a move, taking the opportunity to chase a possible stage win before the mountains rear up again.

Because of that, even if a break does go clear, he anticipates a hard day in the saddle for all the riders. His goal is to continue trying to conserve energy where possible or, as he put it on Twitter, to save bullets for tomorrow’s big summit finish.

As regards Sunday’s stage, he believes that it could be spectacular viewing. “The distance involved in the Ventoux stage [242.5 kilometres – ed.] plus the climb itself is going to make it an epic day,” he says. “It is going to be 35 degrees as well…it’s going to be really hard.”

The stage nine winner is currently five minutes 52 seconds off yellow, but knows that a strong ride in the coming mountains should move him well inside the top ten in what is his second Tour.

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