Dan Martin video interview part II: Targeting GC in the Giro could mean missing the Tour
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Monday, November 25, 2013

Dan Martin video interview part II: Targeting GC in the Giro could mean missing the Tour

by Shane Stokes at 10:31 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Video
Garmin-Sharp rider motivated by thoughts of racing in front of Irish fans, also speaks about other season aims

Dan MartinSpeaking in detail about his thoughts on the season ahead, Dan Martin has said that he believes he could be a contender for the overall title in the Giro d’Italia, and will target the race even if it means missing the Tour de France.

Although Martin won a stage in this year’s Tour and seemed on course for a top ten overall in the race until he became sick, he is willing to risk taking a year out of the event in order to be in the best shape possible for the Italian race.

The 2014 Giro begins in Ireland and the first three days being there, plus the mountainous parcours, both give him clear motivation to target the event.

“I am going to go to the Giro aiming to be as good as I can possibly be,” Martin told VeloNation recently, speaking in a lengthy sit-down video interview. “If I am in my top form and doing my best, then the result will follow. You can’t control how good the other guys are, so you can’t really say I want to win that race because maybe some guy is on the best day of his life and he smokes you.

“I am just going to focus on what I am doing and try to get to the race in the best possible condition, and the result will follow.”

Martin stated that he was told a year ago by team manager Jonathan Vaughters that the race was going to start in Ireland, and that helped to make up his mind. “Obviously it is a big factor in me focussing on the Giro as it is an opportunity that you don’t want to miss, to start a Grand Tour in your home country,” he explained.

“But it is also a factor that the Giro is a route that suits me. The last time I raced it was 2010 and I had really bad allergies. But that was before I found the medication that has enabled me to be successful in the spring now.

“I think the fact that I was so successful this year in the spring when normally my allergies are really high was also a factor in me choosing the Giro as an objective for next year. It is obviously a huge race and to be able to go there as team leader with a clear objective set out, to go for stages and also the GC, is exciting.”

In recent years it has proven to be very difficult for riders to recover from the Italian event and to be good in the Tour de France. Ivan Basso, Cadel Evans and others have all ridden well in the first but then faltered in the second; indeed, it is now a full fifteen years since a rider did the Giro/Tour double, with Marco Pantani being the last to win both events.

Martin has never completed two Grand Tours in the same year and knows there is a chance that he will be too fatigued to challenge in the Tour de France after racing in Italy.

If that proves to be the case, so be it.

“The Tour is the Tour and it starts in the UK, which is going to be a huge event. Obviously I grew up in the UK too so it would mean a lot to be able to start the Tour de France there. But at the same time I am not going to go to the Tour just to ride around. We are going to have to see how I feel after the Giro.

“My experience of doing the Vuelta after the Tour this year was that it was hard [to recover]. Psychologically I was tired starting the Vuelta. I am not sure how I would have been in the third week. We will never know that now [he crashed out in the first week – ed.]. But also I got sick at the end of the Tour, so you don’t really know how you are going to be.”

Martin states that his decision about the Tour will be made on the basis of his recovery from the Giro d’Italia, and that it is too soon now to predict what he will likely do. However he accepts that a Giro-Vuelta programme may be more feasible.

“Obviously there is enough of a gap between the Giro and the Vuelta to recover. I don’t think I would complain about having June, July on the beach…that would be nice,” he smiled.

Martin speaks about this topic in the video below, and discusses the effect the Giro start will have on Irish cycling. He also speaks about his intention to again target the Volta a Cataluya and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, two events he won in 2013, his refusal to ride conservatively in stage races even if it could give him more energy for the general classification, and also his thoughts on next year’s world championship course and targeting the rae.

In part I of this interview, Martin speaks at length about his 2013 season, detailing his successes but also talking about difficulties such as his illness in the Tour and the crash which put him out of the Vuelta, talks about the effects concussion had on him, and also explains how his confidence and mental approach have changed. Watch that interview here:


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