Egoi Martínez: "I know that I can win a stage of the Tour"
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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Egoi Martínez: "I know that I can win a stage of the Tour"

by Ben Atkins at 10:35 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Euskaltel-Euskadi rider Egoi Martinez has outlined his main target for the 2010 season: a stage of the Tour de France. The 31-year-old has ridden for the Basque team for almost his entire professional career; aside from spending two years at Discovery Channel between 2006 and 2007, he has ridden with Euskaltel since 2002. The influx of new riders, including the new under-23 World champion – and the team’s first Frenchman – Romain Sicard, makes Martinez one of the team’s most senior riders.

"They have signed six new cyclists to the team and their youth infects us veterans a little," he said. "I have a lot of ambitions and I will confront 2010 with the same desires to do well that I always have."

His last victory on the road was stage 11 of the 2006 Vuelta a España, between Torrevalega and Burgos, but he has come close on several occasions since and remains confident that he is still capable of getting big wins. "The two last years I have sought to raise my arms in victory and I have come very close. I have pursued the victory, but despite being close it has eluded me. Now I know that a stage of the Tour is within my reach and I am going to continue trying it with all my strength".

He managed two fifth places in this year’s Tour, both as part of successful breakaways; first on the stage 7 summit finish to Andorra-Arcalis, and then on the flatter stage 12 to Vittel.

Since his Vuelta stage, Martinez has taken the mountains jersey in that same race, as well as at the 2008 Vuelta a Pais Vasco and this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico. It was the pursuit of the polka-dot mountains jersey of this year’s Tour de France that he made most headlines this year.  He wore the mountains jersey for six stages but ultimately finished second in the competition behind Liquigas rider Franco Pellizotti.

“I had the bad luck to have to dispute it with a great climber like Pellizotti,” he said. “It was a lot of work wearing it, because each day I was in the breakaways to seek more points. But the Italian did not let me get away and he was a better climber than me."

Martiez has not yet finalised his schedule for 2010, but it’s clear that once more his three main objectives will be Pais Vasco, the Tour and the Vuelta.

"My big objective will be to reach my peak of form in July,” he said. “In the Pais Vasco I know that I will go well, because in April I have always ridden well. And at the Vuelta I expect to arrive like this year, with my work for others done, to ride it with tranquility and to enjoy the competition without too much pressure.”

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