Giro d’Italia: Martin maintains mellow mood despite day three disappointment
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Giro d’Italia: Martin maintains mellow mood despite day three disappointment

by Conal Andrews at 4:48 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 

Garmin Transitions pro Dan Martin is managing to remain positive about this year’s Giro, despite losing seven minutes and 59 seconds on Monday’s third stage of the Grand Tour.

The Irishman had gone into the event hoping to take a high overall placing, knowing that he would be able to ride his own race because his team-mate Christian Vande Velde was using it to prepare for the Tour de France.

Three stages into it, though, he is already 106th overall, nine minutes and seven seconds off the Maglia Rosa held by Alexandre Vinokourov.

It was reasonable to expect the 23 year old to be crestfallen on Monday evening, yet he was surprisingly mellow about the day’s events.

“I stayed upright somehow, but I got caught up in the crash that ended VDV’s [Christian Vande Velde’s] race. That is pretty much what split the group,” he told VeloNation.com. “We shouldn’t really have lost so much time…we got into a group of 20-25 riders and were maybe 20 seconds off the back of the front group with 20 kilometre to go, but then everyone sat up.

“I couldn’t really understand it - we had ridden that hard to get close to the group but they all just started riding easy. It was a weird situation and we ended up losing a lot more time than we should have. But at least I am still in the race.”

The big news of the day was Vande Velde’s enforced abandon. As was the case last year, he crashed on day three of the race, sustaining fractures. The only silver lining was the fact that it was ‘only’ his collarbone which was broken, rather than the pelvis and vertebrae of twelve months ago.

The Chicago rider has said that he will do what he can to come back in time for the Tour de France but even if he does that, his absence from this race is something which the team and their many fans will regret.

“It is very disappointing about VDV,” Martin said. “Hopefully now we can give everything for David [Millar] and try to get him into the jersey in the team time trial. He is just one second off now, so it is pretty exciting to get the opportunity to go for the pink jersey for the team.”

The Garmin Transitions squad went into the Giro with a number of ambitions. One was to take at least one stage win, and Tyler Farrar achieved that on day two when he won a big sprint into Utrecht. Goal two is a spell in the Maglia Rosa and, as Martin said, they will hope to achieve that this week via the team time trial and Millar’s high overall placing.

Aim three will be to try to nab a win on one of the hillier stages, and this is where Martin will hope to play his card. He is a strong climber and may now have more leeway to get clear in a break. However he insists that he is not looking that far ahead right now.

“I haven’t really thought about it yet. I am going to see what happens,” he said, when it was put to him that his deficit meant that it would be difficult for him to achieve a high overall placing.

“It is all about the team time trial at the moment. We will look at it after that. I am taking it day by day. As happened the last two days, people can lose time wherever, but it can also work the opposite way where I could make up time somehow. So we will see how things work out.”

Again, he showed his maturity in not allowing himself to be discouraged by how things had gone. “I was a bit unlucky being in the wrong place in the wrong time the past two days, but I am in one piece,” he said. “That is more than can be said for a lot of guys in the race.”

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