Dan Martin upbeat about form heading into second half of season
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dan Martin upbeat about form heading into second half of season

by Conal Andrews at 7:20 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Irish rider to target Tour of Poland

Dan MartinIrish pro Dan Martin had a break of racing of several weeks following the Irish road race championships but showed strong form in the Brixia Tour last week. He’s hoping to build on that in the Tour of Poland, which begins in four days on Sunday.

“My next race is Poland and I’d like to get a big result there,” he told VeloNation. “I did it last year and it’s a nice race, although sometimes quite unpredictable. We'll definitely need some luck to be racing at the front on GC, but we have a strong team going over and I'm definitely hitting some very good form.”

Martin placed an excellent third overall in the Brixia Tour on Sunday, ending the 2.1-ranked race two minutes and 39 seconds behind the overall winner Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox). Morris Possoni (Sky Professional Cycling Team) was second, 49 seconds ahead of Martin.

His strong performance was based on his performance on three out of the five stages. His Garmin Transitions team was sixth in the opening prologue last Wednesday, then Martin moved to sixth overall when he placed eighth to Lumezzane/Cima Poffe the following day. He jumped to third overall when he was the runner-up on the penultimate stage, a tough mountain leg to Passo Maniva.

Martin had the possibility of riding his first Tour de France this year but instead opted to ride the Giro d’Italia as he would have greater freedom there. The highlight of his participation there was his ninth place on the stage to Monte Zoncolan, but his 57th overall probably didn’t reflect his potential as a stage race rider. He’s still 23 years of age and so will hope to keep progressing in the three week events.

The Brixia Tour was reassuring, showing him that he is where he needs to be heading into his next block of competition. “This result is a great sign for my future races. After the nationals I took one week’s rest and didn't even look at a bike,” he said. “I then eased back into training, so it took a couple of stages to blow the cobwebs away.

“However to get third in what was effectively a comeback race for me, and a race completed at very high speeds on tough circuits shows the progress I've made. For me its a big relief as I've struggled with allergies all year and feel I can really open up now and get everything out of myself, which is exciting.”

Martin told VeloNation several weeks ago that he thought it unlikely that he would do the Vuelta a España this year, but would instead focus on smaller stage races. Riding well in the Giro di Lombardia is a goal, particularly after he was eighth there last season.

Martin showed strong promise when he won the Route du Sud two years ago. He was second in the Volta a Catalunya last year, and was also third overall in the Tour of the Mediterranean and fifth in the GP Ouest France.

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