Martin counting down the metres to Tour of Poland win
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Saturday, August 07, 2010

Martin counting down the metres to Tour of Poland win

by Conal Andrews at 12:31 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Poland
 
Irishman close to biggest career victory

Dan MartinIrish rider Daniel Martin is getting close to the end of the final stage of the Tour of Poland and knows that he needs to just control his closest rivals in order to guarantee his overall win.

The Garmin Slipstream competitor finished seventh on yesterday’s mountain stage to Terma Bukowina, sprinting in nine seconds behind the solo winner Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) and two seconds behind his closest rival Grega Bole (Lampre-Farnese Vini), who placed third. When the bonus seconds were calculated, he finished the day eight seconds ahead of Bole and ten up on Mollema.

Today’s final stage has been marked by a long break, mopping up the intermediate bonus seconds. It puts Martin in a strong position as Bole and Mollema will need to do something special to get the time back.

“The stage went like clockwork, really, the team was incredible,” Martin said yesterday evening. “I had good legs. We were really disappointed about the finish as the commissaries decided to split the group, though, and that cost me two seconds. We were just breaking because there was going to be a crash – if they put a corner ten metres after the finish line, we are going to have to brake. It was a bit of a joke, really. There was no gap, the only reason there was anything was that we were breaking so as not to crash. We tried to appeal it, so hopefully it won’t cost me the race.”

Martin said that Bole would need to win the two intermediate sprints and then finish at least third on the stage. “If Bole does get third on the stage, he deserves to win the Tour of Poland. We will see. He obviously has some really good form…he got second on the stage the other day behind Lorenzetto. He is obviously sprinting pretty well, and can climb as well, so he is an all rounder. But I am happy with how I was going – the team were really good today and I felt strong… I wasn’t really in trouble. The only concern was the weather - it just turned with three kilometres to go and the road was too slick. That is kind of what happened in the finish as well as it was too slippery – I got out of saddle to start my sprint and almost crashed.”

Martin took the overall victory in the 2008 Route du Sud, and has various other strong performances since then, including second overall in last year’s Volta a Catalunya. He said that the overall victory in Poland would be the biggest of his career if he pulls it off. “It would be bigger all right – the ProTour is a higher level,” he said. “But I just want to get over the line, and then we can talk about being the winner.”

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