Video: Neil Martin believes in prospects of Sean Downey and his son Dan Martin
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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Video: Neil Martin believes in prospects of Sean Downey and his son Dan Martin

by Shane Stokes at 9:38 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Video

Dan MartinFormer professional Neil Martin has said that his son Dan is gearing up for a strong Criterium du Dauphiné and, hopefully, his first ever Tour de France.

The 24 year old rider went close to starting the race in 2009, travelling with the Garmin team to Monaco for the Grand Depart, but ultimately withdrawing from the squad due to a knee injury. He did the Giro d’Italia last year, picking the Italian race over the Tour de France.

This time round, he’s pushing for a place on the Tour squad

“Dan is good, he has just come out of the Tour of California, although he didn’t quite get the result he was aiming for,” said Neil Martin, speaking in a VeloNation video interview carried out on the last day of the An Post Rás. “He struggled a bit with the heat on Mount Baldy, which was furnace-like, 38 degrees. But he still got a result, he was 14th overall in the end.

“He now moves on to the Dauphine…one of his main goals of the year is to get a result in Dauphine. Then potentially the Tour – he is still on the Tour squad. I think there are twelve of them to choose a team of nine from now. Hopefully he will get his first Tour start this year, gain vast experience from that and move on. He is progressing year on year, gaining strength year on year and knowledge and maturing. That’s the key.”

Martin senior was in Ireland last week as manager of the Ireland Team Skoda squad. One of the riders who most impressed him was Sean Downey, who was best Irishman overall in 11th place. He’s just 20 years of age and appears to be riding well the season with the Côtes d'Amour team.

“Sean is beginning to be believe what a lot of people have been suggesting over the last two years, that he can actually be the next one to move forward to the top ranks, and join the likes of Dan, Nico [Nicolas Roche] and those sort of characters,” he said. “I believe that as well, and he is starting to believe that himself. It is all about belief now for Sean – keep racing the way he is, keep racing these guys here and he is knocking on doors now. One day that door is going to open.”

The full interview follows:


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