Dan Martin Video Interview: Seeing one upside to missing the Tour
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dan Martin Video Interview: Seeing one upside to missing the Tour

by Shane Stokes at 9:00 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Tour de France, National Championships, Video
Says team wants to take him there when he’s capable of challenging for overall

Dan MartinAlthough he still describes himself as disappointed to miss the Tour de France, Dan Martin has accepted that there may be advantages to not riding the race until he is stronger and able to go there capable of aiming for a high result.

“Obviously the Tour is the Tour…the amount of publicity I have got from not riding it this week says a lot about how the race is. It is the one race that everybody knows, it is the one race that every professional wants to do,” he told VeloNation in a near-eight minute video interview recorded after the end of the Irish national championships on Sunday. “But we’ll get there...the team wants me to progress as well.

“I think it was Greg LeMond or Bernard Hinault that Guimard held back from doing the Tour until he was capable of winning it. I am not saying that my first participation I will be going there to try to win, but Jonathan [Vaughters] has got it in his head that he wants to take me there to try to make a really good result. He wants to be confident that the team will ride for me when I first go there.

“We are being patient and we are just progressing every year and growing up and maturing and we will hit the Tour hard in a few year’s time.”

The 24 year old is in his fourth year as a pro with the team, and has done two Grand Tours thus far. He finished 53rd in the 2009 Vuelta a España and was then 57th in last year’s Giro. He has undoubted class, as evidenced by his stage win and overall victory in last year’s Tour of Poland, his Tre Valli Varesine and Japan Cup triumphs and, this month, his win in the Giro della Toscana.

He’s also got numerous other high placings such as second and third overall in the Volta a Catalunya but, thus far, hasn’t ridden to the same standard in a Grand Tour.

He speaks about this as being the next thing he has to develop if he is to become a contender in such races.

“It’s the consistency and stability over three weeks, the ability to perform day in and day out for what is nearly a month,” he said. “That is really hard, it plays more psychologically towards the end of the time as everybody is so tired. It is just a totally different ballgame, climbing after three weeks than it is after a week.”

As Vaughters has said in the past, Martin is a rider who taking a while to physically mature. Some riders can handle three week races right away; some need more time to settle in and build the necessary endurance and recover. However in concentrating on the shorter stage races, he has been able to shine in them and to build self-belief plus the mentality of a winner.

“It is nice for myself..I am building a nice little palmares,” he explained. “Rather than riding the big races and being just a follower, just an observer, I am going to the smaller races and going for the win. I think it is important to maintain that knowledge of trying to win races. That is what we are trying to do at the moment.”

Martin went extremely close to adding to his list of victories on Sunday when he was just one centimetre behind Matt Brammeier in the photo finish which decided the Irish road race championship. Martin won the title in 2008 and worked hard to get it back; he was the strongest rider in the race, but

“I just messed up the sprint a little bit. Matt was super strong as well. I maybe paid for being too confident, because he was a lot more conservative than me all day, not riding as much. I definitely had the legs in the finish for the sprint, but I misjudged the distance to the line. My gears jumped with 50 metres to go…even so, I was coming past him very fast. That showed I was right to play my tactics in the sprint, but I just misjudged where the line was.

“I wouldn’t do anything different [about the race]…I would just have moved the line another metre further away and I would have won.”

Martin talks about these subjects, his upcoming race programme and more in the video interview below.



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