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"Daniel Martinez possibly exceeded every expectation, giving full show of strength, maturity and smartness, and fighting with courage against much more experienced riders."



10.08.2015 @ 15:16 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Colombia-Coldeportes’ Daniel Martinez has a whole life – and career – in front of him to achieve major successes, but the youngster guided by Valerio Tebaldi and Oliverio Rincon actually astonished many observers during theTour of Utah: the youngest rider in the race took home the best youngster’s jersey as well as the eight overall spot after another stage that saw him going head-to-head with the strongest riders at this Tour of Utah.

Martinez was eight also on the finishing line of the 7th stage, only 125 km with start and finish in Park City, featuring the brutal Empire Pass as final test for the riders with kust a few kilometres to the finish. Lachlan Norton (Drapac) earned the day’s glory after outsprinting Brent Bookwalter (BMC) in a two-man finish, after they had moved away of the rest of the leaders’ group on the very fast way down from Empire Pass. Twenty second adrift, Nathnael Berhane (MTN-Qhubeka) edged the chasing group including Martinez as well as Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Garmin), the winner of 2015 Tour of Utah.

Like the day before, a 12-man escape – including Edwin Avila for Colombia-Coldeportes – got clear early on, but once they tackled the tough ramps of the Empire Pass, only Rob Britton (SmartStop) managed to remain in the lead, while behind him the peloton quickly reduced to less than 10 riders, with Daniel Martinez always in the thick of the action.

The Colombian responded personally to a couple of attacks next to the KOM sprint, but could not stay in Bookwalter and Norton’s wake on the descent, also having to surrender one GC position to the Australian. Martinez closed in eight position overall, 1.41 behind Dombrowski, clinching his first top-ten result as a pro in a stage race overall.

Also in the overall top-20 were Walter Pedraza (11th) and Camilo Castiblanco (12th), who provided a key contribution for Colombia-Coldeportes to top the teams classification at the Tour of Utah.

“I feel very satisfied with the team and its display," Sports Director Valerio Tebaldi said. "Particularly after we lost our designated leader, Alex Cano, just before the hardest stages. Daniel Martinez possibly exceeded every expectation, giving full show of strength, maturity and smartness, and fighting with courage against much more experienced riders. Generally speaking, I believe winning the teams classification in such an important race tells a lot of the overall performance of the team, each of whose integrants gave their 100%. I also wish to spend a word for Avila, who suffered a bad and scary crash on descent yesterday, and today still bit the bullet and went on the breakaway.”

“Once again, we could not come away with a stage win, even though we came really close in several occasions, but we travel back to Italy with two jersey and a greater confidence in our value – something we will be looking to prove again at the Vuelta a Espana.” 



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