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“The Ardennes is a big focus each year. I need to talk to the team more about it, work out a programme, then hopefully do Tirreno, Catalunya and that kind of thing, then the Ardennes and build up to the Tour.”

Photo: Cannondale-Garming Pro Cycling


10.01.2015 @ 14:47 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Dan Martin has told Cycling Tips that he will return to a similar schedule to that of 2013, where he will focus on the Ardennes Classics and Tour de France, as well as riding other big races.


“I will probably follow a pretty similar programme to 2013,” said Martin.


“The Ardennes is a big focus each year. I need to talk to the team more about it, work out a programme, then hopefully do Tirreno, Catalunya and that kind of thing, then the Ardennes and build up to the Tour.”


“Obviously I followed the same kind of programme last year but in aiming for the Giro, I was trying to hold myself back in Tirreno and Catalunya, not wanting to peak too early. I’m really looking forward to just being able to go out into the first races and just floor it from the start.”


Despite Martin taking his first ever Grand Tour top ten, when he finished seventh at the Vuelta, he says he isn’t as keen on riding fro Grand Tour GCs as he is stage races and Classics.


“The one week stage races seem to suit me well and the one day races seem to suit me well. That’s where the current system seems to suit me as far as raking up points goes. But I don’t think it’s something I will ever start the season thinking I want to aim for that.”


“Doing well overall is a case of trying to be as good as possible, consistently. That just comes with my motivation to race. I love racing and it all goes hand in hand.”


Martin could have won Liege in 2014 were it not for the infamous final corner crash, and he was second in Fleche Wallonne. He says he isn’t targeting a particular Ardennes race, and any one would do him.


“If you win any of them it makes for a very successful week. Even just to be on the podium again in Liège or Flèche Wallone will be incredible.”


By now Martin knows exactly what it will take for him to make it into the finale of a Classic and win it.


“I just have to keep my head down, not take it for granted that I will be in the front and really put in the hard graft again,”


“It’s what I love about the one day races…that element of luck and tactics,” he said. “Doing well in the Ardennes is definitely the aim; they are races I am good at.”


In 2013, Martin targeted the Ardennes and the Tour and came away with one win in both. He has the chance to repeat the feat in 2015, as he says two of the stages in the opening week and a half of the Tour are perfectly suited to him.


“Obviously we have the Mur de Huy and the Mur de Bretagne in the first ten days and they are two finishes that very much do suit me.”


“That thought really motivates me, especially the Mur de Huy on stage three. Obviously it’s not only a personal goal, but riding well there would take the pressure off the entire team. I think it sets the team up for an incredible race if I can be successful that early in the race.”


Martin was recently one of the riders who helped present the new Cannondale-Garmin team in New York earlier this week. Having ridden with the team for his whole career, he says the only thing that is different this year from previous years are the bikes and kit colour, and of course the new riders in and some riders have left, but that happens every year.


“Obviously it’s a bit different to before. I walked into the first team meeting and it was all green everywhere,” he explained. “I was like – ‘wow, I feel like I’m in the wrong team, I’ve been in blue for seven years,’ but that’s the only real change I feel.”


“It’s still the same atmosphere, the same philosophy and the same motivation for racing – we are definitely going out to do something good. I think the guys who come over from Cannondale are all very excited to welcome our way of racing.”


“Okay, we are definitely the youngest team in the WorldTour and there a lot of young, inexperienced riders. But it is really great to still have that enthusiasm and that willingness to race.”




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