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“I'm climbing with the best at the moment but the Tour is the Tour. I'm confident I can get the top ten. I've a realistic chance."

Photo: Etixx-QuickStep / Tim De Waele






29.06.2016 @ 19:08 Posted by Joseph Doherty

After third places overall at the Dauphine and Volta a Catalunya, Dan Martin of Etixx-QuickStep has delivered a big message: he can hang with the biggest and best climbers in cycling in the high mountains.


“I was more than happy. Going into the race we had this tentative objective of aiming for a top ten with myself and a stage win for the team. We came away with two of us in the top six, me on the podium and two second places on stages. But on a personal note I was feeling better than I've ever felt on the climbs,” Martin told Cyclingnews when asked about his recent performance in the Dauphine.


Martin attributes his change in mindset to his change of training location. He moved from the hilly Girona area in Catalonia to mountainous Andorra and says he is now seeing the benefits.


“I've been training in Andorra now for a year and I think we're starting to see that change in my ability almost. I've almost changed my physique. It's simply a case of climbing more. Having lived in Girona for so many years I realised that I actually lacked climbing. The short and punchy climbs that I have been good on in the past, that's what I was training on but once I moved to the mountains and concentrated on longer climbs I started to revert back to my amateur days when I was training more on long climbs. I'm a kilo lighter than last year, two lighter than how I was at the Tour last year and that's from spending hours and hours going up mountains.”


Martin, who will want to win stages, also says he strongly believes that he will finish in the top ten on GC if he can stay on his bike and not crash or lose time on silly stages.


“I'm climbing with the best at the moment but the Tour is the Tour. I'm confident that if I can avoid getting sick and if I can avoid crashing then I can get the top ten. How far into that top ten I can go, that remains to be seen but I've a realistic chance. The team doesn't want us to go into the race saying 'I can do top five' but let's see what happens. I've got the backing now and we can compete in the high mountains. It's really exciting to be in this position.”




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