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“I am still discovering myself as a rider,” Martin said. “Sometimes I don’t even think I like this stage-racing business. So far, it seems people are content with not losing the race, rather than winning the race."

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ANDREW TALANSKY

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DANIEL MARTIN

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EF EDUCATION - EASYPOST

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RYDER HESJEDAL

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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01.09.2014 @ 22:20 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Daniel Martin turned out to be the last Garmin-Sharp GC hope after Ryder Hesjedal suffered too many bad days in a row and Andrew Talansky slightly surprisingly proved to be the man of his words. The 28-old Irishman admitted that such situation is entirely new to him and he is yet to discover whether stage racing is his cup of tea when it comes to physical capabilities as well as more personal preferences.

 

Martin was forced to abandon the Giro d’Italia with a broken collarbone after he crashed during the opening team time trial, but things turned around for the 28-year old Irishman in his second Grand Tour appearance in the 2014 season.

 

Talansky was regarded the dark horse of the Garmin-Sharp Vuelta roster before the Spanish three-week event kicked off in Jerez de la Frontera. However, soon it became clear that 25-year old American really meant his words while claiming that his sole ambition was to support Garmin-Sharp leaders as he has just returned to racing, recovered from his heartbreaking Tour de France exit.

 

In the same time, the former Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner rode impressively in the finales of the opening Vuelta stages, quickly turning out to be the best card to play of the American team. However, Martin is yet to prove his prowess as a Grand Tour contender as 13th spot claimed in the 2011 edition of the Vuelta was so far his best result in his seven appearances in three-week events.

 

“The main thing is to try to keep the options for the GC. It would have been nice to have more cards to play, but that’s not the case. Now it’s me,” Martin told VeloNews. “This position is a bit new to me, and I haven’t really led at a grand tour before. I am looking forward to it, and we’ll see how it goes in the mountains.”

 

“Ryder losing his GC shot was a bit of a blow, but personally, it’s been a good start. I felt good on the uphill finish [La Zubia], but suddenly I just didn’t have the legs. I think it was the heat. The body stopped working with 2km to go. I was looking really good, then suddenly I wasn’t. It wasn’t like it was a slow decline. Hopefully the cooler temperatures will treat me well. I’ve felt good otherwise.”

 

“The Vuelta is long, and the hardest climbs are still to come,” Martin said. “I will try every day, like we’ve been doing so far. Whether that’s a stage win or a strong placing in GC, we’ll see.”

 

The 28-year old Garmin rider openly admitted that he is still not certain what to expect from himself on that ground. He is also yet to decide whether this kind of racing is what he wants to do in the future, as mindset and tactical decisions made by teams in stage races are not in line with his own philosophy and expectations.

 

“You saw the other day when we took control of the race, to try to win. We seemed like the only team who wanted to try to win the stage, and the other teams seemed more worried about saving energy for the next days. It’s not the style of racing I enjoy so much. I prefer the one-day races. Maybe I will change during this Vuelta. I am definitely maturing mentally as well.”

 

“I am still discovering myself as a rider,” Martin said. “Sometimes I don’t even think I like this stage-racing business. So far, it seems people are content with not losing the race, rather than winning the race."

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