Said Dan Martin, emptying his fuel tank to the very last drop.
At the end of the day, you can’t ask a rider for more than he has to give.
Which is precisely why we are beaming with pride at our Dan Martin. He went for the jugular – all out – and when he had nothing more to give, he still fought to finish 11th place, knowing that no laurels were waiting for him atop the summit of the Puy Mary.
Over 192 km and seven climbs it was ISN out there in front, with a rider in a high-quality breakaway of top riders – for the 4th time in the Tour and for the whole world to see.
Dan did what very few could: escaped with a small group of four at a pace that reached 41km/h – including two mountains (one a Cat 1!). Can you imagine the engine you need to survive that sort of punishment? First-class.
In the end, with around 20km to go, Dan couldn’t keep up the man-to-man with the top guys in the group, like the winner Daniel Martinez and Max Schachmann. He did drop Alaphilippe and other clearly fatigued riders, leaving us with the hope that he still has the legs to go for it again in the Alps next week.
Dan Martin: “I am treating today as a victory, as I felt like myself again. Four weeks ago, I could hardly walk and really didn’t think I would make it to the start-line, but the team believed in me and gave me the chance to be here. The first two weeks have been difficult mentally but today for the first time I really felt like my back was not holding me back.
“We were fully committed for the first 50km of racing and I think we all paid for it in the end. I really believed we could go to the finish, but the strong group came from behind after having a much easier ride than us, and by the last climb I had nothing left. As a racer I’m disappointed with the result, but to feel like myself again is a relief, and we will keep working to get that stage victory for the team.”
כמה מלים מגיא ניב: ״אחרי יום קצת חלש שלשום, חזרתי לעצמי היום. הפתיחה היתה רצחנית ממש. רצינו לשים את דן מרטין בבריחה וזה הצליח. כמובן שרצינו שזה יגמר אחרת אבל שוב היינו בקדמת המירוץ לעיני העולם כולו. היה קשה עם פתיחה כזו אבל התאוששתי מהר והרגשתי ממש טוב בשארית היום. לא להאמין שאני אומר את זה , אבל זה היה מבחינתי עוד יום בטור דה פראנס״.