A few hundred meters from the top of the last climb today, there was that battle taking place in front of the whole world to see – and how great was it to witness our Irishman, Dan Martin, in the thick of it?
There was the great Primoz Roglic. There was Richard Carapaz. Big names were dropping fast, but Dan Martin was finally showing what a world-class rider he is. Sure, Roglic won the battle of the day, but there was so much promise in that scene.
Dan Martin: “It was a tough day to start a grand tour, and you can see that with the gaps in the finish. The team did a great job of protecting me all day, and I had perfect legs. There was a pretty strong headwind on the last climb, so it was a game of cat and mouse. Primoz was just too strong in the end when he attacked, but I’m happy to be in the fight, and I hope the good legs stay with me so we can fight for a stage in the next days.”
It wasn’t just Dan’s performance that satisfied our sports directors here. It was the TEAMWORK behind it all. From Miku Raim to Alexis Renard, Reto Hollenstein, Omer Goldstein, James Piccoli and, above all, Matteo Badilatti. They all gave their share to protect and position Dan. “They executed exactly what we asked them to do,” said our Sports Director Lionel Marie. “Now we need to see it again tomorrow.”
“That is the plan,” he said, but tempered it by adding that “we take it day by day. We have no pressure here, and we just enjoy the race. We have a very young team, and it’s a great experience for all to ride the classification. It’s very early in the race, but it’s a nice start.”