Some riders would be happy with the career that Dan Martin has had so far, but not the man himself. The Irishman hopes his move to Etixx-Quick Step will help him reach the heights he knows he is capable of.
Martin joined the Belgian team after spending the first ten years of his career with the Garmin team in its many guises.
Still only 29 years old, the two-time Monument winner believes his best results are yet to come, and says that Etixx are of the same mindset.
“It’s great to come into an organisation that are so exciting to work with and more importantly they believe that at the age of 29 I haven’t reached my full potential yet, because that’s my belief as well,” he told Cycling Weekly at the team’s training camp in Calpe, Spain.
“I believe that I’ve got the talent that I haven’t fully utilised; hopefully this is the correct environment for me to fill in the gaps in my palmares and fulfil my potential as a rider.”
A palmares like Martin’s looks pretty good on paper. Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner in 2013, Il Lombardia winner a year later. He also climbed his way to seventh overall at the Vuelta a España in 2014, showing his potential is not only located in one-day racing.
Dan Martin finishes second on stage eight of the 2015 Tour de France
While his first Monument win in Liege holds fond memories former Irish road race champion, he’s quick to recall the fact that he feels he should have done better in his title defence.
“I want to achieve more consistency [at Etixx],” he said. “I perhaps should have won Liege a second time and I can definitely win it again.
“I’m very quick to forget – people tell me that I won Liege, but I don’t want to hear that, I just want to win it again. That’s how I deal with success or failure. Once I cross the finish line that’s it, I’m done. You learn lessons from it but there’s no point mulling over what you should have done differently.
“Etixx definitely suits my style. I race on instinct and on heart and that’s perhaps something that I didn’t do last year. I thought things through and I missed the opportunity, or I went too late because I hadn’t pre-empted the other attacks. Now I’m going to go back to really enjoy my racing.”
Speaking to the media in Calpe, team manager Patrick Lefevere said he sees Martin as the man to replace Rigoberto Uran, who left Etixx to join Martin’s old team Cannondale.
“It’s a compliment from Patrick,” Martin added. “It tells a small story about where I’m heading [in my career]. I’ve never ruled out Grand Tours but I’ve never had the success that my potential perhaps could achieve.”