Dan Martin 2008

Irish first year pro Daniel Martin finished a more than respectable 24th overall in the rain-soaked Tour of Catalonia - but said afterwards he could have done better without one untimely crash.

?It was kind of disappointing, the first mountain stage I was in the front group, and then I crashed on the last descent with 10 kilometres to go. Without that I would have been top 15.?

?Everyone was fighting to be in the front and went into a corner too hot. I was on the outside of the group and had nowhere to go when the guy ahead of me ran wide, so I went into the ditch.?

?I didn?t hurt myself at all, but I was never going to get back on. I was pretty shaken, and I?d lost 20 seconds and I was bit nervous in the next two corners.?

According to Martin, ?Shame because the whole stage race has been very good roads, barring this one dodgy section.?

Form-wise the Irishman says he?s ?happy, because this is the first real mountain race I?ve done with the pros.?

Martin was twice in breaks, the first late on stage four which got pulled back ?very close to the finish.?

On the final stage, held in a total downpour, Martin went on an early break with four other riders, including French star Sylvain Chavanel.

?It was absolutely tipping down, the weather was so bad you could hardly see.?

?But we got away and were off the front for 35 kilometres until Liquigas decided for some reason they wanted to pull us back.?

Martin described the weather conditions as ?epic. I?ve never ridden through so much water on the roads before. And the last part of the stage it was raining so hard I was riding almost blind.?

Spain's Gustavo Cesar (Karpin Galicia) topped the overall classification when the six-stage ProTour race drew to a close on Sunday.

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