Quick-Step Floors Sports Director Brian Holm has revealed how Dan Martin will be a big loss to the team in 2018 after the Irishman moved to UAE Team Emirates in the off-season.
Speaking to Cycling Weekly at Quick-Step Floors training camp in Calpe, Holm spoke about how the Belgian team were gutted to lose a rider of Martin's calibre.
"That is one rider we are really going to miss, he was one of the best ever. Because Dan was one of the most professional and nicest guys to work with."
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Martin arrived at Quick-Step from Cannondale-Garmin, with a solid collection of Monument victories at Il Lombardia and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. However, the 31-year-old was looking for opportunities to race Grand Tours as a GC contender, and it astounded Holm that he hadn't been given the chance before in his previous team considering his pedigree.
"He told me that Cannondale did not consider him a climber, I said 'what the hell you're not a climber?' He was asking if he could do GC for me and I was like 'of course'."
"I said if he doesn't make top-10 I’ll cut off his ears, luckily he did it so I didn't have to do it."
In his two years at the Belgian outfit, Martin secured his first top-10 placing at the Tour de France with a ninth-place finish in 2016, before bettering that a year later with a sixth-place result; his best Grand Tour result to date after finishing seventh at the 2014 Vuelta a España.
"He should be able to go and podium, that should be his big major goal for sure," Holm added. "Imagine, he finished sixth with a broken back. A little bit more luck and without a broken back I really think he can finish on the podium."
Despite the goodwill Holm has sent Martin since his departure, the Dane wouldn't want any achievements that Martin may acquire in the future - including Grand Tour podiums - to compromise the goals of the riders currently on the Quick-Step roster.
"It is going to be interesting and I really hope he can do it, but obviously alongside Bob Jungels of course!"
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