Dan Martin says his new young team-mate Tadej Pogačar is a “huge talent for the future” as the 20-year-old took stage race victory in Portugal.
Pogačar joined UAE Team Emirates at the start of the season, his first WorldTour team, and is already making waves.
The Slovenian took victory at the 2019 Volta ao Algarve last week, after beating some world-class climbers to the stage win on day two.
Pogačar’s team-mate Martin, winner of multiple Tour de France stages and two Monuments, is just one of the many impressed by youngster’s ability.
Martin said: “The maturity he’s shown, the confidence he shows, it just shows how far the team has come.
“It makes me feel old that a 20-year-old is winning a stage race.
“I only had one training camp with him in December so I haven’t spent a whole lot of time with him, but the time I have had has been an absolute pleasure.
“He’s a great kid, and a huge talent for the future. With the team, I’m sure he’s in the right place to nurture that talent as well.”
Pogačar, winner of the 2018 Tour de l’Avenir, sealed overall victory on Sunday (February 24) by fending off threatening moves by Søren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb).
He opened his debut WorldTour season at the Tour Down Under and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, before racing and winning in Portugal.
Martin, who is racing in the UAE Tour, said he and team-mates watched the final stage of the Portuguese race while eating dinner after the opening team time trial in the Middle East.
Irishman Martin carries his team’s general classification ambitions in the UAE, his team’s home race.
He added: “I’m ahead of other years, I’m training well and this is a big race for the team.
“All the riders here are in good condition, that’s why we’re here.
“The aim is to get the best results as possible.
“I’ve never raced over here so I don’t know how it’s going to go.”