Dan Martin will ride Giro d’Italia for first time since 2014 

The Irishman crashed out on the first stage when the race started in Northern Ireland 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dan Martin will make his return to the Giro d’Italia this year, after he crashed out of the Grand Tour in 2014. 

The Israel Start-Up Nation leader will be riding the 2021 edition of the Italian Grand Tour, having last competed seven years ago when the race started in Northern Ireland.

Irishman Martin left the 2014 Giro after a brutal crash in the stage one team time trial.

The 34-year-old said: “It feels like unfinished business there as I guess everybody knows the story. I arrived at the start in Belfast in excellent form and crashed out halfway through the TTT in stage one. It was tough for me to watch the race that year, but I have always been a huge fan of the [Giro].”

The 2021 edition will be Martin’s third time starting the Giro after 2010 and 2014, as he said the race has always clashed with his goals in the Ardennes Classics and the Tour de France.

But this year Martin will be targeting the general classification with full support from his team, after he finished fourth overall in the Vuelta a España last season.

He is also expected to form an important part of the team’s Tour de France squad. 

ISN team manager Kjell Carlstrom said: “This year’s Giro d’Italia should, on paper, suit Dan and his style of racing quite well, and it will be very interesting to see how things go as there are certainly many contenders, 

"Dan will be surrounded by a squad that can support him both on flat and hilly terrain.

“We believe he can perform well in both Grand Tours [Giro and Tour].” 

Martin’s  fourth-place finish in last year’s Vuelta was his best ever result in a three-week race,  as he was also able to bring his tally of Grand Tour stage wins to four - two in the Tour de France and two in the Vuelta. 

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He said: “The course looks good for the strong team who will start alongside me in Torino. I can’t wait for the opportunity to go for a stage win in Italy, and to try to complete my set of Grand Tour stage victories. Italy is a country I love with roads that I have enjoyed considerable success on. It feels like I am discovering a new race – like I’m a neo-pro again!” 

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.