Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) was in a positive mood despite suffering heavy time losses in the Tour de France stage three team time trial.
“It hurt, it’s a team time trial, but I think we got the best out of ourselves but I felt good and [hopefully we’ll have] more of the same over the next days and see how far we can go,” Martin said.
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Out of all the general classification contenders Martin faced the biggest time losses as UAE Team Emirates finished 1-39 behind stage winners BMC in 15th place, with TTT specialist Oliviero Troia puncturing and putting a damper on the stage.
“We brought him in specifically for today as he is a big strong guy for the time trial but he got a flat after nine kilometres and we lost him,” Martin added.
“That probably cost us 15-20 seconds at the finish line but other than that we all rode out of our skin and rode to the plan. It’s the biggest horsepower we had available and we did a good ride.”
The time losses aren’t the biggest surprise after a poor team time trial at the Critérium du Dauphiné, and admitting before the race that the team hadn’t rode a team time trial before.
After escaping the crashes on the first stage, Martin was pragmatic in the time gaps that have already been made between the GC favourites.
“If you told me I would only be 40 seconds off Froomey after the team time trial I would have been pretty happy, obviously that first stage was important but a lot can happen in the next six days,” Martin said.
“Some days you’re going to lose time and some days you’re going to win time and today we lost but on the first day we were the right side of the split.”
Despite initially highlighting Chris Froome as the marker to beat, Martin believes the GC picture will become a lot clearer as the race goes on.
“Anything can happen, its more Team Sky as a whole,” he said.
“I’m one minute 40 behind G [Geraint Thomas] now, but it’s a long race but I’m also ahead of Nairo [Quintana] still so its not a bad start to the Tour for us definitely.”