The Pyrenean stages of the Tour de France today and tomorrow will be about survival rather than attack for Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) following two crashes last weekend.
Martin was taken out by Richie Porte’s high-speed crash on the descent off the Mont du Chat on Sunday’s stage. Although he recovered Martin then crashed a second time on the descent as he came to the next bend to discover he had no front brake.
The Irishman who had looked to be in formidable form in the first week of the race lost 1-19 as a result.
Speaking before Wednesday’s sprint stage into Pau, Martin said he was still very much feeling the effects of the crash. “I’m not feeling too great still. I’m a bit sore, a bit stiff. My back muscles are hurt, but I’m feeling better than yesterday,” he said.
When asked for his view on his prospects for the rest of the race he said: “I’d much prefer to be a minute closer to the yellow jersey, I’m just focused on my physical state at the moment and hopefully I can make it through tomorrow [Thurs] to recover before the Alps.
“It has gone from the Pyrenees being an opportunity to trying to survive that.”
Today’s Pyrenean opener features six categorised climbs finishing at the summit of Peyragudes, Friday’s stage is extremely short at just 101km, features three category one climbs and is almost certain to be raced at a blistering pace.
Before the Tour started Martin would have hoped to better his best Grand Tour general classification performance of seventh in the Vuelta a España in 2014.
When asked what he though was now a realistic prospect for a result he said: “I’m not thinking about anything at the moment, if it was a mountain stage today [Weds] I’d be really unhappy. We’ll just see how it goes. I don’t feel the need to put a number on it.”
Despite the knock that the crash on stage nine dealt to Martin’s hopes there are clearly no ill feelings between him and Porte.
“I spoke to him the other day, the first thing he said was sorry for knocking you off mate and I said sorry for riding into you mate," Martin said. "It was just a slight mistake on a corner and when you’re going that fast on those slippery downhills that’s all it takes."
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Having trained as a journalist at Cardiff University I spent eight years working as a business journalist covering everything from social care, to construction to the legal profession and riding my bike at the weekends and evenings. When a friend told me Cycling Weekly was looking for a news editor, I didn't give myself much chance of landing the role, but I did and joined the publication in 2016. Since then I've covered Tours de France, World Championships, hour records, spring classics and races in the Middle East. On top of that, since becoming features editor in 2017 I've also been lucky enough to get myself sent to ride my bike for magazine pieces in Portugal and across the UK. They've all been fun but I have an enduring passion for covering the national track championships. It might not be the most glamorous but it's got a real community feeling to it.
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