Dan Martin has said that he is looking forward to being on the same team as Chris Froome in the 2021 season and hopes that it will lift his team to greater success in the future.
Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) has spent a lot of time in the peloton at the Vuelta a España chatting to his soon-to-be team mate, Chris Froome (Ineos Grenadiers) with Martin amazed that Froome is even riding his bike following his horrific crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2019.
“We’ve talked every day this week in the peloton,” Martin said in a press conference on the Vuelta rest day. “The fact that he is even on the bike this year after his crash is amazing. I think he’s going to progress so much in this race.
“I can’t wait to actually race on the same team with him. He’s a real presence and will inspire everybody. The team is going to step up another level next year.
“It’s been on such a steep learning curve so far, from a small Continental team to now a WorldTour team. Now, with signing the best rider of this generation, I feel like it’s really exciting to be a part of that.”
Froome is coming to the team as the main leader for the Tour de France and has hand-picked riders to support him with Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) and Michael Woods (EF Pro Cycling) being the highest profile of those riders to join the team with him 2021.
Irishman Martin is hopeful that Froome’s arrival with the other new signings will mean that by having riders like the seven-time Grand Tour winner in the team less experienced riders will be able to really flourish.
The four-time Grand Tour stage winner is flying high in the general classification at the Vuelta a España 2020, sitting in third overall at 20 seconds behind leader, Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) heading into stage seven.
He has been full of praise for his team-mates, most of which are making their Grand Tour debuts, who have supported him through the first week of the race, setting him up for victory on stage three.
Omer Goldstein is the one Israeli rider in the team at the Vuelta after Guy Sagiv and Guy Niv went to ride the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia.
“Omer has done a great job here,” Martin said. “He rode at the front yesterday and he’s very competent in the peloton. He’s a really good kid to have around.
“These guys are young, perhaps not young in age but in experience. [Rory] Sutherland, Reto [Hollenstein] and myself are telling them what to do on a rest day. They’ve never done a rest day before! It’s things like that. They have that wide-eyed enthusiasm and obviously they have no idea how they will feel in the third week. We haven’t broken it to them yet that it’s going to be terrible.
“But it’s nice to see that enthusiasm going into the race and that hunger for success and it’s a really great atmosphere. We’re racing with fun and a smile on our faces.”
Martin doesn’t expect to have many more chances to take stage wins as most of the stages remaining suit sprinters or the breakaway with a few big mountain summit finishes along the way.
“It depends on the opportunities, but I think a breakaway will decide a lot of the stages ahead. But who knows? If I have good legs and the opportunity comes then of course I’ll go for a stage, but the focus is on the GC and we’ll see how far we can go with that.”