Dan Martin during Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 2019 (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Dan Martin is ‘the one that got away’ for British Cycling as he took out Irish nationality following a lack of support from the track focused British system when he entered the under-23 ranks.
Having gone his own way in the French amateur system with support from his family and the Dave Raynor fund, he turned pro for Jonathan Vaughters’ Garmin-Chipotle team in 2008 and stayed with them until leaving for Belgian squad Etixx – Quick-Step for 2016.
Although he had always shown glimpses of his potential (including a stage win at the 2011 Vuelta a España), it wasn’t until 2013 that he made his break-through, winning the Volta a Catalunya, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and stage nine of the Tour de France. Since then, he’s added his Monument tally with victory at the 2014 Il Lombardia.
Martin signed with UAE Team Emirates in 2018 and won his second stage of the Tour alongside the overall combativity award. He almost clinched a top-10 overall finish, but a blisteringly hot final time trial saw him struggle with the heat and drop in the classification, finally finishing 18th.
In 2019 Martin announced he had signed a two-year contract for Israel Start-Up Nation, which stepped up to WorldTour at the end of 2019.
You only have to look at Martin’s heritage to realise he was destined for great things. Son of british pro Neil Martin, his mother is the sister of Stephen Roche and his cousin is Team Sky rider Nicolas Roche.