Martin shows big-race magic
Ireland's Daniel Martin once again underlined his stage racing potential when he took a superb third place overall at the end of the Tour of Catalonia in Barcelona yesterday.
Martin (24) finished just 16 seconds behind world No 1 Alejandro Valverde in Catalonia in 2009, and became the first Irish rider to win a ProTour stage race when he won the Tour of Poland last year.
Martin laid the groundwork for his podium place when he moved into fourth overall on the tough mountain stage to Andorra on Wednesday. He then took a surprising fourth place in the bunch sprint that ended stage six on Saturday.
And when Radioshack rider Levi Leipheimer withdrew yesterday due to illness, Martin moved onto the podium.
"To be so close to the top in such a big race against guys that have raced a lot more than me and are a lot older than me is fantastic," said Martin.