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Martin makes history with win in Poland

Having laid the foundations with a fine solo win on stage five in Ustron, Daniel Martin became the first Irish cyclist to win a ProTour stage race when he took overall victory in the Tour of Poland in Krakow on Saturday.

Martin held onto a slim eight-second lead over Lampre's Grega Bole on the final stage, with a dozen other riders finishing within a minute of the 23-year-old on the week-long Tour.

Martin's Garmin-Transitions squad were instrumental in his victory, riding themselves into the ground chasing down and reeling in several big attacks over the final two stages.

"Even though I showed on the climb on stage five that I was one of the fastest guys in the race, it's a different story when you've got the yellow jersey and all these guys are trying to beat you," said Martin.

"With just eight seconds of a lead we didn't want to start celebrating too early. We tried to think of every eventuality on the last stage.

"We knew that Bole could win both bonus sprints and get third on the stage and take the win. We knew there was a storm coming, but the team were just unbelievable.

"Even with five kilometres to go, I still had two guys with me. The team had done so much of the work for me that I felt pretty fresh."

Martin joined the Garmin team in 2008 and has grown with the squad as it developed into one of the strongest in the world. "I'm lucky to have a team around me that has faith in me and believes in me," Martin continued.

"I had a year where I didn't ride any ProTour races. The next year I did a few of them and now, this year, I've won a ProTour stage race.

"When I saw the course for Poland, I actually asked the team to do it. I knew that I'd be going good and it was a course that suited me.

"That became my objective. I knew that after the Giro (d'Italia), the Vuelta (a Espana) would be too much for me. I'm only 23, so it was good to have a one-week stage race as an objective as it was an achievable goal. I didn't go into the race expecting to win."


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