Tuesday 21 August 2018

Martin surprises himself with Dauphiné win

Ireland's Daniel Martin celebrates on the podium after winning the fifth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine cycling race. Photo: Getty Images
Ireland's Daniel Martin celebrates on the podium after winning the fifth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine cycling race. Photo: Getty Images

Gerard Cromwell.

Cycling: Ireland's Dan Martin continued his return to good form with a spectacular win on stage five of the week-long Critérium du Dauphiné in France yesterday.

Having been narrowly beaten into second place on Thursday, Martin (right) claimed a long-awaited victory yesterday with a stinging solo attack, 3km from the top of the Hors-Categorie ascent to Valmoral.

Sitting down in 45th place overall at the start of yesterday's stage after his team lost almost two-and-a-half minutes in the stage three team time trial, Martin bided his time until all of the early escapees had been reeled in by Team Sky and Mitchelton Scott in the last 5km.

An attack soon after by Adam Yates (Mitchelton Scott) split the front group before Martin seized his chance, jumping clear with 3km to go to open a 15-second gap on the favourites' group before Sky's Geraint Thomas - riding into the yellow jersey after team-mate Gianni Moscon lost contact on the slope, closed his winning margin down to four seconds on the line.

"I knew that if I attacked, they'd maybe let me go because I'm a little bit further back on general classification after the team time trial so I took the opportunity," said a delighted Martin afterwards. "I saw that everyone was in the red and after Yates attacked so I thought I'd just try. I was surprised how strong I was in the last three kilometres there."

Irish Independent

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