BIRMINGHAM-BORN Dan Martin is not concentrating on the general classification of the Tour de France after achieving his goal of a stage win yesterday afternoon.
The 26-year-old cyclist became only the fifth Irishman to win a Tour stage, and the first since his uncle Stephen Roche raced to victory on stage 16 of the 1992 Tour in La Bourboule.
In the overall classification, Chris Froome has retained the leader’s yellow jersey, while Martin is up to eighth place, two minutes and 28 seconds behind the leader.
However, speaking today to RTÉ Martin said that any further success in the Tour will be a “bonus” for the Garmin-Sharp rider.
Martin said: “I’m not thinking about the general classification. The objective was to come here and win a stage.
“Now I’ve achieved that, it is a case I can relax and really enjoy the race. Anything from now on is a bonus.”
Martin beat Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang to the line yesterday after the pair had attacked off the front, five kilometres from the top of the final climb of the day, and then stayed ahead down the long descent into town.
Martin and Fuglsang made their move as the main contenders at the front of the race were engaged in an absorbing game of cat and mouse, with Chris Froome anxiously – and successfully – defending his yellow jersey against Alejandro Valverde and Alberto Contador.
After the race Martin – who grew up in Tamworth and whose mum, Maria, is Stephen Roche’s sister – said: “I knew the last 30km from before and was lucky Jakob came with me because I don’t think one guy would have survived alone.
“We were both just giving it everything we could. I was actually praying to get caught with 20km to go because it was hurting so much. It was an incredible team effort.”
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