Martin looking for podium place in one of the Ardennes Classics


CYCLING:Having finished sixth in Flèche Wallonne and then an excellent fifth in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Irish pro Dan Martin is gunning for a podium place in one of the three Ardennes Classics next season.

Martin told The Irish Times yesterday those events, which also include the Amstel Gold Race, will be the first major objective of his 2013 season.

“The Ardennes Classics are the big goal for the first part of next year,” he said.

“I gained a lot of confidence in those races this year, particularly as I wasn’t there in peak shape due to my crash beforehand in the Volta a Catalunya. My aim will be to try to make the podium next year, then to aim higher again in subsequent seasons.”

Martin lives in Girona, Spain, but was recently back in Ireland for the DID Cycle4life charity, which this year raised €126,884 for the Temple Street Children’s hospital. After a question and answer session with fans on November 1st, he visited the hospital the following day to see how the money was spent.

“I was born five weeks prematurely and I had to be kept in hospital as a result. It was incredible to see the effects the fundraising had for others in that situation. It is nice to think that my story could perhaps encourage other kids with a tough start like that to aim for the top,” he said.

Martin is currently taking a post-season break from training but is likely to knuckle down again prior to his Garmin-Sharp team’s first training camp in early December.

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