Dan Martin Diary – Day 16: Negative tactics spoil my chance
Other teams were playing games which wouldn’t let me away
I think the way things fragmented showed two things: firstly, how the rest day affects people and can mess up your muscles, and secondly how hard this race has been.
The energy I burned up early on may have cost me on that final climb. I went a bit into the red and got dropped, but managed to fight my way back into the group that I ultimately finished in, one minute behind the yellow jersey. I think if I hadn’t burned up energy early on I might have been in that select group, but we had made that decision to ride aggressively at the start.
One of the big stories after the stage was Alberto Contador’s crash on the decent and how Chris Froome nearly came down. Contador was racing hard because he wants to get time back from Froome and win the race. For those guys who are willing to take risks, there is some respect due to them.
Obviously that downhill is already renowned for being dangerous due to Joseba Beloki’s crash in 2003 and the famous Lance Armstrong incident, where he went off the road to avoid him and ended up riding across the field. Everybody knew that downhill was dangerous.
I am actually not looking forward to the fact that they seem to think Froome can’t descend, because it now means that riders are going to do all the downhills flat out now. Obviously that is part of racing and if you can take advantage of another rider’s weakness – it doesn’t matter if it is uphill, downhill or on the flat – you have to do it.
Next up is the time trial and we are hoping that the weather doesn’t turn. The rumour is that it is going to be raining for it. It will make the time trial more difficult due to the two technical downhills that are on the course.
I checked out the route of the time trial back in June and the first downhill was tricky, with melted roads and stuff. We might not have that problem if it is raining, but it is a really dangerous, technical downhill anyway. And the second one is a very, very fast descent.
I think it is the most technically demanding time trial there has ever been in the Tour de France. It is also incredibly hard – I think there is a 1200 metre altitude gain in 32 kilometres, so it is going to be a real test.
It suits me a lot better than the time trial last week, so am hoping to have a good result.