Dan Martin Diary – Stage 11: Still paying for Sunday’s effort as time trial proves tough
The heavyweights take full advantage when the land is flat
For him, it was a case that he just put everything together perfectly on the day. In addition to that, I think after eleven days of racing that freshness definitely played a part in this time trial. Perhaps he is just feeling a little bit fresher at this point of the race than the other contenders.
To sum up: it was a fantastic performance from him, and is definitely a kick in the balls for the rest of the general classification guys.
So, I’m now 13th overall. I have to reiterate I am taking this race day by day. Obviously the general classification is in the back of my mind, but I am not obsessed about it. We are still there or thereabouts, and we’ll see how it goes.
Things are still pretty tight behind Chris Froome; after 11 days of racing, I am two minutes 20 off second place, and that is far and away above what I expected coming into the race. One good day in the mountains can change a lot, and so I’ll just continue in same the way we have been going.
Next up are a couple of very flat stages. I’m hoping that the wind won’t be as bad as it was on Tuesday. With a bit of luck the stage will be somewhat relaxing and I can start to recover and think about next week. It looks like stage 12 is one for the sprinters. It’s flat and there are no categorised climbs. I know there is a bit of a technical finish tomorrow, with two corners in the last kilometre, and so it is going to be important to be in the front.
The goal is to keep close to the front riders to make sure I am not caught behind any splits in the bunch and lose time, but also to steer clear of any crashes. It is a bit of a problematic finale to the stage in Tours, but we will do our best. Avoiding crashes and time loss are the two big goals.
Finally, a word about the crowds. They were really impressive again yesterday, with loads and loads of spectators along the roads of the time trial. The tricolours are great, and I understand there will be a lot of Irish supporters on corner ten of Alpe d’Huez next week. That is going to be really good, it should be a bit of fun.