Dan Martin taking a break following recent win in Liège-Bastogne-Liège Classic
Garmin-Sharp rider had a stellar showing this spring and is focusing on Tour de France
Dan Martin of Ireland and Garmin Sharp celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the 99th Liege-Bastogne-Liege cycle road race on April 21st in Liege, Belgium. Photograph: Getty Images
Speaking after joining Seán Kelly as the only Irish winners of the historic Liège-Bastogne-Liège Classic, Dan Martin has indicated he will take time away from competition to recharge.
The Garmin-Sharp rider had a stellar showing this spring, winning the Volta a Catalunya in March and then going on last week to net fourth in Flèche Wallonne and then first in Liège. The latter was the first Irish Classic win in 21 years.
He is third overall in the UCI WorldTour standings and, after taking a break, wants to gradually build up towards the Tour de France.
“I am not sure what ambitions I will have going to the Tour,” Martin told The Irish Times . “Obviously it is a Grand Tour and is very different to these (Classic) races, but I have got huge confidence now. I think I have shown that I really have come on a level.
“I don’t know what my chances are of riding general classification at the Grand Tours, but I will work hard and then see what happens.”
Martin will head to Ireland next week. He is the patron of the Cycle4life charity, an initiative which last year raised over €126,000 for Temple Street Children’s hospital.
Their annual ride takes place next week, on May 4th, and participants of all levels will have the chance to cycle alongside Martin and Irish Paralympian Colin Lynch on the day.
Registration and details about the route are available on www.cycle4life.ie.
In other news, seven more overseas teams have been announced for next month’s An Post Rás. Last year’s stage one winner, Marcin Bialoblocki, will head the Team UK Youth team, while past Rás runner-up Pete Williams and the ambitious Irish rider Peter Hawkins will be part of the IG Sigma Sport squad.
Two other British outfits include Node4 Giordana and the Scottish national team.
In addition, the Dutch Koga squad will travel and include Nick Stopler, who took silver and bronze in the points and madison respectively at the 2010 European track championships. The Belgian national team will also feature strong track racing names, including multiple Six Days winner and 2012 world madison champion Kenny De Ketele.
The seventh setup confirmed this week is the Australian Team Subaru Albion.
The 2013 An Post Rás begins in Dunboyne on May 19th.
FIXTURES : Saturday : John Beggs Memorial, Banbridge; starts noon; Donegal county championships, starts Glenswilly, 9am; Super Six TT, starts 10am Cookstown.
Sunday : Waller Cup, Bohermeen. First races from 11am (programme incorporates Joe Daly Cycles Women’s National League); Drumm Cup, Currow; Mid Ulster GP, starts Cookstown, 1pm; Donegal County Championships, starts Falcarragh, 10am; XC NPS Round 2, Fossa, Killarney.