Martin places Giro d’Italia ahead of Tour as his major target
Climber won Tour stage this year, as well as the prestigious Liège-Bastogne-Liège Classic and Volta a Catalunya.
Dan Martin, seen here on his way to victory in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege road race in April, has pinpointed the Giro d’Italia as his main target for next season. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Pinpointing the Giro d’Italia’s start in Ireland and his desire to do well in that race as his big target for next season, Irish professional Dan Martin has said that he is willing to chance not riding the Tour de France in order to shine on home soil.
The climbing specialist won a stage of the Tour this year and also clocked up victory in the prestigious Liège-Bastogne-Liège Classic plus the Volta a Catalunya.
Boosted his confidence
Those performances boosted his confidence and that and the three opening days in northern and southern Ireland and the Giro’s mountainous terrain have led him to decide to stake everything on that race.
“I am going to go to the Giro aiming to be as good as I can possibly be,” he told The Irish Times. “If I am in my best form and doing my best, then the results will follow.
“Obviously the start in Ireland is a big factor in me focussing on the Giro, as it is an opportunity that you don’t want to miss, to start a Grand Tour in your home country. The route also suits me a lot.”
In recent years it has proved to be very difficult for riders to perform in both the Giro and the Tour, with the close gap between the two three week events making recovery very difficult.
‘ A huge event’
“Obviously the Tour is the Tour and it starts in the UK, which is going to be a huge event,” Martin said, when asked about his chances of doing the French event. “I grew up in the UK [in Birmingham] too, so it would mean a lot to be able to start the Tour de France there. But at the same time I am not going to go to the Tour just to ride around. We are going to have to see how I feel after the Giro.
“If I am racing for the general classification in the final week of the Giro, the chances are that I will have to miss the Tour de France as I will be cooked.”
Meanwhile, Sam Bennett is planning for his first year as a pro with the NetApp Endura team.
He has confirmed he will have a team bonding camp between December 20th and 23rd, then a 10-day training camp in Mallorca in January.