Dan Martin battles into a podium place in Tour of the Alps
Irish rider snatches third in a hectic finish in short but mountainous second stage
Dan Martin is up to third after the second stage of the Tour of the Alps. Photograph: Luc Claessen/Getty
Dan Martin rode with typical guts and aggression to move into a podium position after Stage 2 of the Tour of the Alps, snatching third in the hectic finish at Feichten im Kaunertal in southern Austria.
The short yet mountainous 121.5km stage did feature a slight downhill into the finish, Britain’s Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) already clear at that point after breaking away in the final 2km of the climb, winning the stage and taking the outright race lead by 45 seconds.
Leading the chase was Pavel Sivakov of Ineos Grenadiers, the Russian rider taking second, 41 seconds down, before Martin won the race among a trio of riders for third, beating Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) to finish 58 seconds in arrears, dropping the likes of Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) and Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo) in the process.
Thanks to a four second time bonus, that moved Martin into third on the GC, one minute and four seconds down on Yates, who already looks the rider in form with three stages remaining.
Traditionally the last big test before the Giro d’Italia next month, Martin will seek to retain the podium position in Wednesday’s Stage 3, which features three major climbs before the downhill finish into to Naturno in Italy: no such joy for his Israel Start-Up Nation team mate Chris Froome, who after losing five minutes and 13 seconds on stage one, lost another 14 minutes and 19 seconds here, the British rider now back in 106th on GC, 19 minutes and 42 seconds down.
Nicholas Roche rode strongly again to finish 32nd, three minutes and 11 seconds down, the Team DSM rider now 25th on GC.