Dan Martin loses time on tough stage to Alpe d’Huez

‘I wasn’t even breathing hard, I just had nothing left in my legs. I’m just really tired’

Dan Martin of Ireland during stage 12 in Alpe d’Huez. Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Dan Martin of Ireland during stage 12 in Alpe d’Huez. Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

 

Dan Martin’s strong sixth place on Wednesday’s 11th stage of the Tour de France wasn’t replicated on Thursday’s leg to Alpe d’Huez, with Martin faltering on the lower slopes of the final climb and losing contact with the other overall contenders.

He ultimately crossed the line in 12th place, one minute and 45 seconds behind the stage winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky).

“I was not really racing, just trying to get to the top,” said Martin. “I wasn’t even breathing hard, I just had nothing left in my legs. It was just getting to the top as fast as possible. [the issue]is just general tiredness. I felt really good on the first climb of the day. It is such a hard day . . .[we had] those three days in a row, and already after such a hard week last week as well. I am just really tired.”

Martin choose to go at his own pace rather than risking going into the red, but felt afterwards that he should have tried to hold on for longer. “I didn’t go with the group. To just ride my own tempo was probably a mistake as I didn’t realise how much wind there was. It would have been best to stay in the group but I probably sat 50 metres behind them. But it is easier said than done.”

He remains 10th overall, but is now five minutes and 11 seconds behind race leader Thomas. He is disappointed, but remains determined. “I will try [to keep attacking],” he said. “It is a long race still. I did my best today. I am just tired.”

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