Dan Martin named Tour de France’s ‘most combative’ rider

Irish rider set to finish eighth overall despite suffering a heavy crash in the eighth stage

Dan Martin celebrates victory in stage six of the Tour de France. Photograph: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty

Dan Martin celebrates victory in stage six of the Tour de France. Photograph: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty

 

Dan Martin’s attacking performances in the Tour de France saw the Irish rider given the prized super combativity award, denoting the rider deemed the most aggressive in the event. Martin was named as the winner of that competition on Saturday, reflecting his spirited approach to the three week event, and likely also drawing on his stage win and two other top five finishes.

He was among eight riders shortlisted for the award. The final winner was then decided by a public vote and jury deliberations.

“I honestly can’t believe I’ve been given the super combativity prize,” he said.

“I really wanted to be on the podium in Paris but I didn’t think I’d do it this way - especially as I haven’t taken the prize on any of the stages. But it’s an honour and I’m speechless.”

Martin had a solid showing in the stage 20 time trial at the Tour de France on Saturday, placing 34th in an event that doesn’t suit his characteristics. He covered the rolling 31 kilometre course in a time two minutes and 40 seconds off that of the stage winner Tom Dumoulin, the world time trial champion.

The ride saw him maintain his eighth place overall in the general classification. With just Sunday’s final stage to Paris to negotiate, Martin is set to finish in that position in the race.

“It’s been an incredibly memorable Tour for me,” he said. “It means so much, especially taking the first ever stage victory for UAE Team Emirates. Part of the reason I came to the team was to help create a legacy. It has been the mission of the team from the very beginning to bring cycling to the people of the UAE and to inspire the next generation of cyclists.

“That’s always been a passion of mine so it’s great to know that the cycling community has been glued to the TV watching us perform in France. It’s just unbelievable.”

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