Dan Martin’s strong showing in Flèche Wallonne has him primed for Liège

Eddie Dunbar out of action for at least a month after training fall

Dan Martin goes on the attack during the closing stages of the Flèche Wallonne Classic in which he finished third. Photograph: Jerome Prevost/EPA.

Dan Martin goes on the attack during the closing stages of the Flèche Wallonne Classic in which he finished third. Photograph: Jerome Prevost/EPA.

 
Flèche Wallonne ClassicDan Martin

Martin won the latter event in 2013 and went close the following year, crashing on the final corner while seemingly heading for victory.

He based his Spring campaign around being at top form for Flèche Wallonne and Liège, and knows he has the condition to chase the win.

“We wanted to go for the victory, but second and third on the podium is still a great result for the team,” Martin said after finishing behind Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and his Etixx-QuickStep team-mate Julian Alaphilippe.

“We have to be happy, but we’re also a bit sad, because we came here to get the win.”

Martin can nevertheless feel good about his form in advance of Sunday.

“I probably did my best race ever here, but struggled in the last 100m. Julian and I are in top shape so it’s promising for Liege-Bastogne-Liège. It’s good to have two strong riders for Liège.”

He noted that Sunday’s race is more tactical and having two with the condition to win means the team will be very strong in that regard.

Sidelined

“I went around the corner and the side of the road was not in the best condition,” he explained. “I managed to keep control of my bike, but I hit a metal guardrail and went flying over the handlebars.”

Dunbar broken his collarbone but said that he considered himself to be lucky. “It happened so quickly. I was probably going 50 or 60 kilometres an hour. It could have been a lot worse, especially if there had been a car coming on the other side of the road.”

In other news, two more international teams have been confirmed for this year’s An Post Rás, which begins on May 22nd.

British squads NFTO and Madison Genesis are targeting success and will both have strong leaders. NFTO will be headed by former Team Sky rider Josh Edmondson, who finished second in the race in 2015 while riding with the An Post Chainreaction team. The squad will also feature Rob Partridge, who finished fourth overall.

The Madison Genesis team will be led by Erick Rowsell and Matt Holmes. Rowsell won the King of the Mountains in last year’s Ride London Surrey Classic while Holmes was fifth on the penultimate stage last season.

An Post Rás race director Tony Campbell expects a strong showing from both squads.

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