‘I’m third overall now, but I still want to take it day by day’ - Dan Martin
Martin is up from fourth to third overall - just 19 seconds behind race leader Chris Froome
Colombia’s Nairo Quintana, Australia’s Richie Porte, Britain’s Christopher Froome, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, all chase Ireland’s Dan Martin in the rain - between Vielha Val d’Aran and Andorre Arcalis. Photograph: Getty Images
The Irish climber was one of the most aggressive on the final climb of Andorre Arcalis, attacking several times and then driving the group when he, 2015 champion Chris Froome (Sky), last year’s runner-up Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) and Richie Porte (BMC Racing Team) went clear.
The group didn’t catch the riders who had been part of the day’s break. Martin sprinted in 14th, six minutes 37 seconds behind the solo winner Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) and two seconds behind Yates, Froome and Quintana.
More importantly, he continued his rise up the general classification, going from fourth to third overall. He heads into Monday’s rest day just 19 seconds behind Froome.
“I’m third overall now, but I still want to take it day by day and try to get a stage win. I like riding again in the high mountains. Etixx - Quick-Step reminded me how to enjoy what I am doing and I can’t say enough times how great this team is.
“I’m an aggressive rider, that’s my nature. I like to attack and fight for the win even if this means getting dropped, instead of sitting behind and fighting for second.”
Meanwhile Sam Bennett got through the mountain stage, finishing with the large group of sprinters. He will welcome the first rest day, giving him more time to recover from his stage one crash, but also to gain energy prior to the expected sprint stage next Wednesday.