Martin aiming to bounce back from Flèche Wallonne disappointment

Irish rider will mount bid for a second victory in Liège-Bastogne-Liège Classic

Dan Martin’s hopes of finally claiming victory at Flèche Wallonne unravelled due to bad luck, but the Irish rider is aiming to put things back on track with a strong ride in Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège Classic.

The UAE Team Emirates rider started Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne with hopes of improving on his previous results of second, second and third. However he was delayed behind a crash on the penultimate ascent of the ferociously-steep Mur de Huy, and was unable to close the gap.

Martin expended vital energy in chasing and trailed in 61st. He believes the result doesn’t reflect at all on his current form, and will seek to underline that in Liège this weekend.

Martin won the latter race five years ago, and finished second to Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 12 months ago. His main aim of the season is the Tour de France, but the current Classics were also a priority.


In other news, two more teams have been confirmed for this year’s Rás Tailteann.

Former national champion Damien Shaw will be one of the top riders on the Britain Holdsworth Pro Racing Team, and will seek to improve on his stage placings of second, second and third in the past. He has also finished fifth overall on two occasions.

Joining Shaw in the line-up is Sean McKenna, who was fourth in the mountains classification and 15th overall last year. The rest of the team will be announced closer to the race.

The second squad announced on Thursday is the USA CCB Velotooler Cycling Team, which took the runner-up slot on the Buncrana stage last year with Jacob Sitler.

This year’s lineup includes multiple road and cyclo-cross national team member Spencer Petrov, Jefferson Cup road race winner Thomas Humphreys, Healthy Newtown road race winner Gabe Mendez, Purgatory road race winner John Harris and former American masters world champion Tim Mitchel.

Finally, a Go Fund Me campaign has been set up to try to save the life of Lisa Power, the wife of former Irish professional and Olympian Ciarán Power. She previously received treatment for breast cancer and while she was given the all clear several years ago, has now been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. She is hoping to be accepted for new treatments in the US.

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about cycling