Martin to compete in Giro d’Italia for first time in seven years

Irish rider eager to try to complete his set of Grand Tour stage victories

Daniel Martin: will be team leader with Israel Start-Up Nation in the Giro d’Italia which begins in  in Turin on May 8th. Photograph: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty

Daniel Martin: will be team leader with Israel Start-Up Nation in the Giro d’Italia which begins in in Turin on May 8th. Photograph: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty

 

Dan Martin will start his first Giro d’Italia in seven years next month, the Irish rider has been confirmed as team leader with Israel Start-Up Nation ahead of the race start in Turin on May 8th.

Martin’s last Giro was when the race started in Belfast, and ended when he crashed on the opening team time trial, breaking a collarbone in the process. It will also see him seek a hat-trick of Grand Tour stage wins, having won a stage in last year’s Vuelta a España, where he finished fourth overall, to go with two previous stage wins in the Tour de France.

“It feels like unfinished business there,” says Martin, who is also likely to start the Tour de France in late June.

“I have always been a huge fan of the Giro. After completing it in 2010, it has just never fit with my goals or the team’s ambitions since then for me to be at the Ardennes classics and the Tour.

“I can’t wait for the opportunity to go for a stage win in Italy, and to try to complete my set of Grand Tour stage victories.”

Martin’s fourth-place in the Vuelta, having sat in third overall for the first two weeks, was the best Irish Grand Tour placing since Sean Kelly won it outright in 1988. The 34-year-old Martin placed 57th overall on his Giro debut in 2010, this year’s race, set to finish in Milan on May 21st, featuring six mountain finishes and seven other hilly stages likely to suit him.

For now Sam Bennett is the only other Irish rider set to start the Tour de France, which begins in Brest on June 26th, his spring classic season continuing next Wednesday when he races the 109th Scheldeprijs, the oldest Flemish spring classic, the 194.2km race that starts in Terneuzen in the Netherlands and finishes Schoten in Belgium.

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