Don’t miss out on the latest CyclingTips updates.
Third on Wednesday’s stage three of the Volta a Catalunya, Dan Martin has said that trying to pay tribute to the victims of Tuesday’s plane crash was a big motivation for the team and that he and the other Cannondale-Garmin riders would aim high on Thursday’s toughest stage.
Martin finished third behind solo winner Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale), who jumped clear towards the end to nab the victory. Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-QuickStep) led in the chase group three seconds back, with Martin outsprinting Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) for third and the time bonus.
“I was very happy to be on the podium in my adopted home town but of course we would have liked to take home the win,” he said afterwards.
“The support was amazing, though, and racing on our training roads definitely gave us that extra inspiration and local knowledge today. With the deeply sad news of the Girona citizens involved in the tragic plane crash yesterday it was a difficult day for the town but we almost brought the victory home for them and we certainly raced in their honour, and the honour of all of the victims and their families and loved ones.”
Martin’s result moves him up to sixth overall and sees him make some inroads into the advantage of Pierre Rolland (Europcar), the new race leader.
The 2013 overall winner is two minutes 22 seconds back. hile riders such as Contador are likely Rolland’s biggest threat, Martin and Talansky – who is five seconds further back in tenth overall – will try to do something big.
“There are a few more opportunities in this race now, and it was great teamwork with Andrew today,” he said. “To have two of us still in contention is great for the next stages and especially the queen stage tomorrow.”