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PAU, France (CT) – Having placed second and fourth on the Mur de Bretagne and Mur de Huy stages respectively, Dan Martin has said that he is completely committed to landing a victory later in the Tour and that he is keeping contract considerations separate to that.
“I never use that as motivation,” he told CyclingTips. “I will get a contract. Whatever I do in this race doesn’t really affect it. It is what I have done in the past – I have already proven what a rider I am.”
Martin is currently part of the Cannondale-Garmin team, having turned pro with that setup back in 2008. He has never raced outside that structure but with his current term drawing to an end at the close of this season, there is a possibility that he will be competing elsewhere in 2016.
He said that nothing has been decided as yet, though, and it appears he is open to the possibility of remaining where he is.
“My agent comes to the race now and will be on the race for the rest of the week,” he said. “Obviously all the teams are here and it is a good opportunity to meet all the team managers and see what is going on. At the moment I am really happy here at Garmin but we will see what the future holds.”
Martin won a stage in the Tour de France two years ago but while he has not yet done so in this year’s race, he is clear that he has progressed in the 24 months since.
“I think I have definitely got better. I am pretty confident,” he said. “I am probably a kilo lighter now than I was then. I am two years stronger, so I am definitely in the right place.”
This year’s Tour is arguably the most mountainous in many years, thus providing multiple opportunities for the climbers in the two weeks ahead. Monday sees the riders have their first rest day, then the race will recommence Tuesday with the first of three Pyrenean stages.
Each feature uphill finishes and will be a prime opportunity for the climbers in the race.
For Martin, and for others who have lost time such as the Yates brothers Adam and Simon (Orica GreenEdge), long range attacks could well be planned. These could also set those in the moves up for the mountains jersey.
“I definitely have the legs to try and win a stage in the race,” said the Irishman, who was boxed in on Saturday at the moment when stage winner Alexis Vuillermoz (Ag2r La Mondiale) attacked. He did get clear of the group, opening a five second gap, but was unable to catch the Frenchman before the line.
“There are going to be more stages that suit me and I’ll be going for those.”