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by Mark Zalewski
July 11, 2016
In today’s CT Daily News Digest: Tom Dumoulin wins summit finish in Andorra, Froome defends Tour de France lead; Giro Rosa Round-up: a last-minute stage win for Rabo-Liv and Megan Guarnier wins the Giro Rosa!; Jan Hirt wins Tour of Austria; Nikolay Mihaylov wins Sibiu Cycling Tour; Citing fever, Alberto Contador abandons 2016 Tour de France in Pyrenees; Tactical error? BMC Racing loses out to Froome on Tour’s first big mountain stage; Dan Martin feeling ‘great’ as Tour de France heads for familiar roads; Froome defends action against fan; Commentary: Why Chris Froome was right to punch that spectator; Tinkov, in TV interview: Valverde is jealous of Contador, Europeans don’t know how to do business; New Zealand names final Olympic cycling team; Why Andorra is becoming one of Europe’s most popular pro cycling bases; Tour de France, stage 9 recap; Tour de France, stage 8 on-board highlights; Tour de France, stage 7 on-board highlights; POV footage of Adam Yates crash into 1km inflatable; Orica-BikeExchange Backstage Pass, stage 7; 6-year-old tries Froome’s aero-tuck
Dan Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) safely navigated his way through a stressful opening week of the Tour de France and heads into the mountains on equal footing with pre-race favorites Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar).
“Great, feel really good, but tomorrow’s another day,” Martin said after the opening test in the Pyrenees, the Col d’Aspin, on Stage 6. “How you feel today doesn’t really explain tomorrow, but I seem to be coping with the number of hours we’ve done so far, the team is doing a great job of protecting me and I’m looking forward to the roads that have treated me so well in the past.”
A lanky puncheur, Martin, 29, is experiencing a bit of a rebirth this season, joining the Belgian Etixx-QuickStep squad in the offseason after spending nearly a decade in the Slipstream Sports program under the watchful eye of Jonathan Vaughters. A stage victory at the Volta a la Comuitat Valenciana in February was the earliest Martin has ever powered to victory in a season in his career, but most importantly he finished third at the recent Criterium du Dauphine — a shot across the bow to the other GC contenders that he meant business coming into this year’s Tour.
The Irishman moved to Andorra a few years ago and knows the roads for this year’s Pyrenean stages well from spending countless hours training on them, but he has also seen success racing on them as well.
“We came down this downhill,” Martin said at the finish of stage 7 in Lac de Payolle, referring to his 2013 Tour stage victory, which climbed over the Col d’Aspin on its way to finishing in Bagnéres de Bigorre. “These climbs have been good to me in the past, and I hope tomorrow they will again,” Martin continued.
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