Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) could not take his first win of this season in the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana’s summit finish of Santa Lucia, but the Irishman has taken away some positive lessons all the same.
His hands slumped over the bars and swigging water in the unusually warm weather at the finish line, race radio persistently – and oddly – insisted that Martin, not Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) had won the stage.
“Not first, fifth,” Martin repeated into his internal radio system through to his team car, “fifth.”
Even if he wasn’t able to fight for the win, Martin nonetheless remained in contention all the way up the ascent, and in the process he has shown rising form with the team’s home race, the UAE Tour, looming large on the horizon.
With that in mind, Martin told Cyclingnews that his performance represented another firm step in the right direction. It also has propelled him up to fourth overall at Valenciana, one better – assuming there are no changes on Sunday’s flat stage – than his previous best GC result here, fifth overall in 2017.
“The guys did a great job, and I felt really good, but I haven’t been training for that kind of climb yet,” Martin said. “It really hurt.
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