News: Dan Martin Boss in Catalunya


Former British Junior RR Champion Dan Martin took control of the Tour of Catalunya on the Queen stage by attacking and winning solo to take the leader’s jersey

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In the team’s ‘home race’ in Europe, Dan attacked out of the 23 rider break to win a super-hard mountain stage. The race started very fast and with continuous attacks. After 25 km before the start of third category climb, Tour of Italy winner Ryder Hesjedal, a teammate of Martins, went on the move. On a bumpy road, he broke clear with four other riders. They later were joined by a bigger group with Dan in it to total 25 riders.




As there was no flat all day, the race split several times and the break more-or-less had two-to-three minute gap all day with mostly Ryder on the front. Thanks to Ryder, Dan did not have to do any work before on a long 20 km climb, Ryder blew the first group apart. With three chasing teams in the peloton it all started to fall apart. At the bottom on the last 20km climb, Dan was delivered with 40 seconds over the favorite’s group and he attacked and rode away with his rivals chasing his wheel.

Behind him people attacked but couldn’t get up to Martin who never had a weak moment on the climb. There was bad luck for the race’s leader Alejandro Valverde who pulled out of the race, with his Movistar team-mate Eros Capecchi, after a crash. The Spaniard hit the deck around 119km into the stage on a descent towards Seo de Urgel, riding on for another 10km before abandoning. “Valverde and Capecchi have bruises all over their body, but we believe there is nothing more serious,” said team manager Eusebio Nzue on Twitter.

“It’s one of my best victories” said Martin to the press afterwards. “To have Ryder [Hesjedal] working for me in the breakaway like that all day was just incredible I was thinking more about the stage win today, so to get the leader’s jersey is just incredible. I didn’t do much in the breakaway. I felt kind of bad, but it’s an incredible victory for me today. I know how difficult it is to win out a breakaway. To finally get a victory here in the mountains of my home race is very important for me.”

“I will try to defend the jersey all the way to the end. The climb at Montjuic on the final stage is perfect for Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)” added Martin. “I know he will be going for it in his hometown. I was thinking more about the stage win today, so to get the leader’s jersey is just incredible. I know I was going pretty slow in those last two kilometers. I really didn’t start thinking that I was going to win until 100m to go.”

Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins kept himself in contention for overall victory, crossing the line in sixth place, one minute and two seconds down on stage winner Dan Martin, after Team Sky entered the final climb with depleted numbers, having earlier been forced to lead a taxing chase on the front of the peloton for most of the day.

Wiggins is now fourth in the general classification, 36 seconds behind new leader Martin (Garmin-Sharp), with Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) 10 seconds down in second and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 32 seconds adrift in third. The Spaniard and Colombian launched late attacks out of a thinned-down peloton in the last two kilometres to take second and third respectively on the stage. That forced Wiggins to respond and thanks to a late surge, he crossed the line 24 seconds behind the duo.

1. MARTIN Daniel Garmin – Sharp 06:02:40
2. RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team 00:36
3. QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander Movistar Team ,,
4. VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen Lotto Belisol Team 00:47
5. GESINK Robert Blanco Pro Cycling Team 00:51
6. WIGGINS Bradley Sky Procycling 01:02
7. STETINA Peter Garmin – Sharp
8. SCARPONI Michele Lampre – Merida
9. DANIELSON Thomas Garmin – Sharp

24. CUMMINGS Stephen BMC Racing Team 03:09
65. ROCHE Nicolas Team Saxo-Tinkoff 16:05
91. EDMONDSON Joshua Sky Procycling 23:45
92. KENNAUGH Peter Sky Procycling
152. FENN Andrew Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @34.11

1. MARTIN Daniel Garmin – Sharp 18:48:38
2. RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team 00:10
3. QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander Movistar Team 00:32
4. WIGGINS Bradley Sky Procycling 00:36
5. SCARPONI Michele Lampre – Merida 00:39
6. GESINK Robert Blanco Pro Cycling Team 00:51
7. NIEMIEC Przemyslaw Lampre – Merida 01:00
8. STETINA Peter Garmin – Sharp 01:07
9. PINOT Thibaut Equipe Cycliste FDJ 01:13


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