Martin Braves the Mountains: Irishman Scoops Second on Stage 17 of Tour De France
Dubai, UAE, July 26, 2018: UAE Team Emirates’ Dan Martin put in a thrilling performance on Stage 17 of the Tour de France to bring home another top five finish for the team – a result which sees the Irishman continue his pursuit of a top 10 General Classification (GC) finish. Martin, who held his nerve amongst the yellow jersey group for the first half of the race, decided to make his move with less than 12km to go as he pursued the breakaway riders. Showing his grit and determination, Martin continued to close the gap on the race leader and eventually secured second place just 28” behind the eventual stage winner, Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team).
The race began with an unusual grid style start, similar to that in Formula One, with UAE Team Emirates’ Kristijan Durasek quickly taking his opportunity to be part of the day’s breakaway. The Croatian performed well and dropped off to make way for team mate Martin who excelled as a solo chaser of Quintana on the final and third climb of the day.
Commenting on his finish, Martin said: “The last two or three days I have felt really good. It’s a really good sign. I planned to go earlier and that’s why we had Kristijan in the break. But it’s okay to say ‘attack early’, but there is so much wind on those early climbs so it wasn’t worth it. I had good legs and felt I could do a good last climb. I took advantage of the pace and they let me go and Nairo came with me, and then he attacked me and went so hard but I wanted to settle into my own tempo – it almost turned into a time trial to the top. I was trying to keep him at 10 or 15 seconds because at 500m I could usually close that gap, but at this altitude it was tough. He was the better guy on the day, but I was really proud of how the team and I rode today.”
With the result, Martin climbs up to ninth in the GC and sits 6:33” behind the leader, Geraint Thomas (Team Sky).
After two hard days in the mountains, Stage 18 will give riders some respite, with just two category four climbs featuring on the 171km route from Trie-sur-Baïse to Pau. The sprinters will have an eye on this race, looking to climb the standings and get back into contention, but the peloton will have to manage the breakaway carefully to avoid any major upsets.
Stage 17 Results
1. Nairo Quintana (Col) – Movistar Team 2:21:27
2. Dan Martin (Ire) – UAE Team Emirates +00:28
3. Geraint Thomas (GBr) – Team Sky +00:47
General Classification Standings
1. Geraint Thomas (GBr) – Team Sky 70:34:11
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) – Team Sunweb +01:59
3. Chris Froome (GBr) – Team Sky +02:31
9. Dan Martin (Ire) – UAE Team Emirates +06:33
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