Advertisement
©INPHO/Gerry McManus File photo of Martin racing for Ireland in 2008.
# no mean feat
Staying power: Martin credits team for 'home' win at Volta a Catalunya
‘I’m extremely proud to bring this victory home for myself and for Ireland,’ said the elated 26-year-old.

IRELAND’S FIRST WINNER at the Volta a Catalunya since 1986, Daniel Martin, yesterday credited a tireless his victory to the effort from his Garmin team-mates.

Sean Kelly took his second win in Barcelona in the same year Martin was born, but yesterday the Birmingham-born rider added a new green name to the list.

Though the 26-year-old admitted “a nervous couple of days” since taking the general classification lead with a stage win on Thursday, Martin told RTE Radio that hard work from his team-mates made the defending his 17-second lead in the final stage ‘easy’.

“My team were incredible in defending my lead and the Peloton threw everything they had to try and beat us.” Martin said.

“Yesterday we had 52 km average  for the first two hours and today was the same. It was so hard and so fast, but I got lucky and had really good legs today.

“The attacks that came, I covered them and defended my lead really quite easily it seemed. Garmin-Sharp did an incredible job supporting me. I can’t describe how happy I am right now.

He added: “It’s essentially my home race now that we don’t have a tour of Ireland. I live in the area and I know a lot of the roads and I speak the language here too. It’s a race close to my heart and to finally win it and bring home the trophy is an incredible feeling.”

There could be little to diminish that feeling either. Reigning Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins faded at the final stage and could only finish in fifth place overall, while Martin’s nearest challenger, Joaquim Rodríguez, is ranked number one in the world.

“The start list was basically a who’s who of cycling,” Martin proudly told the national broadcaster, “and I won. That’s no mean feat.”

‘Easy’

“For sure, it’s going to be a different atmosphere to me now in the Peloton, but I’m just extremely proud to bring this victory home for myself and for Ireland.”

But the last word from the humble Martin, was reserved for the toil exerted by his partners in the saddle:

“I really want to thank my team-mates. they protected me and made my life easy for the last couple of days.”

Job done: Daniel Martin wins the Volta a Catalunya

Cross Country: Britton top European as Ireland take 5th at World Championships

Your Voice
Readers Comments
9