Dan Martin - keeping it in perspective
Team Garmin-Sharp's Daniel Martin is a man of many talents.
changed over the years, Martin has only ever ridden professionally for the Slipstream organization.
“The reason I signed with Garmin is the clean ethic and the opportunity to never even have the thought cross your mind (to dope),” explains Martin. “The whole philosophy of this team is relaxed and friendly. It suits my idea of the sport. Obviously it is very professional and one of the best teams in the world now.”
“It’s a bit less robotic, more human, than a lot of teams. That suits my personality and people recognize I am suited to this team. There’s a vulnerability we have – you never know what you’re going to get from us.”
“It comes down to the atmosphere at the dinner table. I look forward to racing because it’s a group of people you know very well. I’m happy here – the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. This team suits me very well and I’d be a fool to walk out on something that has made me so happy.”
The Tour de France is the sport’s biggest event and for many riders their make or break race. However, the Irishman has other thoughts.
“I just love racing and I’m not the guy that says my goal is the Tour de France. Maybe that will change in a couple of years, but I want to go to every race to help the team or ride for myself. I’m fortunate at the moment to get opportunities for myself and that makes me proud to represent the team.”
“It’s the biggest stage race (Tour de France) and the route is relatively sympathetic to myself and my capabilities. I think it will be interesting to see what I can actually do. Last year I didn’t go in with any aspirations. It was more about learning about the race and helping out the guys and maybe nick a stage win.”
When asked if he has a goal for the Tour, Martin doesn’t point to a certain objective.
“There’s a hunger and desire to see what we can do in the biggest stage race that everyone knows. But I’m not the kind of guy that says I’m going to do this or podium at the Tour. It’s more about going there and seeing how good I am and doing my best - then I’ll be happy.”
While the Tour is the biggest race on the calendar, Martin also has another block of favorite races.
“The Ardennes races are what I love. The atmosphere, the course suits me – it’s a really enjoyable week. I get to hang out for a week with my mates in a hotel for 10 days. It’s a really cool week.”
It’s not all about hanging out in the hotel room ordering room service. Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège are important goals. Last year he was fifth in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and sixth in Flèche Wallonne.
“Obviously I want to be successful there and I think I’m coming in with much better condition and a platform to perform well.”
“This year I’ve put