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“You look at the road, I think there’s a batch of oil or something. Yeah, I think I pretty much had tears in my eyes before I hit the floor. It’s hard — there’s not really words. To race seven hours like t...

Photo: Sirotti

DANIEL MARTIN

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EF EDUCATION - EASYPOST

TEAM PROFILE
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LIÈGE - BASTOGNE - LIÈGE

RACE PROFILE
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TOM-JELTE SLAGTER

RIDER PROFILE
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NEWS
27.04.2014 @ 21:36 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Daniel Martin was about to make historie in today's Liege-Bastogne-Liege when he was riding towards a second consecutive victory in the oldest classic. Disaster stuck in the last corner though when he crashed and the Irishman claimed to have tears in his eyes even before he hit the deck.

 

Just a few months ago, Daniel Martin crashed in the final corner of Il Lombardia just as he was about to secure himself a spot on the podium. Today history repeated itself when he hit the deck in the final corner of Liege-Bastogne-Liege but this time it was much harder for the Irishman to come to terms with the situation.

 

Martin had ridden a near-perfect race and seemed on his way to repeating what he had done 12 months ago when he dropped all his rivals on the final rise in the finish in Ans. Just as he had made contact with race leader Giampaolo Caruso, however, his bike slipped and all his dreams of making history with back-to-back wins came to nothing.

 

“It’s one thing, if you make a mistake, or you know what you’ve done. But I just fell out of a tree, basically,” Martin told reporters the the finish. “You look at the road, I think there’s a batch of oil or something. Yeah, I think I pretty much had tears in my eyes before I hit the floor.
 

“It’s hard — there’s not really words. To race seven hours like that and just for it to happen on the last corner? Yeah. It’s poetry.”

 

“I didn’t know what was going on behind, I didn’t know how close the group was. All I know is that I was feeling pretty good still and I was very relaxed. I was 250 meters. Podium was definitely on the card. I don’t know if maybe Gerro would have caught me. I don’t know. There’s no way of knowing, you know?

 

“The team rode unbelievably well all day. Everybody was so relaxed going into La Redoute. I rode a perfect race. I suffered a bit on [Côte de la Roche-aux]-Faucons, and had a bit of a difficult moment there and just really stayed relaxed and let the other guys attack and saved everything for one last effort in the last kilometer. And it nearly paid off. That’s the way it goes.

 

“Everybody was gutted, you know?. It’s like … as I say, we stand by, whatever the results were, we were going to stand together. They know we came so close. And it’s — we’ll just have to come back next year and do the same thing again and hopefully we’ll have a better outcome.

 

“Obviously we’ve still got Tom [Jelte Slagter] sixth. Still had Tom in sixth place, you know? It’s not a bad day for the team, and on another day it would have been, we would have been pretty happy with the result."

 

Tom-Jelte Slagter saved the day for Garmin-Sharp when he confirmed his great potential in the hilly classics by taking sixth.

 

"I am super sorry for Dan," he told NOS. "He was in a winning position. It's just bad luck that he crashed. I saw him lying there but did not see his crash.

 

"Regarding myself, I am definitely happy. I'm very pleased with top 10. It was more a hope than an expectation to get it. I felt like I did in the Fleche Wallonne. It was very hard all day and then you have the feeling that you're not really super . Apparently everyone had it like that. In the end you can see that I was still pretty good." 

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