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“It was just an epic stage. It was great to be a part of. I wish people could see what we went through.”

Photo: Sirotti

ANDREW TALANSKY

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CRITERIUM DU DAUPHINE

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DANIEL MARTIN

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NEWS
13.06.2015 @ 02:44 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Dan Martin climbed to sixth place on Friday in a wet and wild stage six of the Critérium du Dauphiné, 1:46 behind stage winner Rui Costa (Lampre Merida). Andrew Talansky finished in the yellow jersey group in 14th place at 2:31. The Cannondale-Garmin duo head into the weekend inside the top ten overall with Martin currently placed ninth and Talansky in tenth. It was an incredible fight to the finish in Villard de Lans with a combative race from kilometer zero.

 

“It was just an epic stage,” said Martin. “It was great to be a part of. I wish people could see what we went through.”

 

An early breakaway failed to materialize despite the repeated attacks that began from the gun. The peloton covered 46 kilometers in the opening hour of racing as teams sent rider-after-rider up the road. Nearly two hours into the stage, a group of five riders were able to establish and advantage. Costa was joined by Vincezno Nibali (Astana), Alejandro Valverede (Movistar), Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondale). The present of three general classification threats in the breakaway coupled with a challenging parcours and filthy weather created the perfect scenario for an all-out battle on the roads.

 

“On paper the profile looked easy but there were these little kickers all the time and with the rain it blew it to pieces,” explained Martin. “Then when we got onto the category climbs Nibali and Froome were attacking everywhere. It quickly became a small group, but Andrew and I were in there. It’s so great to have a teammate in those situations.”

 

“You have all the best riders in the world riding hard here,” Martin added. “That’s part of why you had guys attacking with 120km still to go.”

 

Initially Martin and Talansky were part of an elite yellow jersey chase group about two minutes behind the five-rider escape. The group swelled in size ahead of the finish.

 

“There were only about ten of us heading into the feed but then we were caught by a mini-peloton so it finally calmed down a little,” noted Martin. “Before that it was impossible to even eat something. Then it was all about taking in carbohydrates. I think my Classics background took over, and I was just fighting exhaustion at the end.”

 

The chase group had been whittled down again by the time the race reached the Gorge de la Bourne, a category three climb leading to Villard-de-Lans. By this point, it had become clear that the breakaway would contest the stage win although the chasers still needed to ride hard to limit losses to Nibali, Valverde and Costa.

 

Simon Yates (ORICA-GreenEDGE) was the first to attack the chase group, and he immediately got an advantage.

 

“When Yates went away everyone was looking at each other,” said Martin. “So, I attacked with seven kilometer to go and time-trialed to the finish with two guys on my wheel all the way to the line.”

 

“It was a good move for the general classification,” Martin added. “We are in a good position heading into the weekend.”

 

The Dauphiné continues on Saturday with another day with the mountains. The 155 kilometer route includes five category one climbs and one category three climbs, including a summit finish to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc.

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