Dan Martin says TV motos are ruining attacks on Tour de France

Posted on: July 22nd, 2018

Dan Martin TV motos Tour de France

Dan Martin said while the TV motos have an important job to do, the fact they were always at the front of the peloton handed the bunch an advantage over escapees.  Above, meeting Irish fans at the start of today’s stage.


Dan Martin says TV motos a problem at Tour de France


Irish rider Dan Martin went on a long-range solo attack in the final hour of Tour de France stage 15. However, he was absorbed by the select group before the finish.

He said after the stage he was always up against it; riding solo against Team Sky and the TV motos at the front of the peloton.

He acknowledged the race had to be broadcast live on TV. But he believes the TV motos’ influence on racing was a particular feature of the Tour de France.

Dan Martin attacked up the final climb of the day, Pic de Nore. There was a long descent and a lengthy flat section before the finish.

But Martin was not deterred by the near 50km in front of him when he went. In the end he pulled out one minute of an advantage before being caught.

There was a breakaway 13 minutes up the road at the time. And from it Magnus Cort (Astana) would win the stage into Carcassonne.

And because all the general classification men finished in the same group as Martin, there was no change in the overall. But the Irish rider still said it was worth having a go.

“You might as well try, it’s called a race for a reason,” Dan Martin, 10th overall, said at the finish.

“I just thought ‘why not try?’ I expected the downhill to be a lot more downhill. But it actually wasn’t. You had to pedal the whole way down.

“And obviously; one guy against the team (Team Sky) and the TV motorbike; it’s kind of difficult you know.”


Dan Martin TV motos Tour de France

Dan Martin TV motos Tour de France

Dan Martin TV motos Tour de France

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Dan Martin continued: “The guys behind had the TV motorbike and I didn’t have anything. It’s quite an attribute of this race; the difference the TV motos make.

“I barely braked the whole downhill. But they came back on me like I was standing still.”

And he believed the influence of the TV motos extended to discouraging attacks.

“They’ve got an impossible job. I respect that,” he said of the moto drivers and camera men.

“But that’s why nobody attacks. As soon as you’re on your own or in a small group, the TV motorbike goes behind. And the peloton’s got it in front of them, and it’s impossible.

“Maybe they should give the breakaway a motorbike in front of them as well; to even it up.”

Asked whether he was hopeful somebody else would come across to him when he attacked, he said the fact that didn’t happen was why moves like his don’t tend to work.

“It’s such a calculating sport now. Everybody is sort of counting their pennies before the last week,” he explained.

“I kind of thought that I felt good, and I might pay for it in the Pyrenees but we’ll never know that now.

“You can have a bad day whenever. And that little attack today is not going to make you have a better or worse day in the Pyrenees.

“Everybody is a bit too calculating on this race sometimes. In the media as well; if you attack and it doesn’t work, then everybody says it’s a waste of energy.

“It’s all negative. But it’s only a race; you may as well enjoy yourself. I’m in 10th so I’ve got nothing to lose.”

Martin believed there would be fireworks in the Pyrenees in the stages to come. But the lack of said fireworks today convinced him to make a move off the front.

“I was kind of bored on that last climb. It looked like LottoNL-Jumbo and Sky were content riding really slow on the climb. So I thought why not see how far they’ll let me go.”