Video: Dan Martin says TV moto caused him to be distanced at Tour

Posted on: July 12th, 2019
Dan Martin was caught on the wrong side of a split and, along with Nairo Quintana, was lucky to recover his position before the finish of today’s stage 7 of the Tour

Dan Martin has said he was caught on the wrong side of a split in the field at the Tour de France today because of the way the TV motorbikes influence the speed.

The Irishman, who is riding with UAE Team Emirates, suggested the TV motos caused sudden increases in speed.

As a result the bunch tended to split and when it did on stage 7 today, the longest of the Tour, he was caught out.

Martin also got caught out in a split on stage 1 last Saturday but, as was the case today, the groups came back together.

He was lucky today as he was down the back when the race split, though he had to hit the front himself and close the gap – as the video below reveals.

Had some of the bigger teams realised Nairo Quintana (Movistar) was with Dan Martin they may have sought to take advantage.

Dan Martin had to hit the front of the group himself and close the gap when he was caught out, video blow

However, though the split occurred deep into the last hour of racing, the peloton was taking a relaxed approach to bringing back the day’s small breakaway.

That meant the riders behind got back on after a fashion, though Dan Martin can thank good fortune for that.

“It was a bloc headwind, and obviously I maybe shouldn’t be back there anyway,” he said of being down the back of the bunch.

“But when it’s a strong headwind you don’t expect the peloton to break,” he added of the stage, won by Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) in a sprint.

“It was happening all day – every time the TV moto goes in front of the peloton the speed goes up.

“It’s just something we have to face at the Tour,” he said, in reference to the much lamented influence of the TV motos as riders attempt to sit in their slipstream.

Martin (UAE Team Emirates) finished in the bunch today, in 53rd place, and is 18th overall at 1:45.

Tomorrow takes the riders 200km from Mâcon to Saint-Étienne with seven medium climbs on the route.

However, while Dan Martin conceded some seconds on his main general classification rivals on yesterday’s stage 6, he does not believe such time gaps will count.

“It’s going to be a case of a war of attrition rather than explosive attacks where you take some time,” he said.

While the Pyrenees stages come next week, there is the no so small matter of the Massif Central this weekend.

“Hopefully we won’t see much happening in the GC battle but it’s all part of the wearing-down process,” Martin said.

“They’re tough days, not only the distance but the cumulative climbing and the heat as well as we get towards the south.

“It’s going to be a really tough few days and that war of attrition starts now.”