Dan Martin pays heavy price for moment’s lapse at Dauphiné

Posted on: June 10th, 2019

Dan Martin Critérium du Dauphiné

Dan Martin has lost valuable time to the strongest men in Critérium du Dauphiné after missing the Thibaut Pinot train as it left the station.

Dan Martin paid the price for a moment’s hesitation when the Critérium du Dauphiné split to pieces on stage 2 today.

The Irish rider was with the favourites group but, along with Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), got caught out.

With 17.5km remaining, Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) lit it up in the favourites group which split under the extreme pressure applied from the Frenchman.

Mike Woods (EF Education First) and Chris Froome (Team Ineos) were strongest in matching Pinot.

And a small group of six others also quickly latched to the train being pulled away by Pinot.

However, Martin and Bardet didn’t respond as quickly; perhaps because they didn’t have the legs or because of a lapse in concentration.

Either way, it cost them dearly; a small gap opening between them and the others as the breeze buffeted the riders.

Frenchman Martin went close to his team’s first ever WorldTour win but Teuns got him on the line to take the stage victory and race yellow jersey
The stage saw may of the best riders attack off the front; the undulating course offering lots of opportunity. Above, Dumoulin leads young French start Gaudu

After putting his initial surge in, Pinot then pressed hard for a sustained period. It meant anyone who’d missed the boat wasn’t getting back on terms.

Indeed, Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) and Bardet were lucky to contain their losses.

They had relinquished 31 seconds to the Froome-Pinot group by the time they reached Craponne-sur-Arzon after 180km.

As the race split most of the breakaway had just been caught, though two riders from it were still leading; Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Merida) and Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert Cycling).

That duo was part of a breakaway that went clear after other moves had been up the road but were caught as they contained general classification danger men.

Julian Alaphilippe (Groupama-FDJ), David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) and Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) were among those earlier escapees.

While Teuns and Martin looked strong when they moved clear of the final breakaway, the group of favourites behind was so packed with talent it seemed inevitable the two leaders would be caught.

The yellow jersey; he had a great day yesterday, scoring a very fine stage win. But today’s stage saw the general classification men take it up and gaps open
It was a stage of constant movement and Team Ineos looked panicked at times in chasing down some of the general classification men when they got clear. Chris Froome is clearly intent on winning this race after a very low key 2019 season to date

As well as Pinot, Froome and Woods, the chase group also contained Jakob Fuglsang and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Petr Vakoc (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Wout Poels (Team Ineos) and Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott).

However, the two leaders survived, with Teuns winning the two-up sprint to take the stage and yellow jersey. Stage 1 winner Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) lost almost two minutes.

Just 13 seconds after the winner and runner-up sprinted over the finish line came the favourites group.

A further 31 seconds would then elapse before Dan Martin, Bardet and Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) finished in a group of eight.

For his part, Irish sprinter Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) was in a group 16:18 down, in 108th place.

The result wasn’t a disaster for Dan Martin but he has lost 34 seconds to the strongest men in the race.

And frustrating for him is the fact he was with the group when Pinot applied the pressure but seemed to respond after the French rider, rather than move with him as the others did.

Sam Bennett may get his chance tomorrow, which looks like one for the sprinters.

After that, Wednesday’s stage 4 is a 26.1km TT in Roanne featuring a 2.3km climb at 7.6 per cent before the real climbing that litters the second half of the race; Friday, Saturday and Sunday all big mountain stages.

There is still plenty of racing to be done, but after today’s ride Dan Martin is on the back foot. He will need to go on the offensive to be in with a shout of the final podium.