Stickybottle

First real Tour de France chances arrive for in-form Dan Martin

Posted on: July 10th, 2018

Extra lean and hopefully mean: Even for a man like Dan Martin who always looks in top shape, he appears particularly lean and ready for battle at this Tour de France.

 

Next two days offer Tour chances for Dan Martin

 

Having gotten through three sprinters’ stages, and endured a team time trial, the first real chances have arrived for Dan Martin on the Tour de France.

The next two stages – on Wednesday and Thursday – look like ones with profiles made for him.

Tomorrow’s stage 5 takes the race 204.5km from Lorient to Quimper, with five climbs in the second half of the race.

While the ascents are ramps rather  than mountains – two cat 4s follow by two cat 3s – the final climb is a cat 3 at Notre-Dame-de-Lorette with 12km remaining.

And the finish is slightly up hill. It is perhaps not as hard as Dan Martin would like.

But if he has legs and if the incline proves testing enough to rule out all the fast men, he may have a go here.

 

Top down: Today’s top three sprint in. Van Avermaet looking good in yellow. Chris Froome surrounded by Team Sky mid-stage.

 

On Thursday stage 6 runs 181km from Brest to  Mûr de Bretagne Guerlédan.

There are two early small climbs and then towards the end of the stage the very challenging 2km Mûr-de-Bretagne must be tackled twice.

The finish is atop the climb on the second passage, with 16km between the two peaks.

It means there is 4km of climbing in the last 18km. The field will likely spit the first time up the climb, though how badly depends on how aggressive the finale is raced.

The climb should be one that really suits Dan Martin. He has spoken of really hoping for a stage win the opening week, and this looks like the one that suits him best.

After losing far more time than he would have hoped in yesterday’s TTT, a stage win will settle nerves in the team.

Today was not a stage that suited him; Fernando Gaviria (QuickStep) winning the bunch sprint into Sarzeau after 195km.

Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) was 2nd with André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) in 3rd place.

Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) finished in 74th on the same time as the winner. And he is in 33rd place  at 1:38 behind race leader Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing).

 

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