Grounded Dan Martin hasn’t caught yellow fever in Tour de France

Dan Martin has played down talk of being one of the main general classification contenders for this year’s Tour de France, despite sitting third overall, just 19 seconds behind race leader Chris Froome.

Grounded Dan Martin hasn’t caught yellow fever in Tour de France

The Etixx-QuickStep man had a superb opening week to the race where he finished second to Froome last Saturday into Bagnéres-de-Luchon and was right up there as well on Sunday’s epic day in Andorra.

But he maintains that a stage win rather than overall victory is more within his compass.

“Chris and Nairo (Quintana) are the big favourites for the win, but I wanted to see what I can do, so I attacked a few times,” he said in reference to the latter stage.

“I’m third overall now but I still want to take it day by day and try to get a stage win. I like riding again in the high mountains and we have more chances to do that later this week and next week when the race hits the Alps.

“My team have reminded me how to enjoy what I’m doing and I can’t say enough times how great this team is.

“I’m an aggressive rider, and I like to attack and fight for the win even if this means getting dropped, instead of sitting behind and fighting for second,” he continued.

The race resumes today with a 197-kilometre stage from Escaldes to Revel where a bunch sprint is the expected outcome.

Meanwhile, the five-day Junior Tour of Ireland gets underway in Ennis, Co. Clare today with many of the best riders from Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe doing battle over a hard and hilly course.

The Irish team will be led by Jake Gray with help from Cameron McIntyre (both NRPT-Magnet.ie), Robert O’Leary and Ronan Tuomey (both Cork Giant Racing team).

Today’s opener is a 6.2km prologue.

Elsewhere, national road race champion Nicolas Roche (Team Sky) resumes his season in the seven-day Tour of Poland today.

Also on the start-line are Stephen Clancy (Novo-Nordisk) and Matt Brammeier (Dimension Data).

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