Dan Martin has just won stage six of the Tour De France with a breathtaking, on-the-edge-of-your-seat finish.
The Irish professional road cyclist who races for UAE Team Emirates took on the 105th edition of the Tour, riding from Brest to Mur-de-Bretagne Guerledan, on 12 July with two things in mind — having some good craic, and riding as hard as he possibly could. Five years ago, Martin won his first stage of the Tour de France, becoming the fifth Irish person to ever achieve the feat and the first Irishman to win a stage in 21 years. Since then, he has racked up various second to fifth place finishes in the stages of the 2015 to 2017 Tours, and came in 6th place overall in the 2017 Tour de France.
This year, on the home stretch at Mur-de-Bretagne Guerledan, with 1.2 kilometres to go, Martin saw his chance, and he took it. Gasping for air, igniting his muscles, and begging his legs to go faster, faster, faster — Martin accelerated from behind and jumped from a 19km/h pace to a daring 30 km/h on a 10 percent gradient (according to Le Tour Data) to surge ahead of Pierre Latour in a thrilling finish, winning the stage by one second.
At first, Martin worried that he may have started the sprint too early, but he found the strength and stubbornness to keep pushing for the win.
“It is a great feeling to actually get a win again,” Martin said to The Irish Times. “I’d [had] so many second places since I last won at the Tour. I was a bit nervous because of the headwind. Then the race went so hard on the first part of the climb … I saw everybody was on the limit and there were no teammates left. Why not have a try? So I did.”
Martin now stands 21st overall in the Tour, and hopes to push past the barriers in order to get a place on the podium this year.
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