Dan Martin ready for UAE debut at Volta ao Algarve

'I have a mixture of nerves and excitement' Irishman says as he begins his 2018 season

After his long run with Slipstream's Garmin and Cannondale teams, Dan Martin has taken a decidedly different career path, switching teams twice in three years after a two-year run with Quick-Step and now a two-year deal with UAE Team Emirates.

The 31-year-old Irishman will debut with his new team this week at the Volta ao Algarve where he'll line up for the five-day 2.HC Portuguese race alongside Valerio Conti, Vegard Stake Laengen, Jan Polanc, Edward Ravasi, Rory Sutherland and Ben Swift

"Going in Volta ao Algarve I have a mixture of nerves and excitement," Martin said in a statement released by the team.

"There is always anxiety to get back to racing and find out where the fitness levels are, but I feel good and have trained well in the winter months, but racing is, of course, always different."

Martin raced more than 11,000km in 68 races days in 2017, scoring his last win during stage 2 of 2017 Volta ao Algarve ahead of LottoNL-Jumbo's Primoz Roglic. It was good preparation for the Classics, where he finished second in both Liège-Bastogne-Liège and La Flèche Wallone. He's starting his season a little later this year, skipping the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana in favour of an Algarve debut with his new team.

"It's exciting to finally pin a number on the UAE Team Emirates jersey and start racing with a great group of guys," Martin said. "Of course it will take time to learn how to race well together, but we already did two nice training camps with lots of laughs and getting to know each other.

"We have a very strong team coming to Algarve, so I can't wait to get started."

UAE Team Emirates for Volta ao Algarve: Valerio Conti, Vegard Stake Laengen, Daniel Martin, Jan Polanc, Edward Ravasi, Rory Sutherland, Ben Swift

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