Daniel Martin had a superb debut season, taking a number of important results including overall victory in the Route du Sud. He spoke to Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes about his year and his hopes for the future.
For many first year professionals, the start of their paid career is a time of suffering, of teeth-clenching; a period spent making the difficult transition from the world of amateur racing to the altogether more difficult pro scene. A year – or two – of anonymity is often the norm, with the rider then finding their feet and starting to gather results.
It's been altogether different for Daniel Martin. Overall victory in the Route du Sud was the clear highlight of the year, but his showing in other races – a dominant win in the Irish road race championships, fourth in the Tour of Britain, fifth on the toughest stage of the Tour of Denmark, sixth in the Route Adelie, eighth in the GP Internacional CTT Correios de Portugal, tenth in the Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta (where he was also second in best young rider classification) plus various other high placings confirmed his ability.
"I am quite surprised [how well things went], but then again I have got an awesome team around me and it is easy to ride well in this team environment," he said. "I never really expected to be that competitive so early... obviously you train hard and you hope."