With one Tour de France title already in the extended family, Irish youngster Daniel Martin has some big goals ahead of him. Irish Cycling News' Gerard Cromwell spoke with the soon to be professional after he inked a deal with America's Team Slipstream.
Daniel Martin will become the latest Irish cyclist to turn professional when he lines up for the American based Team Slipstream in 2008. Having a former British amateur road race champion father and a sister of a Tour De France winner as a mother, there was only ever going to be one sport in the life of 21 year-old Daniel Martin. The son of former British professional Neil Martin and 1987 Tour De France winner Stephen Roche's sister, Maria, Daniel was born in England but declared for Ireland a couple of years ago and is now carving out a cycling career for himself and hopes to follow his father Neil, uncle Stephen and cousin Nicolas Roche into the paid ranks in 2008.
"I was at my first bike race when I was ten days old," he joked, "and I've probably been to one almost every week since then, whether it was watching my Dad or later on, racing myself. I don't remember Stephen racing but I've seen videos and stuff and it's great to have people like that to ask for advice."
Now in his third year at top French amateur club VC La Pomme, the Irish Under 23 star impressed enough last season to earn a paid deal but decided to wait another year. "I had an offer to turn pro," he admitted, "but I decided to keep calm and stay amateur for another year. I wanted to continue to progress and make sure I'm ready when the time comes. I tend to be good in stage races and seem to get better as the race goes on."
Read the full feature on Daniel Martin.