Peter McDonald (Drapac Porsche Cycling), Dan Martin (Garmin-Transitions) and Yusuke Hatanaka (Shimano Racing) on the podium.
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Garmin-Cervélo climber in best-ever winter form
Fully recovered from last month’s nasal surgery, Dan Martin is already feeling the benefits of his improved breathing capabilities. The 24-year-old underwent the operation in order to solve a long-standing allergy issue. The Irishman regularly suffers from allergies in the spring and had tissue removed from his nasal passage.
“For the time of year I feel great on the bike, really strong. I can definitely notice the difference with my breathing but I also think it's down to the year-on-year progression. I've had about 15 days back training now, and straight away the sensations were better than previous years. I don't pay much attention to speeds but I'm definitely moving around Cataluña a lot quicker than in previous years,” he told Cyclingnews.
Despite his strong form, Martin’s surgery wasn’t a complete success at first and he was forced to have a second procedure after doctors discovered that he had burst an artery during the first operation.
“It was quite painful, and I didn't sleep much with the constant trickle of blood down my throat. I had to have a second three-hour operation and general anaesthetic, my second in 24 hours, which knocked me about a fair bit.”
Now back to full health, Martin is busy putting the finishing touches to his race schedule for next year. Last week it was reported that he would co-lead Garmin-Cervélo with Christophe Le Mével. However those plans are just provisional and alterations may still be made at the team’s European training camps in Calpe and Girona, Spain, next month.
One set of races that will certainly be on Martin’s schedule are the Ardennes Classics, events that he marks down as one of his favourite periods of racing in the season.
“They suit me down to the ground and I did well there last year. I really enjoy them, and while of course they’re objectives I just love riding them.”
First stop will be the team’s European training camp in Calpe, where Martin will have his first chance to catch up with teammates after missing out on their Caymans camp due to the surgery.
“It’s going to be good to get out there with the guys again. The first training camp in Calpe is going to be more about getting the miles in and some decent training. The second camp is more about the sponsors and the media. I think we’ve permeated things out a bit more because last year we were trying to do two things at the same time. You’d do six hours on the bike and then have to go to meetings.
“The organisation is fantastic so it’s about getting Christmas out the way and then heading into the new year and seeing everyone. Things are pretty relaxed this time of year and I’m doing a lot in the gym.”
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