Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) believes that there’s little pressure on his shoulders as he leads his team into the Tour of Beijing. The race starts this Friday, with a five-stage battle in and around China’s capital.
Recently fourth - despite a crash - at the Tour of Lombardy, Martin ranks as a possible contender for the overall title this year with the race holding its first summit finish in its three year history.
“It’s the end of the year – my legs are obviously pretty good,” Martin said. “You can’t get fourth in Lombardy without being good. I’m not as fresh as I could be – that might play against me in a stage race but we’ll see.”
“After the year I’ve had, it really is a lot of fun now; there’s no pressure on us as a team and especially myself. We’ve got a strong team here.”
Garmin will have to do without the services of Lachlan Morton. The Australian crashed out of Lombardy and is suffering a concussion but Garmin-Sharp have sent an experienced team to the UCI’s final WorldTour event of the season.
Tour de France participant Jack Bauer lines up alongside Martin, Nathan Haas, Nick Nuyens, Jacob Rathe, Fabian Wegmann and Steele Von Hoff.
Haas, who finished sixth this year at the Tour de Langkawi will look to support Martin on the climbs and lead out Steele Von Hoff in the sprints.
“I think there’s some really good opportunities in a race like this for Steele,” Haas said.
“We’re a really motivated team in what can be known as an unmotivated time of year for a lot of guys. It’s a good opportunity to get some WorldTour points and also for Steele who has come frustratingly close to a few wins this season to hopefully get his confidence back to match with his skill level and ability and to come in hot next year.”