Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) has told Cyclingnews that he would welcome teammate Fabio Aru at the Tour de France, saying that the two climbers could combine well together as the team chase success in July.
Both riders signed for UAE Team Emirates in the off-season with Martin joining from Quick-Step Floors and Aru signing from Astana. The consensus at the time was that the Irishman would target the Tour de France while Aru would be given free rein at the Giro d'Italia in May. Martin's plans for the Tour were confirmed almost as soon as he signed but Aru's camp has sent mixed messages with regards to the Giro d'Italia, and despite the race starting in just a few months the team have yet to publicly rubber stamp the Italian's race plans.
Aru is due to make his debut with UAE Team Emirates at the Abu Dhabi Tour, when details of his major goals could also be confirmed.
Martin and Aru raced the Tour de France in 2017 with the Italian finishing fifth, wearing yellow and taking a stage win. Martin, riding with less support and sustaining back injuries in a fall that ended Richie Porte's race, finished a creditable sixth behind winner Chris Froome (Team Sky).
"Honestly, I think we'd work really well together at the Tour," Martin told Cyclingnews at the Volta ao Algarve.
"I think we'd play well off each other. Also, with that first week, I think it would be good to have two options. We'll see what his plans are, and whatever they are we'll make the best of it."
"He can definitely do both," Martin added, before caveating his views with a wish to see UAE Team Emirates attack both the Giro and the Tour with GC contenders.
"It would be nice for the team to have someone in the Giro, in terms of having the team support someone but to have him at the Tour would be great to play off each other."
Martin has made his UAE Team Emirates debut this week at the Volta ao Algarve and put in a reasonable ride considering his lack of race miles.
On the first summit finish he was aggressive but the final climb perhaps wasn't hard enough for him to have an impact. The individual time trial saw him fall out of the GC battle but Sunday's final stage offers him another chance to shine in his new colours with the race concluding with another summit finish.
"It's my first race and I'm very conscious of the fact that other guys have race miles in their legs. I can feel that. I'm just enjoying racing without any pressure. Of course, I'm going to have a go on the final stage and see what I've got but I'm honestly not stressed," he said.
"It's a whole new team here and I'm learning everything. It showed that we've got a bit to work on but I had really bad legs yesterday in the time trial. The first big effort the day before the TT totally blocked me up.
"I'm learning how the sport nutrition products here work, it's all new. I knew when I came here that it was going to be like that and this is probably the biggest change I've had [in my career - ed.] but that's what we're here for. We know that there's a lot of space for improvement, both for me personally and with the team and that's really exciting. For example, I've been riding the TT bike a lot at home but only on the trainer. It's a real learning process."