Dan Martin eyes Tour de France GC after stage victory

Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp) said he had never felt such pain as he crossed the line for his first Tour de France stage win today.

And after letting victory sink in, the 26-year-old Irishman said consolidating his position on general classification could become a consideration, given the mountainous third week in the Alps.

After the Garmin-Sharp rider coolly dispatched Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) in the two-man sprint, Martin praised the work of teammates such as David Millar, Ramunas Navardauskas and Jack Bauer who, he said, almost put themselves outside the time limit to get him into the break.

"We're a bunch of friends in the team rather than teammates, and I think that shows how well we work together. We're always willing to give everything to help each other win and I think it's a special team for that."

Martin now lies eighth on general classification, 2:28 down on Chris Froome (Sky).

"We're there or thereabouts in the general classification and maybe we'll have to start thinking about that," he said.

"First we have to get the rest day out of the way and the time trial and there are a lot of dangerous stages coming up in the next few days.

"I think for now we're just going to enjoy the stage win. Obviously so far I've coped the best out of the team and we'll see how the Alps go.

The Tour's tough final week could play in Martin's favour.

"That third week looks pretty horrendous on paper but obviously the road is uphill so it suits me, but I think we'll see that the person who wins this race might be the person whose bad day is the least bad."



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Sam started as a trainee reporter on daily newspapers in the UK before moving to South Africa where he contributed to national cycling magazine Ride for three years. After moving back to the UK he joined Procycling as a staff writer in November 2010.