There is little in the way of middle ground for Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) when it comes to racing. On his day he can be scintillatingly brilliant but rarely does the Irishman just meander through races without some major incident.
If he's not winning Classics or Tour stages he's picking himself up off the deck, or suffering through races with broken ribs, as he did at this year's Tour de Romandie.
Now at the Dauphiné as part of a strong Cannondale-Garmin outfit, Martin is readying himself for another crack at the Tour de France, a race where he's tasted success in the past. After a tumultuous spring campaign that ended in disappointment perhaps a quiet - even peaceful - Dauphiné is just what Martin requires.
"Now I've managed to reset," he tells Cyclingnews as we sit with him on the front lawn of the team's hotel after stage 2.
"I went away, got in some training in the mountains and now I'm ready for this race. I've not been able to train super hard because of my ribs, so there's not been that much intensity but I think that everyone is in the same boat. It just means that I'm in a good position for the Tour. I don't know where I'm at in terms of power on the climbs but we'll find out later in this race."
"The Ardennes finished off the year of hell off if you start with Belfast and the Giro last year. It's almost been a complete year of shit but I'm in the same position that I went into the Vuelta and Lombardia with. The results and form returned in spectacular fashion then, and obviously we're hoping for the same again this time."
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