Dan Martin leaves Vuelta a Espana early to welcome newborn twins

Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) has taken an early leave from the Vuelta a España and will travel home to be at his wife's side as they expect the arrival of newborn twins. The Irishman made the announcement through a team press release on the event's first rest day on Monday.

"After consultation with the team and doctors in Andorra, we have come to the decision it is best for me to travel home to Andorra in order to support my wife with the imminent arrival of our twin girls," said Martin, who will travel home to Andorra and not start stage 10.

Martin started the Vuelta a España off the back of a successful Tour de France in July where he secured a stage win, six top-10 finishes in stages and eighth place overall. He lined up in Malaga in support of teammate Fabio Aru's quest for a top place in the overall classification at the Vuelta, while he was set on hunting stage wins during the three-week race. Aru is currently sitting in 11th place in the overall classification after the first nine stages.

"This Vuelta has been a great experience to race in as a teammate to this strong and young team, and to be able to offer my full support to Fabio," Martin said. "Although the race didn't produce the results that I expected, I really enjoyed acting as a road captain to this young group.

"But the time has now come, slightly earlier than we anticipated, to head home and to support my wife in this incredibly exciting period of our lives," he added.

"I have to say thank you to my teammates for their support and understanding, as it is not easy to leave them behind. I would also like to offer a big thank you to the team management for being so supportive and allowing me the opportunity to race this Vuelta a Espana even with the knowledge that I could be called home at any moment."

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