Dan Martin arrived at the Critérium du Dauphiné as one of the overall race contenders having finishing third in the previous two editions of the race. However, having not raced since the Tour de Romandie in April and with a young team present from UAE Team Emirates, a poor result in the stage 3 team time trial leaves the Irishman sitting in 45th and nearly three-minutes behind the current leader Michal Kwiatowski (Team Sky).
UAE Team Emirates were 20th of 22 teams on the stage – the worst of the GC teams, finishing 2:28 behind Team Sky.
Despite this, Martin is buoyed by his own performance looking ahead to next month's team time trial at the Tour de France, which is the same distance as today's stage.
"I felt really comfortable on the bike and I think I'm really, really good at that type of effort," Martin told reporters after the stage.
"For me, I've got a massive confidence boost going into the team time trial knowing the team at the Tour will be a lot stronger. That's now one of the stages in the first nine days that I'm not particularly worried about.
"It's not the Tour team [here] at all really, it's just me, Rory [Sutherland] and Sven [Erik Bystrom] going to the Tour, so not even half the team. As far as my sensations go, I'm less nervous about the team time trial, put it that way."
After two time trials and two sprint stages, the race now moves east towards the high mountains, where Martin usually excels and it will be on the four summit finishes where Martin's true form will become known.
"It's going to be a really intense few days, I'm a bit unsure about how it's going to go after not racing for a while but either way we're just going to go for it.
"Same as today, it's more about the performance and the feelings, less about the results. It's the first time we've done a team time trial and we've got a very young team here, not exactly a TTT specialist team and you can see that from the prologue results.
"Having said that I think we did a great job, I don't care about the result really the team has had a really good atmosphere this week and we looked after each other today.
"Everyone got their maximum out of themselves and I felt really good, so that's a good sign for the next couple of days. The result is the result but we're happy with the performance."
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