Dan Martin will be looking to put a roller coaster season behind him at the Giro di Lombardia this weekend. The Garmin-Slipstream climber finished his first Grand Tour at the Vuelta a España last month and will hope to capitalise on the good form it's given him over Lombardia's tough terrain.
"I'm quite optimistic about Lombardia because of how I felt at the Worlds and after getting fifth at GP Ouest France earlier in the year," Martin said. "The form is pretty good. It's been a bit difficult not racing since the Worlds but helpfully I'll turn that on it's head in a positive way and I'll be fresh mentally and fresh physically because of the season I've had and missing the Tour.
"Obviously, coming out of the Vuelta I was tired but I had good training up until the Worlds and was happy with how it went."
Martin crashed during the Worlds and despite not racing since, is confident that he can perform at the tail end of what's been a difficult second season in the pro ranks.
In fact, the Irishman's season has been one of promising highs and new lows. Despite early form at the Tour Méditerranéen and Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, where he finished on the overall podium in both, Martin has been injured for the first time in his career and suffered the effects of a bug that kept him off the bike and in bed for over a week.
"I've had relatively few racing days this year, perhaps around 60 now," said Martin. "Last year I did 75 and I'm capable of doing 80. With Lombardia it's a big case of who is fresh at the end of the year. Sometimes you see guys who have had a bad start to the year go well at Lombardia. Maybe I can be one of those guys."
If Martin is to be competitive in Lombardia he'll have to deal with the 242 kilometres of racing, a distance he's only raced on a few occasions. "You don't get many chances to race that distance in a season. So every chance I get I want to take hold of it. That's why I've finished Liege for the last two years. It's all good experience. I'm looking forward to it, but then I'm always I'm always freakishly positive."
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