Liege calling for Martin
Ireland’s Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp) enjoyed something of an annus mirablis last year, after claiming overall victory at the Volta a Catalunya, a Monument Classic win at Liege-Bastogne-Liege, and capturing a stage of the Tour de France.
At the 2014 La Flèche Wallonne, Martin proved that he will remain a threat whenever the road points skywards. Last year’s highly successful campaign looks far from being a one-off.
Cruelly delayed by a crash at the foot of the Mur, Daniel was forced to escape his own den of lions to keep Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde in sight. While he failed to pass the Spaniard, their relative starting positions suggest that Martin may have had the beating of the Spaniard in a drag race.
More importantly, Martin’s performance at Flèche confirms that he will arrive in Liege on Sunday in the best possible form to defend his title at La Doyenne – by anyone’s estimation, the greater prize.
Martin comes from a distinguished line: his father is Neil Martin, his uncle, Stephen Roche; cousin Nicolas races in the colours of Tinkoff-Saxo. If Dan feels the pressure of such a proud heritage, he doesn’t show it. A second Monument victory would take him a step closer to the exalted status of his uncle.
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