'Luck of the Irish' deserts Dan Martin as crash ends Giro d'Italia dream on stage one
Garmin-Sharp man suffers suspected broken collarbone in team time trial fall
by Colin Henrys
They say natives of the Emerald Isle benefit from the luck of the Irish but Dan Martin will be spending Friday night wondering just where his slice of fortune had gone.
A stunning year in 2013 – winner of the Volta a Catalunya and Liege-Bastogne-Liege before stage nine success at the Tour de France – led to big hopes for the Birmingham-born Irishman this year.
And with the Giro d’Italia rolling out of Belfast and into his native Republic of Ireland, the stage should have been perfectly set for a big assault on the GC.
But lady luck, it would seem, is not shining on the Garmin-Sharp man at present.
Well placed to defend his Liege-Bastogne-Liege title just 13 days ago, his bike skidded out from beneath him and robbed him the chance of a famous victory after a day of great work.
Fast forward to stage one of the Giro d’Italia and his opportunity to roll out for a Grand Tour in Belfast offered a chance for amends.
Wet conditions failed, initially, to hamper Garmin-Sharp’s charge as they posted an encouraging time at the intermediate time split with the maglia rosa in their sights.
But just as it had done in Liege, Martin’s bike again slipped out from underneath him and this time the consequences were worse.
Hitting the deck hard, Martin – who had been in the middle of the American team’s formation – brought down three further riders behind him as each collided with their leader.
Several minutes passed with Martin still on the deck receiving treatment, clutching his collarbone in pain – a race which has promised so much was ending with a trip to hospital.
Martin’s race has finished before it even really began and he will not be riding in his native Republic of Ireland.
As for his team-mates, former champion Ryder Hesjedal did finish but in a time some three minutes and 26 seconds slower than Orica-GreenEDGE.
Luck of the Irish? Not for Dan Martin, apparently.