Quick-Step Floors’ Dan Martin delivered Ireland its best result in three decades at the Tour de France, after a race in which his team scored five stage wins.
Stage 21, the final stage of the Tour, which rolled out from Montgeron – the location of the first ever start of a Tour de France stage, 114 years ago – marked the end of Martin’s most successful Grand Tour campaign, one which saw the 30-year-old rider finish in sixth place, after three hard weeks of fighting and attacking, from the Vosges and the Jura to the Pyrenees and Alps, three weeks during which he showcased his remarkable never-say-die attitude, resilience, sheer guts and panache.
It’s the best placing in the general classification of the Tour de France by an Irish rider since 1987, when the race also started from Germany, and Stephen Roche, Dan’s uncle, won the yellow.
This solid and well-deserved result serves as further confirmation of Martin’s extraordinary consistency, as he finished for the fifth time this season a stage race in the top-6 overall, after Volta ao Algarve, Paris-Nice, Volta a Catalunya and Critérium du Dauphiné, in addition to a pair of runner-up spots at Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
“I am very happy, especially as I wasn’t expecting to finish so high in the GC after that stage 9 crash. It was a hard but at the same time fun race and at the end of it all I am proud of what I’ve achieved here. Our team has tasted success on numerous occasions throughout these three weeks and I’m leaving France with many beautiful memories, but also with a huge desire to return next year and fight again to finish even higher in the overall standings”, said a beaming Dan Martin, who enlivened the race in the mountains every time he had the opportunity.
As a result of his aggressive approach Dan Martin now climbs to third position in the World Tour individual classification with 2,040 points, 400 of which were scored for his general classification placing in the Tour de France.