After two fantastic years, which saw him podium at Paris-Nice, Critérium du Dauphiné, Volta a Catalunya, Flèche Wallonne, Liège–Bastogne–Liège as well as taking a career-best overall result at the Tour de France, Irishman Dan Martin’s tenure in the Quick-Step Floors jersey came to an end on Saturday, at the season’s final Monument, Il Lombardia, the race which Martin won three years ago following a cunning attack in the closing kilometres.
The 2017 edition started in Bergamo and finished in Como. It included several leg-sapping climbs: Colle Gallo, Colle Brianza, Madonna del Ghisallo (8.6km, 6.2%), Muro di Sormano (1.9km, 15.8%), Civiglio and San Fermo della Battaglia.
This year martin has been one of the most consistent riders out there, the remarkable run of results he has enjoyed since February being underlined by his eighth place in the World Tour rankings, where he is the best-placed Quick-Step Floors rider.
For his final event with Quick-Step Floors, Dan Martin was accompanied by Julian Alaphilippe – one of the protagonists in this week’s Milano-Torino, where he launched a daring solo attack with 20 kilometers to go – Gianluca Brambilla (another rider to make his final outing in the Quick-Step Floors jersey, after five successful years), Laurens De Plus, Dries Devenyns, two-time Il Lombardia winner Philippe Gilbert, best young rider of Tirreno-Adriatico and Giro d’Italia Bob Jungels and Pieter Serry.
Martin finished “The Race of the Falling Leaves” in 36th position, 5 minutes 51 seconds behind the winner Bahrain-Merida’s Vincenzo Nibali. The Irishman will join Team UAE Team Emirates for the coming season.