A thirty-four and with a Lombardia and a Liege-Bastogne-Liege under his belt, Daniel Martin is still animated by new challenges. For the first time, the Israel Startup Nation’s Irishman has decided to shift from the Ardennes and move his focus on stage races, and on Monday April 19th in Brixen Martin will be on the Tour of the Alps‘ starting line, with his teammate and four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome on his side.
After several standout performances in stage races in 2020 and an overall fourth place at the Vuelta a España, Daniel Martin will be the Israeli World Tour team’s GC man at the Giro d’Italia. For this reason, after taking part in the Vuelta a Catalunya in March, the Irishman has introduced the Tour of the Alps in his seasonal schedule.
“I’m really excited to discover a new race at Tour of the Alps,” explained Dan Martin. “In the past years, I’ve always been so focused on the Ardennes Classics that I have had to watch what looks like a beautiful and challenging race on TV. As a team we decided that Tour of the Alps would be the best way to prepare for the Giro and I’m looking forward to test my legs and see what is possible after having been hampered by illness so far this year.”
Introducing him to the roads of the European region will be his new teammate Chris Froome. After taking part in 2018 and 2019, the Briton will return to the Tour of the Alps’ roads to regain his form ahead of the Tour de France and find his new team’s first satisfaction. Froome’s arrival at the Israel Start-Up Nation represented a significant leap forward in the Israeli World Team’s ambitions.
“Having Chris in the team has inspired us all to step up and improve, including myself,” the Irishman confirmed. “I’m excited to race with him again and I’m sure we can make a good team. With our combined experience, tactically we will be strong and the race is of course an important step for both of us in the season as Chris continues improving towards the Tour de France and myself to really tune up for the Giro.”
If Chris Froome has already been able to prove his class on the roads of the European Region, finishing fourth overall in 2018 before triumphing at the Giro d’Italia, the roads of Tirol, Südtirol and Trentino should also suit the qualities of Martin, capable of great performances when the road rises and with a punch that can pay off in explosive races like the Tour of the Alps.
“We plan to be aggressive and chase stage victories,” admitted Neil Martin’s son and grandson of Stephen Roche. “This is an important week of racing before the grande partenza, but to take home a result would be a great confidence boost and a big result in its own right.”
Starting with the first stage next Monday (Brixen/Bressanone-Innsbruck, 140.6 km), the big names of the 2021 Tour of the Alps, from Yates to Bardet, Pinot, Carthy, Quintana, Hindley and defending champion Sivakov, would better watch out for the Israel Start-Up Nation duo. Unfortunately, Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) won’t be able to feature among those contenders: the Italian has suffered a broken wrist while training at home, and has already underwent surgery. It will take one more year to see the Italian back to the Euregio, in one of the races he loves the most.