• Dan Martin crosses the line on Stage 15, having clawed back 14 seconds on GC due to a late attack. (AAP)Source: AAP
Dan Martin (QuickStep) cemented his general classification credentials on the run in to Le Puy-en-Velay today, attacking the elite group in the closing kilometres to move up one place on GC.
Kevin Eddy

17 Jul 2017 - 6:54 AM  UPDATED 17 Jul 2017 - 6:58 AM

Martin, who was involved in the Stage 9 crash that ended Richie Porte (BMC)'s race - losing over a minute himself - has rebounded superbly over the last week, staying with the elite group through the Pyrenees despite suffering injuries in the crash that meant he couldn't get out of the saddle.

The Irish rider was clearly feeling better today, taking the initiative and attacking with less than ten kilometres to go. He then linked up with breakaway riders Simon Geschke (Sunweb), Tsgabu Grmay (Dimension Data) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), coming in 14 seconds ahead of the elite group.

As a result, he leapfrogged Mikel Landa (Team Sky) on the general classification to take fifth - within sniffing distance of the podium.

"Everybody was on their limit on the last two climbs and it's really no surprise, as this week has been brutal," said Martin. "After the last ascent, I noticed how tired everyone was and how they kept looking at each other, so I said to give it a try. 

"I can't say the plan at the start of the day was to attack, I just seized the opportunity.

Martin's resurgent form bodes well for the final week in the Alps; he certainly sounds cautiously confident.
"I am happy with my legs and now I'm looking forward to the rest day. After this, we'll see what the last week holds and what I can do in the Alps."

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