Martin moves to second on GC with tactical ride

Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) produced a brilliant performance in Stage 14 of the Tour de France to jump seven spots to second in the general classification and become the new closest challenger to leader Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates).

Riding in search of stage victories for most of this year's Tour, the Frenchman was again aggressive as he got in the breakaway and finished 5 minutes and 25 seconds ahead of the peloton with Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) taking the win.

 

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Martin now sits 4 minutes and 4 seconds behind Pogačar and a minute and 14 seconds ahead of third-placed Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-Nippo) but admitted it was likely his efforts would cause him to lose time in tomorrow's queen stage as the race moves further into the Pyrenees.

“I used a lot of energy to be honest," Martin said following the stage.

"I finished pretty empty. I felt the heat a lot, there’s a lot of salt on my jersey. I’ll try to recover. I think I’ll lose a bit of time tomorrow but hopefully not too much and we’ll see what I can target." 

The 28-year-old revealed the stage win was initially on his mind, but his fitness and the structure of the finish caused him to change tack as he talked through his move on the second of the day's five climbs.

“When I attacked on the Col de Montségur, I knew exactly where to go and what was coming after," Martin said.

"I knew it was an up and down route that would be good for a breakaway.

“I knew from the beginning that it would be hard to target the stage win because it was a flat finish and it’s always really tactical. And to be honest I didn’t have super good legs, so I didn’t have any illusions, I just wanted to race to the finish line as quick as possible.” 

Looking ahead to stage 15, Martin reiterated his desire to continue racing aggressively if his legs would allow it.

"Hopefully I can recover for tomorrow," he said.

"When a selection like that gets to the line, it’s hard to win, but today was still a good day. It was in keeping with the aggressive approach we’ve had to this race.

“It’s the Tour, and it’s normally ridden on the defensive, but this year, I really wanted to race on the offensive like I wanted. Today it went well. I hope I don’t pay for it tomorrow, but I’m happy with how it went.”

The Tour de France continues in the Pyrenees with the queen stage of the 2021 edition, with the highest point of the race coming atop the Port d’Envalira in the latter half of the stage. Watch from 2030 AEST on SBS and SBS OnDemand, with the SKODA Tour Tracker starting slightly earlier at 2010 AEST.


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3 min read
Published 11 July 2021 at 3:18am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS