Dan Martin is having a pretty good time at his fifth Tour de France. The QuickStep cyclist gained his second podium finish of the race so far today on the 160km fifth stage from Vittel to La Planche des Belles Filles.
It was the first category one climb on the tour so far, but in the previous two stages with uphill finishes, Martin had come 2nd and 4th. He repeated the trick again today, as a late kick saw him finish second ahead of Chris Froome. It backs up his third-placed finish following Monday's stage.
After five stages, he's fourth in the overall standings, leading to an interview with Belgian website sporza afterward. Martin was clearly disappointed:
I’m just gutted not to win again, you know? But we’re getting closer and it was a good performance. We were a bit unlucky Fabio (Aru) got a gap there and he was just super strong. We’ll keep trying… we’ve had a good Tour so far, we’re going to keep enjoying it.
He got a bigger gap. I thought I might be able to close him down on the finishing straight but it wasn’t to be.
Which is fair enough. The next question though understandably wrinkled Martin's nose. When questioned as to whether his performance would make him think 'I might be good enough for the podium in Paris', Martin bluntly responded:
I knew that before the start.
Before exiting stage left. You can see the video here.
Froome still holds onto the yellow leader's jersey ahead of tomorrow's stage, which sees the riders go 216km from Vesul to Troyes. If Martin can consistently get on the podium, or even win a stage or two, he's in with a serious shout of getting onto the Paris stage at the end of July.