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Dan Martin: Anything from now on at Tour de France is a bonus

Updated: Monday, 08 Jul 2013 10:47 | Comments

Dan Martin celebrates his achievement
Dan Martin celebrates his achievement

Dan Martin is not concentrating on the general classification after achieving his goal of a stage win in the Tour de France.

The Garmin-Sharp rider claimed the mountain stage from Saint-Girons to Bagnères-de-Bigorre in the Pyrenees on Sunday.

Martin became Ireland's first Tour stage winner since Stephen Roche in 1992 after a stunning performance.

In the overall classification, Chris Froome has retained the leader's yellow jersey, while Martin is up to eighth place, two minutes and 28 seconds behind the leader.

He told RTÉ Sport this morning: "I'm not thinking about the general classification. The objective was to come here and win a stage.

"Now I've achieved that, it is a case I can relax and really enjoy the race. Anything from now on is a bonus."

"It is starting to sink in now but I'm already thinking about the next stage and concentrating on that." - Dan Martin

Martin revealed that he was not aware he was about to write his name in Irish cycling history as he tried to keep his cool to see off Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang.

Martin said: "We had a late flight to Northern France after the stage. It was a late night and a bit uncyclist like we had a couple of beers in the airport to celebrate.

"It was an incredible day for the team and such a great team effort. I had the legs to finish it off in the end.

"I don't think at the time I realised the magnitude of what I was achieving. I just treated it as a normal race and I think that is why I remained so calm in the situation. I don't let the occasion affect me and it was only when I was hit by the tidal wave of media attention after the finish line you realise what has just happened.

"It is starting to sink in now but I'm already thinking about the next stage and concentrating on that.

"People were saying it was the most exciting and hardest days of racing they have seen for years and years. It was my team that made it so hard. Last year was such a procession to Paris behind (Team) Sky. As a cycling fan and as riders, we found it boring.

"Everyone was just riding behind Sky and waiting for them to win. After they put on such a demonstation of force on Saturday, we decided even before the race that yesterday was going to be our day.

"From the very start we just attacked and we didn't even think about trying to finish the race, myself included.

"We were on the attack from the first kilometre until I managed to finish it off in the end. The atmosphere, riding up the last climb, just with one other guy and one time I was alone.

"There was literally so many people on the road I got a little bit lost because I couldn't actually see where the road was going. It was a bit scary at times."

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