Dan Martin will get his moment on the Tour de France podium on Sunday in unexpected fashion after being named the most combative rider of the Tour.

Martin will become the first ever Irish winner of the award which has been in existence since 1953 also comes with a cheque for €20,000.

The Irishman is set to finish eighth overall despite suffering gruesome injuries in a stage eight crash, just two days after he won his second career Tour stage on the Mur de Bretagne.

Despite feeling the effects, Martin continued to put in a series of moves in the high mountains, and finished a solid second behind Nairo Quintana on the short 65km stage 17 to the summit of the Col du Portet.

Martin expressed surprise when he found out he had won the award, which came for the consistency of his attacking rather than any single move.

"I'm not sure anybody's ever won it without winning it on a single day, but I just try my best every day," the UAE Team Emirates rider said.

"I've always wanted to be on the podium in Paris but I didn't think I'd do it that way.

"It might look like I'm attacking to entertain but it's just my racing instinct. It's always calculated, it's always to try to get a result or it's tactics-based. But I'm happy that people like the way I race."

Earlier in the Tour, Martin had decided some of the pictures of his injuries from the stage eight crash were too gruesome for public consumption, but now he is threatening to post them.

"Maybe we'll release in the coming days some images of how much that affected me," he said. "It looks like I've been shot. I've got a hole in my back that's probably going to take another two weeks to heal."

The injury meant it was perhaps another Tour of what if for Martin, who rode to sixth place last year despite breaking vertebrae in his back on a stage nine crash. He now just wants to know what he might achieve if he can stay in one piece.

"Unfortunately it's another Tour of what could have been," he said. "But it's been memorable with the crashes and the stage win. It's great to just be here."