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Martin in combative form at Tour of Britain

Posted 15 September 2010

Dan Martin was a  deserving winner of the ‘Honda Combativity Award’ during stage four of the Tour of Britain having dictated the action throughout the 171 kilometre race only to fall short at the finish.

Martin’s aggressive style of racing was impressive and while the stage win eluded him he provided a clear indication that he has maintained his top form as he heads towards his end of season goals.

The Garmin-Transitions rider will skip next month’s World Champhionships in Australia to focus on the Tour of Lombardy and the stage from Minehead to Teignmouth provided ideal preparation,

Martin instigated a four man move in the opening kilometres only to be pulled back by the Vacansoleil Team who had a particular interest in controlling the race with three riders in the top six overall.

The 23 year old was undeterred and launched a solo attack on the first climb of Lype Hill just 12 kilometres into the stage. The attack had an enormous effect on the peloton which blew itself apart as the Vacansoleil worked to contain the gap to 30 seconds.

The combined efforts of the HTC-Columbia team of race leader Michael Albasini and the Saxo Bank team of third placed Richie Porte lead to the formation of lead group of some thirty riders with An Post Sean Kelly rider Philip Lavery producing a strong performance to join Martin in making the cut.

Martin’s determination to escape was unrelenting and he attacked once more on the ascent to Ralegh’s Cross as the bunch behind the group from which he had escaped drifted to 19 minutes and the threat of elimination after just 47.5 kilometres of racing.

Vancansoleil’s Borut Bozic, who started the day fourth overall just 1’41” behind Albasini, bridged to Martin but was unable to sustain the pace. Teammate Johnny Hoogerland, who lay fifth overall at 1’46” had more luck with Michael Goss (Team Sky) providing additional company.

The trio pulled out a lead of more than 2’44” en route to the next climb of Peak Hill but Hoogerland’s threat to the overall race lead forced the HTC-Columbia and Saxo Bank teams to trim that back to two minutes by the time they reached the foothills of the ascent.

Martin’s hopes of a stage win started to evaporate on the run into Teighmouth as the gap fell to 34 seconds with 20 kilometres to go. His persistence continued with another attack but his role as stage leader was soon brought to an end by the chasing pack.

Vacansoleil continued to impress with Wout Poels attacking with eight kilometres to go. He was given little headway but another attack four kilometres out delivered the stage win with Bozic following five seconds back to record a one-two for the team.
Lavery did well to finish 27th and while he conceded 1’02” on the rapid run into the finish remains the best placed Irish rider in the race lying 25th overall 14’50” behind Albasini

Stage five starts in Tavistock taking the riders over 178.2 kilometres across Dartmoor and through Cullumpton and Ilminster on the way to the finish in Glastonbury.

Results:

2010 Tour of Britain

Stage 4: Minehead - Teignmouth, 171.3 kilometres

1. Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 4 hours, 30 minutes, 35 seconds  
2. Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 0:00:05  
3. Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil-Shimano    
4. Jack Bauer (NZl) Endura Racing    
5. Patrick Sinkewitz (Ger) ISD-Neri Giambenini    
6. Richie Porte (Aus) Team Saxo Bank    
7. Michael Albasini (Swi) Team HTC-Columbia    
8. Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox 0:00:11  
10. Alex Rasmussen (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:15

31. Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin Transitions at 3 minutes, 25 seconds

An Post Sean Kelly Team:

27. Philip Lavery (Irl) An Post Sean Kelly at 1 minute, 02 seconds
41. Ronan McLoughlin (Irl) An Post Sean Kelly at 26 minutes, 19 seconds
43. Matt Brammeier (Irl) An Post Sean Kelly s.t.
48. Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) An Post Sean Kelly s.t.
62. Mark McNally (Grb) An Post Sean Kelly s.t.
78. Mark Cassidy (Irl) An Post Sean Kelly s.t.

General classification after stage 4:

1. Michael Albasini (Swi) Team HTC-Columbia 15 hours, 27 minutes, 41 seconds  
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Team Saxo Bank 0:01:28  
3. Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 0:01:32  
4. Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:01:36  
5. Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 0:01:42  
6. Patrick Sinkewitz (Ger) ISD-Neri Giambenini 0:02:08  
7. Christian Meier (Can) Garmin-Transitions 0:02:30  
8. Robert Partridge (GBr) Endura Racing 0:02:32  
9. Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil-Shimano 0:02:43  
10. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:05:38

36. Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin Transitions at 26 minutes, 15 seconds

An Post Sean Kelly Team:

25. Philip Lavery (Irl) An Post Sean Kelly at 14 minutes, 50 seconds
52. Matt Brammeier (Irl) An Post Sean Kelly at 40 minutes, 07 seconds
62. Mark McNally (Grb) An Post Sean Kelly at 37 minutes, 48 secodns
65. Ronan McLoughlin (Irl) An Post Sean Kelly at 42 minutes, 38 seconds
82. Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) An Post Sean Kelly at 50 minutes, 47 seconds
89. Mark Cassidy (Irl) An Post Sean Kelly at 1 hour, 01 minute, 07 seconds

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