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A TRIBUTE TO DAN MARTIN

  • “Never been about the results, but the performance and enjoyment”

  • ISN’s Irish rider has won stages in all three Grand Tours

  • Praises “family atmosphere at ISN”

  • Adams: “Pro cycling will miss your signature courageous racing style”

How do you know when it’s time to stop? Dan Martin knows. “I made the best of every period of my career, lived an amazing life but also kept a promise that I made to myself. That as soon as it stopped being fun I would stop. Cycling has never been about results for me, it’s been about the performance and enjoyment.”

With that, the Israel Start-Up Nation rider will ride his last professional race on Saturday, October 9  — Il Lombardia, which he won in 2014. We are proud that he has spent his last two years with us, even if they have been two unusual years, with Covid and injuries having major effects on him and on pro cycling in general.

Tour de France 2021 – 108th Edition – 18th stage Pau – Luz Ardiden 129.7 km – 15/07/2021 – Daniel Martin (IRL – Israel Start-Up Nation – photo Dario Belingheri/BettiniPhoto©2021

It may not be “about results” for Dan, but he has some great results to look back on. He may have had “only” two wins for ISN, but what wins they were! In 2020 he took a stage win at the Vuelta a Espana, his first ever in that race. A well-time uphill sprint saw him take the win ahead of none other than Primoz Roglic and Richard Carapaz.

This year he stormed his way up the closing climb on Stage 17 of the Giro d’Italia, in a solo attack out of the day’s break group. And that after having suffered from Covid only a few months earlier.

That win elevated him into the ranks of those who have won stages in all three Grand Tours. He can look back on two stage wins each in the Tour de France (2013, 2018) and the Vuelta a Espana (2011, 2021)) and now also one in the Giro.

Milano – Torino 2021 – 102nd Edition – Magenta – Torino Superga 190 km – 06/10/2021 – Daniel Martin (IRL – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

It was a day he will never forget, calling it “a special moment in my life here at ISN and also in my career. The happiness and joy it brought to all the people in the team, but also the way I managed to win. It was a special day all around as we made a plan and pulled it off.

“It was the first time since the lockdown that we had really big crowds on the climb and to be climbing through hundreds of screaming fans was one of those moments that still gives me goosebumps. Plus the fact I completed the trilogy of GT stage wins. It was incredibly satisfying.”

Looking over his career as a whole, he says “I’m most proud of how I managed to maintain a constant level of performance and commitment throughout not just seasons, but for so many years. I think it shows that I just love racing my bike. I love the process of training and aiming for an objective.”

Giro dÕ Italia 2021 – 104th Edition – 17th stage Canazei – Sega Di Ala 193 km – 26/05/2021 – Daniel Martin (IRL – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Dario Belingheri/BettiniPhoto©2021

However, he adds, “I don’t think you can look back in this sport. That’s how I have stayed fresh so long. However a race goes, good or bad, it’s important to turn the page and refocus. Having said that, if I could take all the lessons I have learnt and rewind to 10 years ago, I could have been so much more successful but the same goes for everybody. The sport has just advanced leaps and bounds the last years and become ever so competitive.”

Dan knows what he will and won’t miss about his soon-to-be-former life. “The thing I will miss the most is the camaraderie and vibe with my teammates. It’s one of the things that I’ve enjoyed most about ISN is the family atmosphere and the fun we have at the races but also that feeling of being together and helping each other work towards a common goal.

“Obviously there are so many things I will not miss, that’s why I’m retiring. The time away from home, the sacrifice, but then the less obvious things like the constant scrutiny we put ourselves under; the worry of getting sick or if your nutrition is good, if your training is good, how the races will go. The mental side of the sport is still massively underestimated. Then of course watching the last races in the rain: that’s something I will definitely not miss 😂”

He has big plans for his future. “During the last few off-seasons and when I’ve had time outside of training and racing, I have found a new sense of purpose and fun in developing companies and working within businesses. This interest led to Rubix Ventures, a company I co-founded with trusted contacts, to help athletes invest in exciting growth companies.”

Even more importantly, “I’m also looking forward to being more present as a father and husband at home and doing some simple things that are not compatible with the requirements of a cycling career, like going for a run with my wife.”

Those runs, by the way, will be in Andorra, where he has lived for several years with his wife and three-year-old twin daughters. “We are really happy there and our life is there.”

“Dan crowned his career these last two years with ISN, re-discovering his joy for racing,” said team co-owner Sylvan Adams. “This showed in his results, with his biggest achievements being a Grand Tour GC career best of 4th at last year’s Vuelta including a stage win, and his epic stage win at this year’s Giro. But more importantly, Dan’s contributions as a loyal teammate and mentor to our younger riders proved invaluable to our start-up team.

“And, for me personally, I will always appreciate Dan, as a friend. So, congrats Dan, for a great career. Pro cycling will miss your signature courageous racing style. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement.”

HIS CAREER

Dan certainly comes from a cycling family. His father was a professional cyclist, and his mother is the sister of former great Stephen Roche. His cousin Nicholas Roche is also a long-time pro rider, who is coincidentally also retiring at the end of this season.

He got his career off to a good start early, winning the British under-18 road championship in 2004 before changing to the Irish team two years later.

Dan turned pro in 2008 with Slipstream-Chipotle, where he stayed for seven years. Whilst there he brought in stage wins at the Tour and the Vuelta, and won two Classics, Il Lombardia and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

From there he spent two years each at Deceunink-QuickStep and UAE Emirates, before joining ISN in 2020.

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com

DAN MARTIN TO RETIRE FROM RACING

  • IRISH RIDER WON TWO GRAND TOUR STAGES FOR ISN

  • “SOME OF THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS OF MY CAREER”

  • ADAMS: “YOU WILL ALWAYS BE AN ISN RIDER”

 

Dan Martin has announced his retirement as a pro cyclist. The Irishman has made a huge mark on the Israel Start-Up Nation team in these first two years of the team’s existence, and will be sorely missed.

 

The 35-year old, whose next race is the upcoming Tour of Britain, will ride the Giro di Lombardia as his last race.

 

“These past two seasons with ISN have been some of the most enjoyable moments of my cycling career,” he said. “Together, we have achieved some incredible results that even I didn’t realize were possible such as my 4th in the GC at the Vuelta in 2020.”

 

Dan led the team in four of its Grand Tours in 2020 and 2021. He was our team captain in the belated 2020 Tour de France – only two weeks after suffering a sacral fracture. Later in the year he had a spectacular Vuelta a Espana, winning a stage, and finishing fourth overall. This year he rode the Giro d’Italia for only the third time in his 14-year career, finishing 10th overall and again, winning a stage with a difficult mountaintop finish. He also rode the Tour de France this year.

 

“Seeing the happiness those victories bought to so many people in this organization was the best moment as they were truly earned by everybody,” he said.

 

Team owner Sylvan Adams called it “a bittersweet moment. Dan has been one of the great riders in our sport for many years, animating races, earning a palmares of victories in classics and Grand Tours. Dan brought a style and standard of racing to ISN that we will try to emulate, made all the more difficult without him in next year’s lineup.

 

“I am truly sorry that Dan won’t be racing with us next year, but understand and respect his decision.  Dan will always be a member of the ISN family. We wish him luck in his future endeavours.”

 

Dan repeated the family theme, saying, “ISN really became like my family these past two years and leaving this group of people made my decision even more difficult. We’ve lived some incredible moments together from my first experience of Israel during our camp in December 2019 to the victories we have achieved.

 

“I am really grateful to team owners Sylvan Adam’s and Ron Baron for the opportunity to have been a part of this team and all the team sponsors for their support. A special thank you to all the team staff and riders whose great spirit made every moment together, even the tough times, special. I look forward to continuing the story in the next races and I wish the team the very best in the future.”

 

Team manager Kjell Carlstrom noted “Dan came onboard ISN at a crucial moment just before we turned WorldTour. He expressed confidence in the project and for sure has played an important role  in building the image that we have today.

 

“I hope Dan will get some great results to finish off a long and successful professional cycling career and wish Dan all the best with any upcoming endeavors!”

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com

Dan Martin makes top 5 on final mountain stage in the Tour

Dan Martin put Israel Start-Up Nation right in the mix on stage 18 of the Tour de France with an impressive effort on the final climb to Luz Ardiden where he took fifth place on the day.

With only two flat stages and a time trial remaining of this year’s Tour, today’s stage was the last opportunity for the climbers to put their mark on the race. Many tried to escape at the beginning of the stage but it wasn’t until the peloton took on the iconic Col du Tourmalet that a few riders managed to get away.

However, despite several breakaway attempts, it all came down to a fight between the GC riders on the steep slopes of Luz Ardiden. Determined to put on a strong performance on this final day in the mountains, Martin hung on to the group of favorites until the leading rider, Tadej Pogačar UAE Team Emirates) put in his expected attack on the last 3 km.

Keeping his own pace, Martin minimized the gaps as much as possible before putting in a final acceleration on the last kilometer trying to make it all the way back to the front. Ultimately, the Irishman crossed the line in fifth place, just 24 seconds down on Pogačar who took the win and increased his lead in the general classification.

Dan Martin: “I’m glad that I got to show the real me on the final day in the mountains. I wasn’t really sure how my legs would be after not feeling great the last couple of days, so I decided just to sit back and get as much draft as possible as the final climb was really fast. That way I could also see how the other guys were doing, if they were fading or looking good or not. Every time somebody would let the wheel go a little bit, I just jumped over them. I was actually a bit a surprised of how it went and as we got closer to the finish, I started to think that maybe I could go for the stage.

“When the group split, I was staying with O’Connor and Kelderman for a bit as they were pacing for their GC spots. At one point, I felt that they started to tire so I jumped away from them and tried to close the gap to the front group. Without the hard tempo from Sepp Kuss maybe I would have had a chance to come back. Regardless, it was really nice to feel like myself again on the climbs today and show my true colors for one of the first times in this race.”

— MC to israelcyclingacademy.com

Dan Martin claims 8th place on stage 15 of the Tour de France

Israel Start-Up Nation was in the heart of the action once again on stage 15 of the Tour de France, with both Dan Martin and Michael Woods being part of the winning breakaway. Ultimately, Martin finished the day in 8th place as the best ISN rider on the stage.

With four challenging climbs and 35 KOM points up for grabs, today’s stage was deemed to set the scene for another nail-biting fight for the polka dot jersey. Woods, riding in the jersey, was the first rider to attack. However, it took a while for the breakaway to establish itself and when it did, it turned out to be a huge group of over 30 riders.

Michael Woods riding in the KOM jersey on home roads in Andorra

Both Martin and Woods had made it into the front group, with Woods putting up a brave fight on the climbs to score KOM points. However, at the end of the stage, the polka dot jersey went to Wout Poels [Bahrain Victorious], and Woods is now second in the competition.

Riding on their adopted home roads in Andorra, both Woods and Martin knew the terrain very well. On the final climb, the front group started to split up on the steep slopes towards the top. Sepp Kuss [Jumbo-Visma] soloed away to take the win, while Martin crossed the line not long after, in eighth place.

Dan Martin: “With so many strong guys in the breakaway, I think this may go down as one of the strongest breakaways in the Tour de France. As a team, we had two objectives today: the KOM jersey and the stage win. Mike and I tried our best, I just didn’t have the legs on the last climb. We lost the polka dot jersey but it’s still really close and I think it’s going to be a close battle all the way to Paris. I really like riding with Mike. We work well together, and we have a really good relationship. Now, we are going to enjoy the rest day tomorrow and then make a plan for the final week.”

— MC to israelcyclingacademy.com

Dan re-enters Giro-battlefield with sixth place, powerful Niv attacks but doesn’t get away

Another big battle on a steep climb in the Giro d’Italia. In the 19th stage of the Italian stage race, Martin fought himself into sixth place.

Israeli climber Guy Niv was very active in the opening phase of the stage. As he promised in the video published earlier today, he was ‘not done in the Giro yet’.

 

“I feel that I can still be competitive,” Niv said, and he was right. Multiple times he tried to move into the breakaway of the day, but several competing teams did not want a big group of escapees on the road.

Niv had to settle in the peloton, close to Martin, who was patiently waiting for his time to shine on the final climb of the day.

So, he did. Multiple times the Irish fighter was nearly dropped, but he came back every time to keep on battling for a second stage victory.

noa_Giro d’italia 2021

Once again, Martin showed he never gives up. He fought and kept on fighting on the battlefields of the Alpe di Mera, coming across the finish line in sixth position.

The Irishman and Giro stage winner finds himself back in the top-10 of the GC. Yesterday, one of his rivals dropped out.

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com

Video: WINNING GIRO STAGE 17 – Nervousness and excitement | Dan Martin in the Giro d’Italia

Nervousness and excitement:

This is how we LIVE a cycling race and CELEBRATE a victory!

Dan wins solo, and the TEAM celebrates together!

Sababa, Dan! Sababa, Israel Start-Up Nation!

Video: Sjors Beukeboom

#YallaISN #Giro #RacingForChange

The post Video: WINNING GIRO STAGE 17 – Nervousness and excitement | Dan Martin in the Giro d’Italia appeared first on Israel Start-Up Nation.

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com

ISN, with Dan Martin finishing in the peloton, rounds off stage 15 in Giro

When there is a tail-crosswind, straight from the start, and everyone knows it, the peloton is a nervous place to be.

The fifteenth stage, starting at the coast in northeastern Italy, was such a day.

As soon as the jury waved the flag, it was race on – and nervous it was. The stage had to be neutralized after a huge crash which luckily, from ISN’s perspective, caught up Matthias Brändle and Dan Martin

Both of them didn’t hit the deck.

Dan Martin, hunting for a good result in the general classification, finished, with the full support of his teammates, safely in the peloton.

And that’s most important, especially now that Martin is getting closer and closer to the top-10.

Eyes on tomorrow.

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com