Dan Martin's voyage of discovery
Ned Boulting talks exclusively to Irish rider Dan Martin, a debutant at the Tour de France this year with Garmin-Sharp.
"It's the Tour, it's the big show," Martin says. "Everything happens that little bit more quickly. Everyone's riding a bit more closely in the peloton, it's a bit more nervous. So far I think we've been pretty lucky with the way the weather's worked out ...
"It's incredible, there's just people the whole way. There's rarely a moment when the road's empty. That also makes it dangerous as well because most of the time you're playing chicken with people stepping out the way ...
"The interesting one is when they pull the pushchair out of the way at the last minute, or even push it further into the road so the baby can get a better view!"
"Last year at the Vuelta I went there and raced as hard as I could every single day. Basically treated it like 21 one-day races. I was recovering enough every day that I could still be really good the next day.
"That gave me confidence to know that I can finish pretty much on my knees. I came here on a voyage of discovery I think, it's a case of helping the guys in the mountains ... I just hope I'm giving him the help he [Ryder Hesjedal] the help he deserves."
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