Martin completes Tour of Poland win
Reuters - Sat, 07 Aug 20:52:00 2010
Young Irish climber Dan Martin battled through a rain-lashed final stage of the Tour of Poland on Saturday to clinch his Garmin-Transition team's first ever ProTour stage race win.
Martin finished 23rd, safely in the main pack, on the 163.9 kilometre stage to Krakow, taken in a bunch sprint by Germany's Andre Greipel.
"This last stage was really hard and the rain made the roads very slippery but fortunately I had my team mates to look after me all the way," Martin said.
"We've won the best team classification too and that's great because it shows what a good job they all did getting me here (to win) today."
Only the 10th Irishman to take part in the 82-year-old race and the first to win it, Martin had moved into the lead after his stage five victory on the race's only summit finish.
Second in the prestigious Tour of Catalunya last year, Martin's victory in Poland is both his and his team's first overall win in a ProTour race since Garmin-Transitions joined cycling's top league in 2008.
He said: "We took everything they threw at us and that was quite a lot. There was the bad weather, lots of attacks yesterday and even two riders with flat tyres on today's finishing circuit.
"It's been an incredible week and one I'll never forget."
Greipel was thrilled with his victory on the final day.
"I knew the finish from last year, which was a help, and that it was better to wait as long as possible to start my last acceleration because my back wheel could have slipped a bit in the wet conditions," he said.
"But my teammates did a great job, too, getting me right up there so I was in the perfect position to go for the win. It's a wonderful victory to have today as well, my sister has just had a daughter and I want to dedicate it to them."
- Tour of Poland: Stage 7
Stage seven result
1. Andre Greipel (Germany /HTC - Columbia) 3 hrs 51mins 58secs
3. Robert Foerster (Germany / Milram) "
4. Daniele Bennati (Italy / Liquigas) "
5. Wouter Weylandt (Belgium / Quick-Step) "
7. Sebastien Hinault (France / AG2R) "
8. Ben Swift (Britain / Team Sky) "
9. Allan Davis (Australia / Astana) "
10. David Vitoria (Switzerland / Footon) "
Provisional final standings
1. Daniel Martin (Ireland / Garmin) 30hrs 38mins 48secs
2. Grega Bole (Slovenia / Lampre) +8"
3. Bauke Mollema (Netherlands / Rabobank) +10"
4. Michael Albasini (Switzerland / HTC - Columbia) +20"
5. Alessandro Ballan (Italy / BMC Racing) +21"
6. Sylwester Szmyd (Poland / Liquigas) +26"
7. Marek Rutkiewicz (Poland / Poland) +30"
8. Diego Ulissi (Italy / Lampre)
9. Tom Danielson (US / Garmin) +33"
10. Tiago Machado (Portugal / RadioShack) +41"Eurosport / Reuters