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Garmin-Transitions’ Daniel Martin wins Tre Valli Varesine road race

Tour of Poland winner Daniel Martin continued his rich vein of form, winning the 199km one-day Italian race Tre Valli Varesine in Varese on Tuesday.

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Irish rider Daniel Martin continued his rich vein of form when he won the 199km one-day Italian race Tre Valli Varesine in Varese Tuesday.

Just nine days after his impressive Tour of Poland win, Martin soloed clear of a 30-man group to take his Garmin-Transitions team’s fifth victory in 10 days at the first of three single day races in the Italian region.

Martin had gone into the race to try and capitalise on his good form and also to get some quality racing in before the GP Ouest France-Plouay on Sunday, a race in which he finished fifth last year. “I didn’t even take a radio with me today, so I didn’t have a clue what was going on all day,” admitted Martin afterwards. “I was relaxed, under no pressure, but I felt horrible all day really. The legs just weren’t feeling good, but with 30km to go I gradually started to feel better and better. I guess it took a while to open the legs out after a week of chilling out after Poland.”

On the penultimate lap of an undulating circuit, Martin found himself in an elite front group of 30, containing some of the top Italian riders including Damiano Cunego (Lampre), Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas), Marco Pinotti (HTC Columbia), Giovanni Visconti (ISD Neri) and rising star Domenic Pozzavivo (Colnago CSF Inox). “It got really tactical towards the end,” said Martin after his solo victory. “There were so many Italian guys who wanted to win and they were all big name riders as well. I wouldn’t be as well known as Scarponi or Cunego and those guys so I maybe sneaked through a bit easier and was able to relax a bit more.”

A flurry of attacks on the final lap whittled the group down even more, with the 24-year-old Irishman still in the mix. “There was a lot of attacks and stuff going but nothing really stuck,” said Martin. “With one lap to go, Visconti, Cunego and Scarponi attacked. Nibali was already up the road and Visconti went after him. I went after Visconti. We were joined by about 10 guys and that was the final group, the final selection, before the bottom of the last climb. When we hit the last climb, Cunego attacked from the bottom and everybody kind of looked at each other because everybody was really screwed. Pozzovivo attacked, so I followed him and we rode together until a kilometre to go.”

Here, Martin reversed the order of stage 4 of the recent Brixia Tour when he left Pozzavivo trailing in his wake on the ascent to the finish. “He looked like he was on the ropes so I attacked him and put in a last sprint,” said Martin, who finished six seconds clear on the line. “It was a nice feeling to be 500 meters out and knowing that I’d won.”

Jerome Baugnies led his Topsport Vlaanderen teammate Kristof Vandewalle over the line a further six seconds back to round out the podium ahead of Cunego and Biran Vandborg of Liquigas.

Martin’s victory came on the same day as Garmin-Transitions teammate Svein Tuft won the prologue time trial and donned the first yellow jersey of the Eneco Tour in Holland.

Remarkably, Tuft also won a time trial at the Tour of Denmark on the day Martin took overall victory at the Tour of Poland.

“The team is on a bit of a roll now,” said Martin. “When we won Poland, Svein won the time trial in Denmark too. Now it’s the second time we’ve done it. Tyler won the Vattenfall Cyclassics on Sunday and I think this is the fifth win for the team in 10 days, so it’s been a great few weeks for us. I don’t really know what the next two races are like but we’ll see what happens. After that we have Plouay on Sunday and then, we’ll try to refocus on the Tour of Lombardy.”

Complete results

Quick results:

  • 1 Martin Daniel (IRL) – GRM Garmin – Transitions in 4.51.20
  • 2 Pozzovivo Domenico (ITA) – COG Colnago – Csf Inox at 6s
  • 3 Baugnies Jerome (BEL) – TVP Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator at 12s’
  • 4 Vandewalle Kristof (BEL) – TVP Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator
  • 5 Cunego Damiano (ITA) – LAM Lampre – Farnese Vini