Rouleur Classic

Tour de France 2015: Dan Martin and the Mur

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Photographs: Gerard Brown and James Startt

“What makes it so hard is the positioning and the fighting. Once you get to the climb, it is really a matter of power to weight and who is willing to take the lactic just that little bit more than the next person.
“When you are training up it, it feels like Mount Everest, but when you have the adrenaline of the peloton and the speed, and the momentum as you are running into it, it is actually over in a flash.
“The crowd paints the story. Flèche Wallonne is an unremarkable race in lots of ways, except for the history of the Mur itself and the vibe you get riding into it. It is what makes it special.
“I firmly believe that Dan Martin is the fastest rider on the Mur de Huy. In the last few editions of Flèche Wallonne, he has been fourth, second, seventh, eighth – rarely outside of the top ten. And on each of those occasions when he has been in the top five, he has actually started from about 40th position.
“If you put that on paper and work out the times, Dan has actually had the fastest times up the Mur. It has just been a matter of other teams being slightly better drilled coming into it. If we can get Dan into that position on the Tour, which I know we can, I really think he is a favourite for victory.”
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