Let’s go back to 2018 when Dan Martin attacks with 1.2 kilometers to the finish line on the Mûr de Bretagne. His competitors try to follow but give up. Martin, being chased by Pierre Latour and, a few moments later, by Alejandro Valverde, looks back a few times in the last hundred meters. He is too strong, his opponents come too late.

It is revenge for 2015 when Martin was beaten by Alexis Vuillermoz on that very same climb. “I thought I would give it a try, so I did, and the legs kept going,” he would say about his 2018 success after celebrating over the line.

In 2021, Dan Martin will return to the Mûr de Bretagne (stage 2), as he is selected for his ninth Tour de France, this time in the #BlueAndWhite colors of Israel Start-Up Nation.

About the Mûr, he says, “It is indeed a climb that suits me and that I like. I am looking forward to returning to it.”

The Irishman, a stage winner in all three Grand Tours since the Giro of this year, will have a free role in Israel Start-Up Nation’s team. He can rely on the support of his teammates on stages like the one on day two in the Tour.

Having the Giro in the legs does not feel like a disadvantage for the climber. Martin elaborates, “With the right balance of training and recovery, I think having done the Giro can be beneficial, rather than a disadvantage.”

“Together with Paulo Saldanha from PowerWatts, I feel like we found that right balance very well.”

“I took training a little bit easier after the Giro, and I have done more intensity over the last few trainings. I feel recovered and ready to race,” the two-time stage winner in the Tour de France says.

Tour of the Alps 2021 – 45th Edition – 5th stage Valle del Chiese/Idroland – Riva del Garda 120,9 km – 23/04/2021 – Daniel Martin (IRL – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Dario Belingheri/BettiniPhoto©2021

“Racing my ninth Tour de France is something I was planning from the beginning of the season and I am happy that I am racing it, especially as it brings me back to the Mûr.”