“Fighting is my nature,” says Dan Martin.

Martin moved up four places in the general classification after stage 14 in the Giro d’Italia.

The Irishman is the new number thirteen in GC, after he climbed up the super-steep Monte Zoncolan among the best climbers in the race.

“I was surprised the gaps between the GC-guys weren’t bigger,” Martin said after the finish.

Members of the original breakaway made it to the finish line, so battling for the stage win wasn’t part of the day.

A top-10 in GC is a goal for Martin in this Giro. That was a reason for him to fight like no other. The Irish climber, known for his ability to suffer endlessly, dug deep for the twelfth-place finish on the stage.

“I am happy with my performance today and I am happy with how I am feeling,” said the Irishman.

Guy Niv looked comfortable on the final climb of the day. The Israeli climber, who will be looking for more breakaway opportunities in the next climbing stages, said he nearly ended up in the break-away of the day.

“Unfortunately, the peloton did not let us go, and chased us down. Therefore, I stayed with Dan, took care of bottles, and rain jackets for my teammates wherever needed.”

Niv passed the first climb of the day and helped position Martin for the Zoncolan.

Martin: “Our small team rode really well. The guys really looked after me.”

He concluded by saying, “In the end, I felt pretty good. I am in a good place mentally and physically and I will keep fighting. Fighting is my nature.”

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Pics: Bettini & Noa Arnon