Zipp News

Back 6.22.2009

Dan Martin Talks to Zipp

You just wrapped up 2nd place at the Volta a Catalunya with a very impressive ride on stage 4. When you attacked on the final climb, were you surprised at how much time you gained?

I didn’t really know what to expect going into the race as its hard to judge your form in training, but also because it’s the first time I have really raced with those guys in the mountains. It was a lot of fun to have the legs to attack and I actually took more time then I ended up with. Valverde finished really strongly but I was definitely a bit surprised when he couldn’t close the gap on me, especially with his team mate’s help.
 
If Christian’s crash at the Giro keeps him from top form at the Tour, would that put pressure on you to step into a leadership role? Would you ride for stage wins? The white jersey?
 
I have always hoped to be riding the Tour as Christian’s sidekick in the mountains but it is still too soon to speculate on his condition or even my place on the team. I would go to France to learn and do whatever the team asks of me, taking the race day by day, with no experience in a grand tour it would be important to go in open-minded and so if the white jersey happens, it happens, but there are some incredibly strong young guys out there now and so I think even if I was to focus on that, it would be a tall order.
 
Your father is English and that’s where you grew up, but your mother is Irish and you’re racing with an Irish license (and national champion’s jersey). Could you have chosen to race as a Briton? If so, why didn’t you?

I actually raced as a Briton as a junior, and was British national champion in 2004 representing GB in 2003 and 2004 at the worlds. I decided to change in the winter of 2006. I had always felt more at home in Ireland and the GB was too track orientated for a rider like myself.
 
Regarding wheel selection, the 202 seems to be your choice for the mountains. Do you ride deeper wheels on flatter stages? Why or why not?

Wheel selection for me is always about striking the right balance. The light weight of the 202s make them the obvious choice for the high mountains, but I really like the feeling the 404s give me and so on hilly stages I stick with the deeper wheel - definitely 404s on the flat stages though.

 

Photo: (C)Tim De Waele