Dan Martin claims first ever G...


Dan Martin claims first ever Giro D'Italia stage victory

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Dan Martin claimed his first ever stage win on the Giro D'Italia.

The Irish rider (Team Israel Start-Up Nation) led a breakaway on Wednesday's 17th stage to Sega Di Ala, and was on his own when he crossed the line.

Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) retains the overall leader's pink jersey, but had his supremacy challenged by Simon Yates (Ineos Grenadiers).

João Almeida (Decueninck Quick-Step) was second on the stage, 13-seconds behind Martin.

Martin's win means he's now won stages on the Giro, Vuelta España and the Tour de France.

"That's what I came here for," he said after the stage, "I knew that today was one of my last opportunities and with the extra time I lost the day before the rest day it was possible to go in the breakaway.

"To do it is incredible."

The 34-year old was part of a breakaway group that threw the gauntlet down around 140km from home on an energy-sapping stage.

Bernal was happy to bide his time, with Martin having begun the day over 15-minutes down on general classification.

Slowly but surely, that leading group was whittled down and with 10km to go on the final climb of the day, Martin was on his own.

Bernal's panic was only piqued when Simon Yates began a late break to close the gap on Martin, and for a time the Colombian looked to be struggling.

Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) is now within 2'21" of Bernal in the race for the maglia rosa.

Martin moves up to 11th on general classification, cutting the deficit to Bernal to 13'37", and just over 2-minutes outside a top-10 berth.

He paid tribute to the efforts of his Israel Start-Up Nation teammates, "It's been a rollercoaster us as a team - we lost Chris [Krists Neilands] on the first day, we some really good stages, we had a lot of podiums and then we lost Dema [Alessandro De Marchi] - he was in the pink and then he crashed out and Alex got sick.

“But our spirit has always been amazing. We've had a great team atmosphere. That showed this morning.

“I knew from recon I did of this climb that it's easier with two kilometres to go, so I rode my pace on the steeper section, just rode a good tempo and then I really went full gas with 2.5km to go because I knew they were coming close and I could kill their morale. It wasn't until then I really went all in.”

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Cycling Dan Martin Daniel Martin Egan Bernal Giro Giro D'Italia

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