Dan Martin: More to come from UAE Team Emirates in 2019
Irishman joined teammates for a coaching clinic at Al Yasmina Academy in Abu Dhabi on Monday
The UAE Team Emirates cyclist Dan Martin is confident there is more improvement to come from the team when they begin their third year in the UCI World Tour in 2019.
Quick-Step Floors of Belgium topped the World Tour ranking while the Team Emirates finished 12th out of 18 teams.
Irishman Martin insisted the team “learnt a lot from this year” and vowed to return stronger for the next campaign.
“The mistake we made at the start wasn’t the results we wanted,” said Martin, who joined his teammates at a cycling clinic for kids at the Al Yasmina Academy in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
“We didn’t start off well to the season but Tour de France was a big one. We managed to show the jersey, and show the UAE, and I would say we did justice.
“We had lot of time showing the jersey in good light. We made a lot of people here proud and that is most important.”
Martin is yet to race for the team in the UAE but hopes to do so when the World Tour race is staged in the Emirates in February 2019.
“It will be a very important race for me,” said Martin, 32, who has taken part in two Olympics and won stages in the Tour de France in 2013 and 2018.
“It is the special one for the people here and it will be great to have UAE crowd behind you. Lots of fans were happy to see us do well in the Tour de France.”
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Martin was blessed with twin girls recently and will take a well-deserved break to spend time with the newborns and his wife.
“I’m looking forward to a little bit of holiday as I have got newborn twins, less than six weeks old,” he said.
“I want to be with them and hopefully that will inspire me to come out strongly when the season gets underway in January.”
Joining Martin at the school in Abu Dhabi was teammate Yousif Mirza with the Emirati cyclist saying every year has been a learning curve for him on the professional circuit.
The highlight of Mirza’s second year was winning the Asian Championship gold in Myanmar in February.
“The disappointment was that I couldn’t replicate that at the Asian Games in Jakarta,” he said.
“The Asian Games was really disappointing. I was a marked man at the Asian Games. The others targeted me and changed their tactics. I was given good cover by my teammates but the plans can change in the races.
“It was also an uphill finish which doesn’t suit me. It was very hard for me unlike racing on the flat.”
Mirza said he can take a lot of positives from his second year on the world circuit.
“I’m learning year after year,” he said. “I’m taking two years of experience forward when I race in 2019.
“Now we have a new plan and strategy to follow next year, and I’m ready for that. In this sport, everyday, we need to be positive.
“And of course I’m looking forward to race in the UAE Tour in my home country. Hopefully I can make it to the team.”
Updated: October 29, 2018 05:58 PM