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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 17 August 2018

Podium finish at Tour de France the next goal for UAE Team Emirates rider Dan Martin

The Irishman looking forward after finishing eighth, with one stage victory, in the 2018 competition

Fresh from winning the most combative rider award in the 2018 Tour de France, UAE Team Emirates rider Dan Martin says his next goal is to finish on the podium in the 2019 race.

The Irishman, who joined the team at the start of the season, finished eighth in the 2018 event, 9 mins, 05 secs behind overall winner Geraint Thomas.

It was his third successive finish in the top 10 standings at cycling's most famous race and highlighted an impressive three weeks in the saddle.

The chief success was victory on Stage 6 when he broke away from the pack in the final stages of the 181km route between Brest and Mur-de-Bretagne to win by one second from Pierre Latour.

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As Martin was able to celebrate teammate Alexander Kristoff's victory on Sunday's final stage in Paris, it also allowed him to reflect on his own achievements and aiming to improve in the coming years ahead.

The 31 year old said: "I race the way I race and I still think a podium is possible I just need to piece that perfect performance together. It isn’t all about bad luck, it’s about being in the right place at the right time and I think you make your own good luck a lot of the time.

"You learn every year you ride the Tour and I’ll take those lessons to next year because I want to end up standing on that podium on merit.”

Martin mixed it with the leading riders throughout the 21 stages and his constant presence at the front of the field and willingness to make breakaway attempts were rewarded with the most combative rider prize, which saw him have his own moment on the podium in Paris as he received his prize.

Martin added: "What a magical place to be, with the Arc du Triumph in the background and the Champs Elysees in front of us.

"It’s all just starting to sink in now. It’s always special finishing the Tour, but even more so today. I have really enjoying this year’s race and I’m a bit gutted it’s over. So now I am just looking forward to next year even more.”

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