He’s not sure if he would have been able to get in the mix, but Paul Martens was definitely irritated by the fact that a crash hindered his chances in the finale of the Classic Sud Ardèche. Because of the crash, the dangerously fast Team LottoNL-Jumbo German missed an opportunity to test his legs.
Eduardo Sepúlveda of Bretagne - Séché Environnement won the stage in Ruoms by outsprinting his fellow attackers. Martens eventually crossed the line in 16th position.
“I was involved in a tumble just when the finale was about to start,” said Martens. “It happened right before the final climb. The decisive group was formed up there. I cannot say with certainty that I was good enough to follow the attack, but now I just finished within the second group.”
Martens is happy with the mileage he will make in France. The Classic Sud Ardèche is followed by the La Drome Classic on Sunday.
“Today was a hefty race, we knew that in advance. For a few of our riders this is their first race of the season. They were at their limit today, because other teams have already ridden two or three races. In that respect, these two days are very useful for us.”
Martens didn’t feel completely fine after the race. “As you can hear, I’m having some trouble with my throat. I think many riders in the peloton are troubled by this.”