Dan Martin did not start the first stage of Tirreno-Adriatico on Wednesday morning. The 34-year-old was a late withdrawal from Israel StartUp Nation’s team, with what the organisation described as “late developing health issues”.
No more is known about Martin’s condition at this time, however, Israel StartUp Nation will also be without Michael Woods at Tirreno, their other GC leader, after he came down with bronchitis.
Having no GC leader for a key WorldTour stage race is sub-optimal, of course, but the bigger implications – for Martin at least – are to do with his races further into the year.
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If the Irishman, born in the UK, is to be competitive at the Giro later this year, he will need some high-quality stage racing in his legs – with precious little opportunity now to get it before Il Giro kicks off in May.

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Martin may now shift his focus to the Volta a Catalunya, Itzulia and Tour of Romandie – all WorldTour stage races between now and 8 May when the Giro sets off in Turin.
Israeli team’s sports director Nicki Sorensen tried to make the most of the situation.
“We have excellent sprinters, with the whole team committed to lead them in the three sprint stages. Add to that the opportunity for breakaways in other stages – and you’ve just got to bring ambitions, smarts, and aggressiveness to the highest level. This is the way we reach success here.”
Israel StartUp Nation squad, Tirreno Adriatico: Guillaume Boivin, Guy Niv, Jenthe Biermans, Davide Cimolai, Alessandro de Marchi, Hugo Hofstetter, Mads Würtz Schmidt
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