Dan Martin was forced to withdraw from today’s seventh stage of Paris-Nice from Nice to Valdeblore La Colmiane due to illness.

“I was feeling sick, probably a strong cold or something similar, my legs had no power, so I could do nothing than quit Paris-Nice,” he confirmed afterwards. “It’s a pity, I’m sorry because my team was confident in me, this gives me extra motivation for the next race.”

The Irishman had said before the opening stage of the Race to the Sun that he wanted to contest the GC in the race where he finished third overall last year.

However, he saw his chances of a high placing overall disappear on yesterday’s stage due to a mechanical issue. Martin broke a wheel on the 198-kilometre stage from Sisteron to Vence and he ended up losing over nine minutes to stage winner Rudy Molard (Groupama – FDJ) and the GC contenders and slipped from 22nd overall to 45th.

Today’s stage was won by Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) who also took over the race leader’s yellow jersey. The Briton goes into tomorrow’s final stage with an 11″ lead over Ion Izagirre (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team) with Ion’s brother and team-mate Gorka another second behind.


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