Paul Martens provided a major boost to the Blanco Pro Cycling Team on Wednesday with a third place finish in the fifth stage of the Giro d’Italia. The 29 year old German yielded podium places only to John Degenkolb (Team Argos-Shimano) and Angel Vicisio (Katusha).
Martens said, “This third place is excellent. It’s good for the morale in the team. Notwithstanding the fact that we are here for the classification of Robert (Gesing, ed.), I had carte blanche today as we knew the finale was well suited for me. The fact that I could grab third is great and that came at the expense of no one’s energy, so it’s like a free boost for the entire team.
Commenting on the hectic finale with a crash in the last turn, Martens commented, “I had a hunch that might be a spill. It was wet and the pace was very quick. On top of that, the finales here are always a bit of a circus act. It is very chaotic because not only the guys looking for the stage win, but also the classification riders want to be up front. As I am not a true sprinter, I generally try to approach this kind of finale from a bit behind and that worked to my advantage today. Thanks to that, I stayed out of trouble and ended up third.
Sport Director Miciel Elijzen wore a broad smile on his face at the finish in Mater. “This is super. Paul grabs a great result and Robert comes home safe with no loss of time over the finish line. Throughout the stage we rode hard, just like the other stages up until now. We remained well grouped and up front. I think it’s starting to become apparent that we are racing very strongly. All in all, it’s been a very good day.