"I thrive on competition and it drives me to perform at my best" - Daniel Martinez vows there is more to come after Giro d'Italia podium

Having long been touted as a rider with Grand Tour potential, Daniel Martinez finally came good on that promise at the 2024 Giro d'Italia, taking the first podium of his career as he finished best of the rest behind Tadej Pogacar in Rome.

"This being my first podium in a Grand Tour, I'm incredibly happy and satisfied with our achievement here. It's undoubtedly one of the highlights of my career so far," reflects the 28-year-old Colombian in an interview with the BORA - hansgrohe team's official website the morning after the final stage in Rome saw Tim Merlier sprint to stage 21 victory. "As a child, I always dreamt of standing on a podium or even winning a race of this magnitude. To have achieved this dream is truly special."

With this being the first Grand Tour since moving to BORA - hansgrohe, Martinez was also incredibly impressed by the atmosphere within the team during the last three weeks as he secured only BORA's second-ever Giro podium after Jai Hindley's win in 2022. "The atmosphere in the team has been great. From the staff to the riders, everyone has given their best over the past three weeks," says Martinez. "This collective effort and positive environment have been crucial in achieving our results. The camaraderie and support have made my first Grand Tour with the team a rewarding experience."

"The Giro d'Italia can be unpredictable, and each day presents its own set of challenges. Even though I secured a podium spot early, I took nothing for granted," the Colombian, who was battling former INEOS Grenadiers teammate Geraint Thomas in the fight for second, continues. "It wasn’t until I crossed the final finish line in Rome that I allowed myself to celebrate the accomplishment. Consistency was key, and we maintained our focus and determination throughout the race."

Given the fact that this was Martinez's first real podium challenge at a Grand Tour, the 28-year-old was in somewhat unchartered territory. "I thrive on competition and it drives me to perform at my best," he explains when asked how he stayed so focused. "Knowing that several others are chasing us pushes me to maintain and elevate my performance every day. I focused on what I could control and used the competition as a source of motivation rather than pressure."

Unlike Giro rivals Tadej Pogacar and Geraint Thomas, Martinez has no Tour de France on the cards next month. As such, he can now rest, relax and soak up the pride in finishing second at a Grand Tour. "Resting after such an intense race is crucial for recovery," he concludes. "I’m looking forward to spending quality time with my family after having been away for so long now. It’s important to balance professional commitments with personal time, and I’m keen to enjoy downtime with them."

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