In his recently released book "Chased by Pandas: My Life in the Mysterious World of Cycling", Dan Martin has gone into detail about his strained relationship with Jonathan Vaughters led to him leaving Garmin-Slipstream "after eight years of great adventures and memorable moments".
A 6-time Grand Tour top 10 finisher, Dan Martin has plenty of stories to tell from his time in the peloton. One of the most revealing tales he tells in his new autobiography is of his acrimonious departure from Garmin-Slipstream to Etixx-Quick-Step.
This is how the Irishman described being forced to continue racing despite having broken ribs, "It hurt every time I caught my breath, thousands of times a day, until the pain became a part of me and of my routine." Martin writes. "What hurt the most was that I hadn’t chosen to be in this situation. I shouldn't have been suffering. Instead of struggling every day, racing with broken ribs on Swiss roads at the Tour de Romandie, I should have been resting at home. But my team denied me that option. It prolonged the torment."
"During this whole period I didn't hear anything from our big boss, Jonathan Vaughters" Martin continues. "not before, during, nor even after the Tour de Romandie. But I can only assume that he must have been behind the decision for me to stay in the race." At one point, so desperate for the pain to end was Martin he even asked for an emergency plane ticket to Barcelona. "This was refused." he laments.
At the 2015 Tour de France, Martin was confident and fancied his chances at a shot for yellow. "The day before the start, we gathered at our hotel in Utrecht for our ritual pre-Tour meeting. When it was my turn to speak, I said: 'I usually target stage wins rather than the general classification, but for once I'd like to go for a high overall finish.'" His optimism was quickly shot down however, "Charly Wegelius, our directeur sportif, didn't hold back. In his calm, monotone voice he pointed out that it was a pointless endeavour and that I was not a rider who had any chance of achieving a high finish in the general classification."
When it came time for contract talks, tensions between rider and team reached boiling point. "Every couple of days my price changed. In the best-case scenario, he wanted to halve my salary" Martin tells. "He'd (Jonathan Vaughters) spoken to my agent, Martijn Berkhout, who humorously replied: 'Thank you for your offer. It's a very good bonus. Can we talk about his salary now?" In truth however, Martin had already made up his mind "It was no longer a question of money. I wouldn't have stayed, not even for 10 million euros. After eight years of great adventures and memorable moments with this team, I needed to regain a bit of dignity."