UAE Team Emirates’ Dan Martin set to celebrate a top 10 GC finish and the most aggressive rider award at the 2018 Tour de France. Image Credit: Courtesy: Organiser

Dubai: UAE Team Emirates’ Dan Martin secured a Top 10 finish in the Tour de France General Classification on Sunday and won the award for most combative rider.

The Irishman finished eighth behind overall winner Geraint Thomas making it his third successive top 10 Tour de France finish following ninth and sixth place finishes in 2016 and 2017.

Both of those previous top 10s were achieved while riding for his former team Quick Step Floors, but this was his first with his new outfit UAE Team Emirates, who he joined over the winter.

This was only UAE Team Emirates’ second Tour de France since forming at the start of last season.

Last year the UAE outfit’s Louis Meintjes also finished eighth in the General Classification.

In 2017, UAE Team Emirates got no stage wins but recorded eight top 10 stage finishes including two seconds. This year, they recorded one stage win (Martin on Stage Six) and an overall 12 top 10 finishes, including four podiums, showing a marked improvement.

“It’s been an incredibly memorable Tour for me,” said Martin. “It means so much, especially taking the first ever stage victory for UAE Team Emirates.

“Part of the reason I came to the team was to help create a legacy. It has been the mission of the team from the very beginning to bring cycling to the people of the UAE and inspire the next generation of cyclists.

“That’s always been a passion of mine so it’s great to know that the cycling community has been glued to the TV watching us perform in France.”

Of his award, he added: “I honestly can’t believe I’ve been given the super combativity prize. I really wanted to be on the podium in Paris but I didn’t think I’d do it this way — especially as I haven’t taken the prize on any of the stages. But it’s an honour and I’m speechless.”