Martin “bonus-ing” his way to victory in Catalunya.

 

"Yes, thank-you. I know how to nab bonus seconds."

 

Mr. Bonus Seconds isn’t much of a flashy nickname. Or maybe we should twist the Irish and sing a few bars of Oh, Danny Bonus?

However, if Garmin-Sharp’s Dan Martin manages to win the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, that’s what people might be calling him. He is bonus-ing his way to victory, second by intermediate second. Chapeau with free stopwatch included.

While Martin did most of his damage on stage four with his solo victory in the the queen stage up to Port Ainé-Rialp, he’s been aggressive in tacking on whatever extra seconds he can find along the way. He’s like a French pig looking for truffles.

The day after his big win, Martin grabbed an extra second by securing third place in the final intermediate sprint before the finish in Lleida. Does one lousy second really matter in the grand GC scheme of things? If you have that feisty little Spanish climber Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) on your tail, it just might. Martin finished 9th on the stage and leads J-Rod by 14 seconds.

Time is money … and victory and champagne and a bucket of tapas and two sexy Spanish podium girls.

Today on stage 6 from Almacelles to Valls, Martin was again on the look-out for seconds. He found three more at a hot spot sprint. Take that señor Rodriguez, I just bumped my lead up to a fat 17 seconds. I am the King of Bonus Seconds, I have manipulated the space-time-Catalunya continuum.

In grand total, Martin scooped up four extra seconds and he might need all four in the final stage Sunday into hipster cool Barcelona. There are eight laps of the Montjuic circuit before they hit the finish and it promises to be hotly contested.

If Martin does indeed pull off a big win in Catalunya, that will be quite a bonus for his hard work and smart, aggressive riding. Plus, he’ll have earned himself a new nickname.

 

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