“I have really big goals, and I only want to keep discovering the potential I have.”
– Dani Martínez
By every account, the last 12 months have been successful for Dani Martínez. The young Colombian adapted quickly to the WorldTour during his first season in argyle. He finished seventh overall at Volta a Cataluyna, third overall at Amgen Tour of California and won the Colorado Classic youth classification. He fulfilled a childhood dream when he started the 2018 Tour de France where he was assigned the task to protect his childhood hero, Rigoberto Urán. The year ended with the birth of his first child, a baby boy named Isaac.
Martínez picked up where he left off during his sophomore season with EF Education First Pro Cycling. He earned the 2019 Colombian time trial title and finished third overall at Tour Colombia 2.1. In his first race of the season on European soil,Martínez secured his first WorldTour win, adding the queen stage of Paris-Nice to his ever-growing resume.
Before joining EF Education First, Martínez forged his own pathway at Willier Triestina-Sella Italia in 2016-2017. He learned Italian, adapted to life in Europe and found success in smaller races. Although he managed to fly largely under the radar compared to his compatriots, his determination and accelerated development caught the attention of team boss Jonathan Vaughters, who offered him a contract ahead of 2018. We are thrilled to announce Martínez has renewed that contract. The extension is a three-year deal, starting in 2020.
“I have really big goals, and I only want to keep discovering the potential I have,” said Martínez. “The environment in this team is the best place for me to grow.”
The 22-year-old has wanted to be a professional cyclist from the moment his brother first handed him a bicycle and took him out riding in the hills near Soacha, Colombia. And not just any professional cyclist. He wanted to be the best.Martínez’s early years on the bike were filled with dreams of one day winning the Tour de France.
“This kid is the chosen one to be able to fulfill his dreams.”
– DS Juanma Garate
“Dani is someone that really, really, really wants to be a cyclist,” said sport director Juanma Garate, who works closely with Martínez. “He wants to finish his career without any doubts about where he could arrive. That means that he is willing to make every sacrifice needed to do this job at 100%.
“He’s young but surprisingly with very clear ideas for his age,” added Garate. “I can tell you that the first time that I did an interview with him, 15 months ago, about his goals, I was super surprised with his answers. He’s very, very ambitious, but, trust me, this kid is the chosen one to be able to fulfill his dreams.”
Focused work in the off-season by both Martínez and the team afforded Martínez growth in an area that will be critical to his future success.
“He’s a gifted climber — one of, say, 20 very talented climbers in the peloton. But it’s his blossoming ability in the time trial that makes Dani so exciting,” said EF Education First Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “He’s made huge improvements in the TT. He’s a climber whose time trial is now a strength, not a liability. He’s worked hard on his end there, and I’m also proud of the advancements the team has made on that front, too. We’re doing great work together.”
Martínez’s spring race program will likely include Itzulia Basque Country (formerly Vuelta País Vasco), the Ardennes and Tour de Romandie. He’s expected to start his second Tour de France in July.
“I’m excited for the future,” said Martínez. “I’m happy my future is with this team. I’ve liked the atmosphere we have here from that moment I first arrived. The way the team does things, the people, the support I receive. Racing with EF Education First is great.”
“Dani fits in well on the team,” said Vaughters. “The riders rally around him because he’s talented but also a genuinely nice guy. For us, he’s the perfect fit. I’m excited to see what’s next for him.”
On and off the bike, Martínez takes our mission of exploring the world to heart.
“I think that without a doubt the world changes you when you see more places in the world,” he said. “As a person, it fills you and helps you to grow in many aspects of life.”