It’s hard to hide when you won the Tour du Val d’Aoste (2.2U) after finishing 3rd in the Giro Espoirs (2.2U), and this as soon as you entered the sub-23. After a totally successful first part of the season, Lenny Martinez is one of the great favorites of the Tour de l’Avenir, which starts this Thursday from Vendée. “Anything is possible. I participate in every stage race to win, announces to DirectVelo. There are guys from the WorldTour at the beginning, they have more experience. There are higher hopes than me. A podium would also be a good result. If I have the legs I want and I don’t win, it doesn’t matter.”
Legs, the Conti Groupama-FDJ pilot had some at the beginning of the month during the tricolor reconnaissance course. At each step -the Madeleine, the Toussuire or the Iseran-, it was impressive as soon as it climbed the slope. “I don’t feel so bad. I feel a bit tired from the Baby Giro and the Valle d’Aosta. After the French Championship of the Future, I will lighten up the practice sessions a bit and recover to be well at the Tour de l’Avenir”. entrusted from the base camp located in Saint-François-Longchamp, in Maurienne (Savoy)
The Tour de l’Avenir will be the last big goal of his season. “With the Baby Giro and the Val d’Aoste, these are the three races I was aiming for this year. The first two have passed, only this one remains.”. And if he has the same success as in Italy, he should not be far from winning on August 28 together with Villaroger (Savoy). “Before the mountain, we shouldn’t waste too much time. You never know if you fall. It rubs a lot but it doesn’t scare me. Like all the expectations around him.
Lenny Martínez knows it, he will be closely watched for ten days while France awaits David Gaudu’s successor since 2016. “I read a little what is said, it is not so bad in general, he smiled. I’m not tense at all. As I have already got the start of the season right, I hope above all to perform for the team”. On social media, the Nivernais could read that he was, according to some enthusiasts, the future French Grand Tour winner. “I am happy when I read this. Some say “not in chrono, it’s complicated”.
However, the recent 5th in the French Under-23 Championship knows that he is capable of facing the clock well. “Right now I only weigh 51-52 kilos. David (Gaudu) was also at the same weight going into the pros. He is now 58 years old. Normally I will gain muscle and power. I won’t win in time but I’m working on it because I hope to do well in the general classification. I improved in training in terms of power”.
“IF I CAN HELP DAVID…”
For Lenny Martínez, David Gaudu is the example to follow. The two riders will meet again next season in the Groupama-FDJ WorldTeam. The proposals of the great foreign teams have not yet failed. “I had at least five WorldTour teams that I had contact with. I was happy that there were a lot of teams asking me. I had a choice, it’s always nice.” But for this reason he chose to remain faithful to a structure that accompanies him from the lower categories.. “I feel good in the team. I already did the bridge with the WorldTeam, I know what to expect this season. I don’t have too many worries for next year. In the mountains, for example, it should be fine.” he said 8th in the Mercan’Tour Classic (1.1) and 14th in the Tour des Alpes (2.Pro).
The 19-year-old climber lives and eats a bike. He likes to talk about training a lot, his eyes sparkling as he imagines his future. “I do punching exercises. The goal for me is to keep my threshold longer and longer. With these watts, when I get to the race, I can’t be too bad. In several years, I want to try to win with the professionals. Next year I think I’ll be there to help out in the mountains. Maybe I’ll get my chance a few times. If I can help David (Gaudu), if I step aside and there are only ten riders left, it will be a lot of fun. David is 25 years old, I am 19. I still have six years to reach his level. There is still time”. But Lenny Martinez is used to being up front.
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