Dan Martin still aiming for a stage win at the Tour de France

The former Irish champion is in third place overall in the reace

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Picture by: Christophe Ena / AP/Press Association Images

It has been an outstanding first week of the Tour de France for Dan Martin.

The Etixx-Quick Step rider is in third place in the General Classification, just the 19 seconds behind yellow jersey wearer Chris Froome as the riders enjoy the first rest-day of the race. 

Martin's best finish in the race was in 2013, when he finished in 33rd place, when he finished over an hour and 13 minutes behind the then winner Froome. He looks on course to break that record this year.

Already on the 2016 Tour, Martin has had three top-five finishes in the opening nine stages, and has not been outside the top-15 of the General Classification since the second stage.

Speaking to the Irish Times after Sunday's stage to Andorre Arcalis, Martin is hopeful he can continue his excellent form for the next fortnight.

"I’m third overall now, but I still want to take it day by day and try to get a stage win. I like riding again in the high mountains. Etixx-Quick Step reminded me how to enjoy what I am doing and I can’t say enough times how great this team is."

"I’m an aggressive rider, that’s my nature. I like to attack and fight for the win even if this means getting dropped, instead of sitting behind and fighting for second."

As Martin continues to battle to try and reach the podium in Paris, Ireland's other rider Sam Bennett is at the foot of the General Classification. The 25-year-old is over two hours and 20 minutes behind Froome. He lies in 193rd place.