Miguel MartinezIn his prime Miguel Martinez "Little Mig" was the undisputed king of men's cross country racing, sealing his status with a strong win in the 2000 summer Olympics in Sydney Australia. The French cyclist who at the time rode for Sunn dominated the sport, but after 2005 his presence was no longer noticeable at XC races.
Martinez was born on 17th January 1976 in Fourchambault, Nieve. His father, Mariano, was a great cyclist before him having rode on Merckx's team and was considered at the time to be a great climber. He had in his time won the king of the Mountains title in the Tour de France. Even from the age of six Martinez recollects not only his fathers influence on him with cycling but also his family which have a great tradition with cycling. At first he started with riding on the rode but by the age of ten he had started Mountain Biking. As he matured and grew stronger he realised that he could do well with in the sport and along with cyclocross racing moved away from rode racing.
By 1994 Miguel Martinez was starting to dominate XC racing amongst the juniors and so won his first World Championships, this was as well as an impressive 3rd place at the Cyclocross Championships. By the time Martinez had won his gold medal at Sydney in 2000 he had won two World Cup Series, Three World XC Championships as well as a Cyclocross Championship, two European Champioships medals and a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics at Atlanta.
Year Event Place Result
1995 World Championship XC Kirchzarten 2
1996 National Championships 1
World Championships XC Cairns 2
World Championships Cyclocross Corva 1
World Cup XC 3
Olympics Atlanta 3
1997 World Championships XC Chateaux D'Oex 1
World Cup XC 1
1998 World Championships XC Mont Sainte-Anne 1
World Cup XC 2
1999 World Cup XC 2
European Championship XC 1
2000 Olympics Sydney 1
World Cup XC 1
European Championships XC 1
2001 World Cup XC 3
The Move To The Road
Martinez now looked towards Road racing and fresh targets after all he had now won all the major events in Mountain Biking, and felt that road racing would be more competitive. In truth his results had started to wain and so in 2002 he signed a three year deal with Mapei-Quickstep whilst at the same time raced some MTB XC events and Endurance events with Full Dynamix, a move his father had insisted on. on This team he was also to join another MTB legend and future Tour de France winner Cadel Evans who had been a big rival during the late 90s.
By 2003 Martinez had joined Phonak racing team but by the end of the year went into a semi retirement, racing irregularly but never really producing the form of old. He was said to have become alluded to the amount of doping in road racing and not wanting to be part of it as reason for leaving. He returned in 2008 to the Italian team Amore e Vita, stating “I always rode to the best of my ability without doping it was made clear to me that I wasn’t operating in the way that was required. Today I really have the impression that things have changed. I’m convinced that cycling has moved in the right direction and I want a second chance to continue my career at the highest level.”
By 2009 Little Mig had made the decision to return back to his first love of MTBing and was set to race for Felt International Racing team but was sacked from the team
A press statement from Felt reads – “We would like to inform you that the contract with Miguel Martinez has been cancelled due to unbridgeable differences. The athlete behaved inexcusably and violated his contract. He is dismissed effective immediately.”
Martinez was given a four month suspended sentence for assaulting his wife by a French court. He has been in mediation several times over the past two years for violent incidents.
Present Day2013 is a fresh start for Martinez who has again returned to Mountain Biking but with Italian FRM Factory racing Team who produce high-level components and bikes.
"Now that I am free from all contractual ties” – the athlete has said – “I want to race with a team capable of offering me the necessary serenity along with a bicycle that I have dreamt of for years.
Mirko Pirazzoli, in his double role of Commercial Director of FRM and new Team mate to the French Champion says “Having Miguel with us is a great stimulus: competition is constantly increasing, Miguel has the motivation and the conditions to shoot back to the top, but for us it is sufficient that he has fun”.
This has proved a healthy approach for Martinez who surprised everyone with a strong win at the 2013 Sea Otter Classic. Whilst he hasn't been the dominate rider he once was he recently got 14th at the third round of the World Cup, it remains to be seen whether the little Frenchman can find the form and find his way back on the podium a sight not many would begrudge him.
|Val di Sole||Men's Olympic Cross Country||14||15/06/2013||2013|
|Val di Sole||Men's Olympic Cross Country - Eliminator - Qualification||12||13/06/2013||2013|
|Val di Sole||Men's Olympic Cross Country - Eliminator||25||13/06/2013||2013|
|Albstadt||Men's Olympic Cross Country||41||19/05/2013||2013|
|UCI World Championships Mountain Bike Marathon||Men's Marathon Cross-country||35||05/07/2008||2008|
|Manavgat / Antalya||Men's Marathon Cross-country||33||16/03/2008||2008|
|L'Hexagonal||L'Hexagonal - Stage 8||1||15/08/2006||2007|
|L'Hexagonal||L'Hexagonal - Stage 6||1||13/08/2006||2007|
|L'Hexagonal||L'Hexagonal - Stage 1||1||08/08/2006||2007|
|Curacao||Men's Olympic Cross Country||41||01/04/2006||2006|
|World Championships Mountainbike||Cross Country Men||20||04/09/2005||2005|
|European Championships||Men's Olympic Cross Country||11||31/07/2005||2005|
|Houffalize||Cross Country Men||12||29/05/2005||2005|
|Madrid||Cross Country Men||25||08/05/2005||2005|
|Spa Francorchamps||Cross Country Men||9||24/04/2005||2005|
|European Championships||Men's Olympic Cross Country||4||01/07/2004||2004|
|L'Hexagonal||L'Hexagonal - Stage 7||1||17/06/2004||2004|
|L'Hexagonal||L'Hexagonal - Stage 5||1||15/06/2004||2004|
|World Championships Mountainbike||Men's Olympic Cross Country||49||07/09/2003||2003|
|UCI World Championships Mountain Bike Marathon||Men's Marathon Cross-country||21||31/08/2003||2003|
|L'Hexagonal||L'Hexagonal - Stage 7||1||16/08/2003||2003|
|L'Hexagonal||L'Hexagonal - Stage 6||1||15/08/2003||2003|
|L'Hexagonal||L'Hexagonal - Stage 1||1||10/08/2003||2003|
|World Championships Mountainbike||Men's Olympic Cross Country||45||16/09/2001||2001|
|European Championships||Men's Olympic Cross Country||12||2001||2001|
|Olympic Games||Men's Olympic Cross Country||1||24/09/2000||2000|
|World Championships Mountainbike||Men's Olympic Cross Country||1||10/06/2000||2000|
|European Championships||Men's Olympic Cross Country||17||2000||2000|
|World Championships Mountainbike||Men's Olympic Cross Country||2||19/09/1999||1999|
|European Championships||Men's Olympic Cross Country||1||1999||1999|
|Olympic Games||Men's Olympic Cross Country||3||30/07/1996||1996|
|World Championships Mountainbike||Men's Olympic Cross Country||2||19/09/1995||1995|