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Martin Solos To Tour of Beijing Stage Two Win

By Chris Jasurek
Epoch Times Staff
Created: October 10, 2012 Last Updated: October 12, 2012
Related articles: Sports » Cycling
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Tony Martin crosses the finish line victorious in Stage Two of the Tour of Beijing. (omegapharma-quickstep.com)

Tony Martin crosses the finish line victorious in Stage Two of the Tour of Beijing. (omegapharma-quickstep.com)

Tony Martin, winner of the 2011 Tour of Beijing, announced his intention to defend his 2011 Tour of Beijing win with a victorious solo attack in the final 25 km of Stage Two of the 2012 Tour of Beijing Wednesday.

Martin, a two time world time trial champion, won in 2011 on the strength of his time trial; with no time trial stage in the 2012 race, he has shown he can win in the mountains as well.

The Omega Pharma-Quickstep rider joined a five-rider attack on the final climb of the 126-km stage, then attacked this group on the descent. A seven-rider chase group pursued him, but for all their best efforts, they couldn’t catch the flying German; Martin won by 46 seconds.

“I came to China to try to get a good result, even if there was no TT this year,” Martin said on the Omega Pharma-Quickstep website. “I knew I had to try something without the TT.

“Today I felt good. There was a tough climb at the beginning, but I passed it without problem. About 25km from the finish there was a little downhill section after the climb. I turned and saw I had a small gap between me and the rest of the group, so I decided to go. Then, I did my own time trial giving my best — it worked in the end.

“It’s super nice, especially for me because it is unusual to win a road stage. I am always happy to win the time trials, but it is quite amazing for me to win a stage like this.”

The race route had to be revised as some of the roads were washed out by rain. The new route, 126 km, started with an 11-km Cat 1 climb (6.4 percent average grade), with a Cat 3 in the middle and the original Cat 2 ascent (3.6 km at 5.6 percent) 30 km from the finish.

With the long descent from the final climb, it was expected that a large group would contest the finish; no one expected a breakaway to survive.

A breakaway did form after 34 km of racing: Mathias Frank (BMC,) Maxim Belkov (Katusha,) José Ivan Guitierrez (Movistar,) Juan Manuel Garate (Rabobank,) and David Tanner (Saxo-Tinkoff) opened a gap of almost three minutes approaching the fist climb, but the peloton caught them by the crest.

A group of 20 riders including Rinaldo Nocentini, Sylvain Georges, and Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2R,) Samuel Sánchez, Igor Anton, and Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel,) Tanel Kangert (Astana,) Eros Capecchi (Liquigas,) Mathias Frank (BMC,) Tomasz Marczynski (Vacansoleil,) Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale,) Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky,) Ryder Hesjedal, Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp,) Steven Kruijswijk and Thomas Slägter (Rabobank,) Simon Clarke (GreenEdge,) Rui Costa and José Ivan Gutierrez (Movistar,) Juan Manuel Gárate, Steven Krujswijk, and Thomas Slagter (Rabobank,) Jan Bakelants (RadioShack,) David Tanner and Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff,) Maxim Belkov (Katusha,) Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) then broke away from the peloton. It seemed certain the winner would come from this group; Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen was considered a favorite, as he can climb and also has a tremendously powerful sprint.

This group stayed away over the second climb, with Garmin-Sharp’s Dan Martin taking King of the Mountain points for both climbs.

Tony Martin, realizing he didn’t have a chance if this group made it intact to the finish, lifted the pace heading up the final climb. The lead group caught him up, but the pace put some of them under pressure. Rinaldo Nocentini was the next rider to make a move, launching a more determined attack which opened a gap.

Only four other riders, Tony Martin, Rafal Majka, Tomasz Marczynski, and Thomas Slagter, responded to Nocentini’s challenge. Likely most of the riders in the lead group figured they would have no trouble catching any breakaways on the long descent.

Martin had a different plan. Just over the crest of the final climb, with 26 km to go, he took off in his time-trialing form, leaving the others behind.

Seven riders tried to chase: Rafal Majka, Tom Slagter, Rinaldo Nocentini, Tomasz Marczynski, Dan Martin, Francesco Gavazzi (Astana,) and Eros Capecchi (Liquigas) worked together and rode hard, but Martin was on amazing form. The Omega rider managed to stretch his lead over the seven fast and determined chasers.

Back in the larger group, Edvald Boasson Hagen tried to organize a serious pursuit, but after seeing Martin’s lead steadily grow, they all must have realized they were riding for second place at best.

Stage Three, 162.5 km from Men Tou Gou to Badaling Great Wall, includes four categorized climbs and a summit finish. Tony Martin’s climbing legs—and the strength of his teammates—will be put to the test here.

“Tomorrow it will be a question of tactics,” Martin concluded. “We can’t let the dangerous breaks get away, and we have to manage the race. We have a good team here, so for sure we will do our best. It will be a fight, but we will do our best to protect the leader’s jersey.”

Tour of Beijing Stage Two

 

rider

team

time

1

Tony Martin

Omega Pharma-Quickstep

2:37:49 

2

Francesco Gavazzi

Astana

0:00:46

3

Eros Capecchi

Liquigas-Cannondale

 

4

Rinaldo Nocentini

AG2R

 

5

Tomasz Marczynski

Vacansoleil-DCM

 

6

Daniel Martin

Garmin-Sharp

 

7

Tom Jelte Slagter

Rabobank

 

8

Rafal Majka

Saxo-Tinkoff

 

9

David Tanner

Saxo-Tinkoff

0:00:50

10

Simon Clarke

Orica GreenEdge

 

General Classification after Stage Two

 

rider

team

time

1

Tony Martin

Omega Pharma-Quickstep

5:30:44

2

Francesco Gavazzi

Astana

0:00:50

3

Eros Capecchi

Liquigas-Cannondale

0:00:52

4

Edvald Boasson Hagen

Sky

0:00:56

5

Rinaldo Nocentini

AG2R

 

6

Daniel Martin

Garmin-Sharp

 

7

Tomasz Marczynski

Vacansoleil-DCM

 

8

Rafal Majka

Saxo-Tinkoff

 

9

Tim Wellens

Lotto Belisol

0:01:00

10

Rui Costa

 Movistar

 

 




   

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