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Tony Martin Repeats as UCI World Time Trial Champ

By Chris Jasurek
Epoch Times Staff
Created: September 19, 2012 Last Updated: September 19, 2012
Related articles: Sports » Cycling
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Tony Martin of Germany poses with his gold medal after winning the Elite Men's Time Trial on day four of the UCI Road World Championships in Valkenburg, Netherlands. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Tony Martin of Germany poses with his gold medal after winning the Elite Men's Time Trial on day four of the UCI Road World Championships in Valkenburg, Netherlands. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Germany’s Tony Martin successfully defended his title as Men’s Elite World Time Trial Champion Wednesday, setting a time of 58:38.80 over the challenging 43.6-km course.

The course was tough, and definitely not suited to the 27-year-old German, who would have preferred flatter roads. Twisting and hilly with three major climbs including the Cauberg) the course was made even tougher by the weather: intermittent rain wet the roads, while a headwind blew down the major climbs.

Martin was four seconds behind the fastest rider, USA’s Taylor Phinney at the first time-check. Martin turned up the gas for the second section, passing Spain’s Alberto Contador who started two minutes earlier, and opening a 13-second lead over Phinney at the second time-check.

With five K to go, Martin led Phinney by nine seconds, which the U.S. rider cut to five on the final climb. Martin held on to beat the young American, but it took everything he had; the German rider sank to the pavement gasping after crossing the line.

“The final was one of the hardest of my careers, I had to go 110 percent to be able to get this gold,” Martin told UCI.ch. “It’s been a season with a lot of ups and downs; the worst thing was when I had a car accident in April and then broke my hand in the Tour.

“It was pretty hard to get ready for the Olympics, but I got silver and that gave me a lot of morale. With the Vuelta, this is the first race that I could go with 100 percent top condition which is why I wanted to go full on here, to show what I could do.”

Taylor Phinney, who won the Under-23 title two years ago, had put a lot of preparation into this race, and was clearly disappointed to come so close, yet not win. “There have been a lot of near-misses for me this season, but if you told me this morning I was going to get silver, I’d have been so excited.

“To lose by so little, I must have looked angry in some of the photos of the podium. But I’ve got to be realistic, to be so close to such a great champion like Martin, I have to be happy.”

Martin and Phinney’s rides put the pair in their own class; third-placed Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus was 1:45 slower. The race marks a great comeback from a bad season for Martin, but boosts the prospects of the 22-year-old Phinney, who also won the time trial of the USA Pro Challenge.

Marco Pinotti was another who had planned an all-out assault on this race;. He was riding third-fastest time when he hit a slick patch of wet, painted pavement and crashed, injuring his left collarbone. The Italian rider was forced to withdraw.

Alberto Contador, fresh of his triumph in the Vuelta a España, looked terrible through the first two-thirds of his ride. Apparently the Spanish rider, though exhausted, wasn’t about to get humiliated; after Martin passed him, Contador dug deeper and came back to finish ninth overall.

Many had thought the course suited Contador perfectly, and that the former Spanish national time trial champion would win the gold, but on this day he didn’t have the legs.

The Spanish rider has until Sunday to recover if he wants to win the Men’s Elite Road Race, which is likely his main goal.

2012 UCI Men’s Elite World Time Trial Championship

 

rider

team

time

1

Tony Martin

 Germany

0:58:38.80

2

Taylor Phinney

 USA

0:00:05.37

3

Vasil Kiryienka

 Belarus

0:01:44.99

4

Tejay Van Garderen

 USA

0:01:49.37

5

Fredrik Carl Wilhelm Kessiakoff

 Sweden

0:01:50.56

6

Dmitriy Gruzdev

 Kazakhstan

0:01:56.44

7

Jan Barta

 Czech Republic

0:02:12.49

8

Alex Dowsett

 Great Britain

0:02:26.06

9

Alberto Contador

 Spain

0:02:30.00

10

Adriano Malori

Italy

0:02:40.54

 




   

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