Tour de Suisse Stage 7 ITT: Monster Victory by Martin, Expands GC Lead
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Tony Martin came into the Tour de Suisse with a focus on the time trials. He won both — his latest victory after posting the fastest times on the entire course and winning by 22" at the 24.7km Stage 7 ITT on Friday.
Martin was fastest at the first intermediate point by 13" and the second intermediate point by 14 seconds. Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) was 2nd, and Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) was 3rd.
Martin has kept the yellow jersey throughout the entire Tour de Suisse, and has also worked for his teammates for the sprints. In Stage 6 Martin led out Matteo Trentin by himself.
OPQS will continue to defend the leadership of Martin — which is 28" over Dumoulin after Friday's ITT — going into the final two stages. Both stages have difficult summit finishes and GC contenders will be sure to take their chances.
Martin's victory is 42nd for the team, in three disciplines, in 2014. The three-time UCI World TT Champion also has six individual victories this season, in addition to being a part of the TTT victory at Tirreno-Adriatico.
"I felt great on my Specialized Shiv today," Martin said "It was a normal set up with the 58 chainring, because I knew there was some time that could be made on the final descent. And with this setup I won and earned a nice gap on the other contenders. Now for the weekend, anything is possible. As for the stage tomorrow, it's easier of the two stages. I'm familiar with the Verbier finish from the Tour de France. The last climb I hope I can treat it like a TT, find a good rhythm and hang on to the other guys. I have the jersey, but it will not be easy. There are a lot of competitors, even the entire top 20 of the general classification. But, the morale is really good, we've been working hard the whole week. The team has done a great job supporting me. I will give it 110% to honor this yellow jersey and the effort of my teammates to keep me in it."