UCI World TTT Championship: Pre-Race Recon & Training
Etixx - Quick-Step performed important reconnaissance and training on Saturday, the day before the 38.8km UCI World TTT Championship on Sunday in Richmond, Virginia (United States). Tony Martin, three-time UCI World ITT Champion and a key member of all World TTT teams of Etixx - Quick-Step since 2012, talks about the upcoming race that was one of the main objectives on his race calendar.
"After riding the course today I get the same feeling about it that I had before," Tony Martin said. "It's a really smooth course, really nice for a team time trial. There are wide roads, and while there are a few corners, they aren't too tight so you can take them fast. Then there is a really nice final, a small climb up to the finish line. In the critical points we tried to go a little bit faster to simulate race pace a bit in anticipation of tomorrow. To me, it's hard to find a key point of the parcours. It's so smooth, there is no point where you can really lose or make time. Maybe the final climb is the only point, but it's not very long. So, you have to be perfect from start to finish. Every mistake can be the difference, whether in a corner, a small hill, anywhere. From the start, you have to be super concentrated, but at the same time don't go too hard to where you kill the team straight away. If you do that, and you're already tired from the start, you can make a mistake. The profile is not super difficult, with long straights, and points where you can really recover on the bike. I think five or six guys can come into the final kilometers. The team time trial will probably be around 42 minutes, so not very long. Every moment will be important. But the training today helped us get even more ready. We're all motivated and every rider and staff member came prepared for this team time trial. Like every year, we brought a very strong team. If you see every single rider of the selection, they are world class. I think in the last weeks we did a great job turning every individual world class rider into part of a unit. I think we are ready to show ourselves tomorrow."
"As for me, it's no secret that since Le Tour de France I've been focused on the team time trial, and the individual time trial on Wednesday," Martin continued. "The last three days were important here. How I handled the travel, the jet lag, and the preparation. My last races before Worlds were incredibly hard, especially the ones in Canada. Those were some of the hardest one-day races I've ever done. So it was important for me to take it a little easy here, in order to go into tomorrow as fresh as possible. I think the team and I did a good job in handling my condition. Today I had really good legs. I am sure I will have the same, or better, condition tomorrow. We'll see what we can do. I'm excited to do my best with my teammates in the race against the clock."