Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco Stage 6 TT: Martin Wins Despite Tough Course & Conditions
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Tony Martin, UCI World Time Trial Champion, won his third ITT of 2013 with a victory at the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco Stage 6 time trial on Saturday. Martin won with a time of 35'05", despite a 24km course that featured three climbs and on another day featuring poor weather at the race.
Martin bested Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) by 17", and Benat Intxausti (Movistar) by 32".
Martin crashed during the first stage, but battled through to the final TT for the chance at victory. He also worked for his teammates during the mountain stages.
This is the 21st victory for OPQS, in three disciplines, in 2013. Martin has been a part of four of those victories, including the Tirreno-Adriatico TTT.
"I'm very very happy with this victory," Tony Martin said. "I was here for the GC but I crashed the first day and the GC dreams went away because of the pain I had to the wrist. I was really disappointed. I was here to make a good classification. I don't know If I could have made it until the finish, but the truth is that I was here for a top five. Together with the team I maintained the focus for this TT. I was riding with pain the entire week but I kept going on thinking about this TT. I knew it wasn't an easy parcour for me with a lot of up and down stretches. But I was really committed. This morning it was also snowing and then we had the rain. But when I'm focused I can keep it out of my mind. This morning I went to see the parcour before by car than by bike. I really knew the parcour 100 percent and I have to thank Specialized for their tires. On the wet road they have an unbelievable grip and they really permit me to go full gas, even in the corners and downhill sections without fear. Concerning my wrist, I think things are going better day by day. During next week I will pass other medical checks just to make another evaluation. I also want to wish the team good luck at Paris-Roubaix tomorrow."
The next appointment for Tony Martin will be the Tour of Romandie.
"There was good team work together with Tony," Sport Director Jan Schaffrath said. "All the guys supported Tony perfectly during the week. Because of the crash he couldn't really shift and brake in the first two days. But he was so focused and the team really committed around him. Yesterday was a really hard stage, but we made it and we brought him up to the finish. Then this morning we worked really hard for the race. In the morning he checked out the parcour even by bike. It was important for his trust and for the last adjustments. The set-up of the bike was perfect."