Worlds ITT: Martin Repeats as World Champion
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Tony Martin set such a blistering pace at the 45.7km time trial UCI World TT Championship on Wednesday that he passed Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank) and was 13.26" agead of his only close competitor, Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team) at the second checkpoint. It was a nail biter, as Phinney crossed the finish line and it was up to Martin to conquer the Cauberg — 1200m, 5.8% average gradient — in his 58-tooth chainring. Martin, called a "Machine" by teammate Tom Boonen, repeated as World Champion. He finished 5.37" ahead of Phinney, with a time of 58:38.80. Martin was sprawled on the ground after the finish with the emotion of his victory and the exhaustion of his effort. Both riders were the only two to finish in less than an hour.
"I'm really happy for the team and for Tony," OPQS Manager Patrick Lefevere said. "This year it wasn't easy for Tony. He passed trough a terrible injury and he had bad luck on more then an occasion, as for example during the Prologue of the Tour de France. He deserves this victory. He's a fighter."
"There was a lot of pressure on me to win again," Martin said. "I said I just have to ride, but it was not so easy to win. Sometimes you have the power in your legs and sometimes you do not for a race like the World Championship that is just one day. I happened to have good legs. This course was harder than I expected, but I did my best to win for the team despite such a hard final. I had nothing left at the end. I also have to give credit to Taylor, who rode the perfect race today. I am so happy for my victory and to be World Champion again."
This is the 54th victory of OPQS in three disciplines, and the second World Championship in less than a week. Martin was also part of the team that won the World TTT Title on Sunday.