Paris-Nice Interview: Tony Martin
Tony Martin, winner of last year's Paris-Nice, is part of a top notch Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team roster for the 2012 edition. The team spoke with Tony briefly about his thoughts on the upcoming race. The world champion time trialist will have two Paris-Nice stages that fit his speciality.
Do you feel there is a difference in the parcours of the 2012 Paris-Nice compared to 2011?
It's different from last year because last year there was a longer time trial, which was a little better for me. This year there are two short time trials— one at the beginning and another at the end, which is a climbing time trial. It's not optimal, but not bad for me in any case. We will see how the prologue will be, then we go into the mountains. We will see what kind of result we can get. We have a strong team. With all the riders we have we could could play a little with the tactics.
What do you think about the last time trial, which is uphill?
I won a time trial on a climb in the mountains a few years ago, so I have good memories about such a time trial. It is something I like. I am really motivated to ride on a time trial climb. I am ready, but it will be important to also have a good distribution of effort during the climb. I can't give too much at the beginning and be empty in the final. It is something very particular when you have to ride that kind of time trial.
How do you feel right now, going into Paris-Nice?
The condition is pretty good now. I began my season in the Tour of Algarve, which was not really super, but I improved a lot in the last days. I worked a lot at home, and had good training weather. I think I am pretty good for the race.
Who are the most important riders our team is competing against?
I think in terms of stronger time trialers, Team Sky with Bradley Wiggins and Radioshack-Nissan with Andreas Kloden. Last year he was second in this race. He is a rider that can always play a role, he is good in the time trial. We have to also pay attention to Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). He is a good rider and is in good shape. On the road, for sure we will find out who are the riders in good condition, that are ready to fight. It will be a fight from the beginning until the end.
What will be your tactic for Paris-Nice?
I don't know exactly right now what we can do, but I am sure the prologue is something for my skills. We will have a difficult stage for stage five, with Mende and the uphill final. it will be quite difficult, so it will be important to ride a good prologue and then try to do the best to stay with the best of the peloton in the uphill sections — to give all in the last time trial in the Col d'Eze.