Rund um den Finanzplatz: Tony Shines Upon Return
Tony Martin had a point to prove on Monday at Rund um den Finanzplatz - Eschborn - Frankfurt, racing for the first time on Monday following his bike accident on April 11. He suffered facial and shoulder injuries. Martin, working comfortably in the peloton chasing down breakaways at Runde Finanzplatz, went solo with 43km to go on a climb. His attack worked, and he stayed away until the finish line. However, three other riders bridged to him and that was the deciding move of the race. Tony finished fourth.
"I'm super happy with my race today" Tony Martin said with a big smile on his face. "Today it wasn't about winning the race but seeing where I am, and, to be honest, I'm a little bit surprised about my performance. It means that I didn't lose too much after the crash, a perfect signal for the upcoming races."
Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale) bridged to Martin, along with teammate Dominik Nerz and Sergey Firsanov (Rusvelo) with 28.3km to go. The break worked well together in a paceline, keeping the gap to more than 30" for the remainder of the race. Martin continued to take pulls, despite going solo for almost 15km before he was joined by the trio. As the group was within 2km of the finish line, Moser attacked, having another teammate in the break with him. Moser pulled off the victory, while Nerz was second. Martin, who had worked all race long, took fourth, not competing for the final podium spot with Firsanov.
"In the beginning I was a little bit scared, nervous," Martin said. "Kilometer after kilometer I felt more confident and then it was just a normal race. In the final I tried to attack. I knew that everybody was waiting for the last climb during the last lap of the circuit. That's why I tried to anticipate and to attack in the second to last climb. At the top I was alone, and at that time I did my race. It was a super sensation riding in the front again. In the final I had no legs but it was normal, it was my first race after four weeks. It was pretty hard in the last hour of racing, you can believe me!"
After the race, Martin and his teammates Bert Grabsch, Gerald Ciolek, Gert Steegmans, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Jerome Pineau, Matthew Brammeier, and Stijn Vandenbergh surrounded him, giving him words of encouragement for such hard work.
"Today I had fun," Martin said. "It was nice to race in front of an amazing public who supported me all the time. Even my mother and my friends were here today, on the climb where I attacked. Now I will focus again on training to prepare the next races but with more trust than before."