Tour de France Stage 20 ITT: Tony Doubles Up! Masterpiece TT Earns Him Second Stage Win!
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Tony Martin confirmed himself to be one of the biggest protagonists of the 2014 Tour de France. The three-time UCI World TT Champion won his second stage of the 101st edition on Saturday, smashing the 54km time trial with his 58-tooth chainring for a finishing time of 1 hour, six minutes and 21 seconds (48.8km/h). No rider came within a minute and a half of the German powerhouse.
"The team really did a great job for me in this time trial," Martin said. "They paid attention to all the details. I had a clear idea of the parcours in advance. Then I went this morning to see the roads and I was really happy. It wasn't really flat, but also not super hilly. There were always parts with two or three percent gradients, with uphills and downhills. You could go with a big gear, such as my 58-tooth chainring. It was just perfect for me. We discussed with Specialized before what wheels and tires we would ride, we found the right setup, and I had a good feeling the whole race on my Shiv. We used the Turbo tires that are super smooth on the road. The whole time I was motivated. To have this kind of a perfect race at the Tour de France time trial, and get my second stage win, it's really unbelievable for me and I'm very proud."
Martin blazed through the entire course, setting the fastest times at each checkpoint. He finished 1'39" faster than Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) and 1'47" faster than Jan Barta (Team NetApp-Endura).
"My bike that I used today, with a new graphic, is super fast," Martin said. "Specialized wanted to make a nice special graphic of the Shiv for this stage. We have worked together with Specialized for a long time on finding a time trial bike that could show my power and suit my skills. This Shiv is the product of a lot of collaboration, but they also added a special flare with the graphic today. I have to thank them for making this kind of bike for me. It's a dream to see a Shiv tailored specifically for myself. It was really cool that they put the Bull on the frame for my Taurus Zodiac sign too. It was a beautiful looking bike but also really great with its performance."
Martin also won Stage 9 — the first Tour de France road stage win of his career — solo.
"The victory today was another great Tour de France time trial victory added to my palmares," Martin said. "I already won two time trials, so I am proud to now have a third win. But, I have to say, to win a road race and knowing 5 kilometers before the finish you would already win, it's an unbelievable feeling. You can celebrate with your Sport Director as I did with Davide Bramati. He supported me the whole stage and really kept my morale high. Those 5 kilometers were special for me and the team as we shared in the joy. So I can't say which win is more special, but how I felt when I won Stage 9 is for sure a unique experience I will remember for a long time."
OPQS now has 48 total wins (46 road) in 2014.
"We were all really sad when we learned Mark Cavendish couldn't continue the Tour de France after the first stage," Martin said. "In the beginning we were really down, but already in the second stage we continued fighting. We always showed we're a strong team. We wanted to fight for Cav and win stages. We were able to win three stages with a great team spirit. I'm really proud of how we stayed together and kept fighting. Now we all can be really happy and can enjoy one or two glasses of champagne tonight. We will celebrate and then look to Paris tomorrow with big motivation."