Tour of Beijing Stage 5: Tony Martin Wins Overall for 2nd Year in a Row
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team executed the plan of protecting Tony Martin — sitting in the GC lead since his Stage 2 solo victory of Tour of Beijing — to perfection. Tony Martin won the overall for the 2nd year in a row by 40" at the end of the 182.5km Stage 5 on Saturday. Tour of Beijing began in 2011.
Steve Cummings (BMC Racing Team) won the stage, beating breakaway companion Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) to the line. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky ProCycling) was 3rd in the chase group, and as a result, he moved into 3rd in the GC. Francesco Gavazzi (Astana Pro Team) finished 2nd overall to Tony Martin.
Hesjedal bridged to the lead group, and then was alone with Cummings. The duo had more than 20" on a chase group into the final kilometer. OPQS did a fantastic job, as they did since Tony Martin was in the GC lead, of protecting the race leader, and Dario Cataldo was with Tony Martin in the final kilometers.
Tony Martin won the 57th race for OPQS, in three disciplines, in 2012. Tour of Beijing is the final road race of the season.
"I am super happy — over the moon," Martin said. "With this victory we rode technically really well as a team. We were always very clever. We never lost control of the race. It was a great day for us where everybody did their best. We had good legs and were really strong as a team. I really think this week I had a great team around me. I was never in trouble. Today, for example, I was always in the top 10 position in the group. I rode carefully without losing my objective, which was to win the GC. We came here with a lot of ambitions, as did a lot of teams and riders, but we had good tactics and were able to do what we hoped for. Yesterday was the first stage where I did not feel 100 percent, but I survived with the help of my teammates. Today I found my good legs again, so I am happy. I think maybe the one or two big injuries I had this year made a difference in the final part of the season. I was a little bit fresher. The condition was there and I could work without problem. In the last weeks I was thinking about the World Championships and then this race. When you win two times in a row, like the TT World Championship or Tour of Beijing, it's something special. It gives me a lot more trust in myself. I trained well during the Vuelta, so now the results are there. It's perfect. I will race the Chrono des Nations on Sunday the 21st, and then will stay at home and take a little bit of rest, enjoying life with my family."
OPQS ends the UCI WorldTour Season ranked 4th, with 1162 points. Tom Boonen finished the season 3rd in the UCI WorldTour individual classification with 410 points. Tony Martin, with his overall victory at Tour of Beijing, ends the UCI WorldTour season in 28th place (171 points). The third top WorldTour rider for OPQS, Niki Terpstra, ends the season in 31st place (160 points).
"Congratulations to everyone again for this beautiful season," OPQS Manager Patrick Lefevere said. "It's nice to open and close the season with a victory as we did this year. I was present in Beijing and everybody did a great effort. Even the guys who led the team, which for us shows this team is really united. Our goal at the beginning of the year was to place between 5th and 9th in the WorldTour classification. We finished 4th, so we finished ahead of our goal ranking. We will now take some days of rest, and then we will start working hard once again to prepare for next season."
Tony Martin won the 57th race for OPQS, in three disciplines, in 2012. All of the OPQS wins are listed under "Victories 2012" on thewww.omegapharma-quickstep.com Competitions section.