The German returned to winning ways and became the 14th Etixx – Quick-Step rider to score a victory this season.
2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and now 2016. All these years have one thing in common: Tony Martin’s success at the National Championships in the individual time trial race, which he has dominated in a way no other German rider has done it since this discipline made its way to the calendar, in 1995. Held in Struefdorf, on a 41-km long rolling course, the race saw Tony enjoy a very strong start, and by the time he passed at the first intermediate checkpoint, it became more than obvious that he’s heading towards his maiden victory of the season, one which the 31-year-old took in commanding fashion.
Hitting an average speed of 49.97 km/h, Tony was the only rider to go under the 50-minute barrier, rolling over the line in a time of 49:14 and beating Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar) by more than a minute and a half, with Nils Politt (Katusha) coming third, 2:23 down on the six-time champion. By taking top spot in Struefdorf – where he was supported by his family and old friends who came from nearby Erfurt, a town in which he spent most part of his childhood – Tony became the 14th different Etixx – Quick-Step rider to taste success since the beginning of the season, a feat no other team has matched.
“I’m happy about this win, because it’s never easy to do it when everybody is expecting it. The parcours wasn’t totally flat, had a few hills and some tricky corners, which you had to be careful not to overcook. Considering these and the hot temperatures, it wasn’t easy to find my rhythm, so that’s why I’m even more satisfied about this victory, which I see as a good test ahead the Tour de France and Olympic Games. Winning the sixth title and finally breaking the ice in 2016 was very important”, said Tony Martin, who’ll ride also the road race on Sunday, together with teammate Marcel Kittel: “It will be difficult, because it’s going to be just the two of us, but I’m ready to give everything to support Marcel, so we’ll see what will happen.”
After this, Tony will continue to prepare for the 103rd Tour de France, where he’ll have two opportunities to display his beautiful jersey, the Bourg-Saint-Andéol – La Caverne du Pont-d’Arc and Sallanches – Megève individual time trials.
Photo credit: Mario Stiehl