Martin Barely Beats Phinney In Successful TT Title Defense

VALKENBURG, Netherlands, Sept 19, 2012 (AFP) – Germany’s Tony Martin on
Wednesday successfully defended his world time-trial title, beating US rider
Taylor Phinney by five seconds over 45.7km in Valkenburg, the Netherlands.

The race between Martin and Phinney was the highlight of the competition
and saw the German clock an average speed of 46.8 kmph. After his narrow
victory, he lay flat out on the ground to recover.

The 27-year-old caught Alberto Contador around the 30km mark after starting
two minutes behind the Spaniard, who recently won the Tour of Spain. He
eventually finished in ninth spot.

Martin admitted that he had never experienced such a tight race.

“I never expected this result of Taylor (Phinney),” said Martin, whose Tour
de France this year ended prematurely when he broke his hand in a fall.

“It is the toughest final that I have experienced in my career. I was dead
when I crossed the line. I knew that it was very close, but I never panicked,
I just tried to keep my rhythm.

“I love time-trialling but who knows one day I may set my sights on winning
the Tour itself. It will depend on the lay of the course.”

Phinney, 22, had mixed feelings over taking second spot.

“I had a very good season up until the Olympics,” said Phinney, who
suffered double frustration in London finishing fourth in both the time-trial
and the road race.

“After that I prepared for the world championships. If someone had said
beforehand I would win the silver medal I would have been happy.

“But losing by five seconds is very little. It is for that reason that I
was disappointed after I crossed the finish line.

“However, I can take heart from having improved a lot this season as before
I was only known as a prologue specialist.

“Great riders like Fabian Cancellara, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome were
absent today but I was really close to a superb champion in Martin. That opens
up all sorts of perspectives for the future.”

Third place went to Belarus’ Vasil Kiryienka, 1min 44sec back, while Tejay
Van Garderen, of the United States, was fourth.

Kiryienka was ecstatic at picking up his world medal, rounding off a
terrific season which has seen him sign a three-year contract with leading
team Sky.

“It was a dream I had in my head,” said the 31-year-old.

“For the past three weeks I have dedicated myself to the time-trial here.

“I worked solely for that. This bronze medal is a surprise for me but I am
very happy.”

Italy’s Marco Pinotti had been on course for a medal but fell on a bend
over a slippery part of the course and abandoned.

Factfile on German cyclist
Tony Martin, who retained the world time-trial title here at the world road
cycling championships on Wednesday:

Tony Martin
Birthdate: April 23 1985
Birthplace: Cottbus (Germany)
Lives: Kreuzlinger (Switzerland)
Nationality: German

Teams: Thuringer (2006, 2007), High Road became Columbia then HTC (2008 to
2011), Omega Pharma (2012)

Major tours:
Tour de France: one stage (2011 time-trial in Grenoble), competed four
times (36th 2009, 137th 2010, 44th 2011, did not finish 2012).
Tour of Spain: one stage (2011 time-trial in Salamanca)

Stage races:
2nd 2009 Tour of Switzerland, 2nd 2011 Tour of Romandie

One day races:
World time-trial champion 2011 and 2012 (3rd 2009, 2010), world team
time-trial champion 2012
German time-trial champion 2010, 2012 (2nd 2009, 2011, 3rd 2008)
2nd 2012 Olympic time-trial

1. Tony Martin (GER) 58min 38sec, 2. Taylor Phinney (USA) at 5sec, 3. Vasil
Kiryienka (BLR) 1min 44sec, 4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) 1:49, 5. Fredrik
Kessiakoff (SWE) 1:50, 6. Dmitriy Gruzdev (KAZ) 1:56, 7. Jan Barta (CZE) 2:12,
8. Alex Dowsett (GBR) 2:26, 9. Alberto Contador (ESP) 2:30, 10. Adriano Malori
(ITA) 2:40.
11. Andriy Grivko (UKR) 2:43, 12. Svein Tuft (CAN) 2:56, 13. Tanel Kangert
(EST) 2:57, 14. Riccardo Zoidl (AUT) 2:57, 15. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA) 2:58,
16. Cameron Meyer (AUS) 2:59, 17. Kristjan Koren (SLO) 3:05, 18. Jeremy Roy
(FRA) 3:08, 19. Gustav Larsson (SWE) 3:11, 20. Thomas De Gendt (BEL) 3:15
21. Luke Durbridge (AUS) 3:17, 23. Jesse Sergent (NZL) 3:25.

Photo: Corvos