Martin Poised To Retain Tour of Beijing Crown

BEIJING, Oct 10, 2012 – Defending champion Tony Martin won the second
stage of this year’s Tour of Beijing on Wednesday after dominating for most of
the race and crossing the line with a huge lead of 46 seconds.

The German cyclist is now leading overall in the last tour of the season,
and is in a dominant position to retain the title he won last year at China’s
first World Tour calendar event.

But the 27-year-old, who took silver medal in the men’s individual time
trial at the Olympics this year remained cautious, despite holding an overall
lead of 50 seconds with three races remaining in the five-day tour.

“Tomorrow is an uphill finish, and I am sure some guys will go really fast,
so now I have to fight,” he said after the race, which was staged from
Beijing’s Olympic Park to the city’s hilly western suburbs.

“I came to China to try to get a good result, even if there was no TT this year,” Martin said. “I knew I had to try something without the TT. I knew, in the right moment, I had to take a chance. Today I felt good. There was a tough climb at the beginning, but I passed it without problem. About 25km from the finish there was a little downhill section after the climb. I turned and saw I had a small gap between me and the rest of the group, so I decided to go. Then, I did my own time trial giving my best — it worked in the end. It’s super nice, especially for me because it is unusual to win a road stage. I am always happy to win the time trials, but it is quite amazing for me to win a stage like this. I feel good. Tomorrow it will be a question of tactics. We can’t let the dangerous breaks get away, and we have to manage the race. We have a good team here, so for sure we will do our best. I have a 50 second lead in the GC, but now we will see the competitors. All the riders in the top 10 are dangerous. Some are climbers, some are sprinters who will take advantage of the bonifications and go for the final sprints. It will be a fight, but we will do our best to protect the leader’s jersey.”

Martin, who races for the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team, clinched victory
after he pulled away on the final descent with about 25 of the 126 kilometres
(16 of 78 miles) of the race remaining.

The following pack of seven chasers failed to close the gap on Martin, who
appeared to slip easily into time trial mode as he made his triumphant dash
for the finishing line.

Italian Elia Viviani, who races for the Liquigas-Cannondale team, won the
first stage of the race on Tuesday.

The Tour of Beijing is the final event of the season, and will see 18 of
the world’s top cycling teams compete. A total of 140 cyclists from 30
countries raced in the second stage.

2010 Tour de France champion Andy Schleck of Luxembourg is also competing
in Beijing.

Results from the second stage of the Tour of
Beijing on Wednesday:

1. Tony Martin (GER/Omega Pharma-QuickStep) 2hr 53min 05secs
2. Francesco Gavazzi (ITA/Astana Pro Team) at 46 secs
3. Eros Capecchi (ITA/Liquigas-Cannondale) same time
4. Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA/AG2R La Mondiale) same time
5. Tomasz Marczynski (POL/Vacansoleil – DCM Procycling) same time
6. Daniel Martin (IRl/Garmin-Sharp) same time
7. Tom Jelte Slagter (NED/Rabobank Cycling Team) same time
8. Rafal Majka (POL/Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) same time
9. David Tanner (AUS/Saxo Bank-Tinkoff) at 50 secs
10. Simon Clarke (Aus/Orica GreenEDGE) same time

Overall classification after stage two
1. Tony Martin (GER/Omega Pharma-QuickStep) in 5hr 30mins 44secs
2. Francesco Gavazzi (ITA/Astana Pro Team) at 50 secs
3. Eros Capecchi (ITA/Liquigas-Cannondale) at 52 secs
4. Edvald Boasson-Hagen (NOR/Sky Procycling) at 56 secs
5. Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA/AG2R La Mondiale) at 56 secs
6. Daniel Martin (IRl/Garmin-Sharp) at 56 secs
7. Tomasz Marczynski (POL/Vacansoleil – DCM Procycling) at 56 secs
8. Rafal Majka (POL/Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) at 56 secs
9. Tim Wellens (BEL/Lotto-Belisol Team) at 1-00
10. Rui Alberto Costa (POR/Movistar Team) at 1-00