The King Is Dead! Long Live the King!: Martin Wins TT World Championship
Tony Martin's (Germany) quest to become world time trial champion has ended.
Tony Martin's (Germany) quest to become world time trial champion has ended. The German dominated the 2011 world time trial championship, leading the field at every checkpoint on the flat, technical, 46.4-km course in Copenhagen, Denmark. Martin won the gold medal in 53:43, with Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) taking the silver at 1:15, and two-time defending champion Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) settling for third at 1:20.
Alexander Dyachenko (Kazakhstan) set the early standard. The Kazakh posted a 57:03, which held until the field's elite began their rides. World under-23 time trial champion Jack Bobridge (Australia) shattered Dyachenko's time with a 55:57, only to see 2008 world time trial champion Bert Grabsch (Germany) better the Australian's mark by 0:42.
Wiggins became the next rider to take the lead when he stopped the clock in 54:59. His time looked good enough to medal. But which medal?
Martin answered that question when he started. Setting a new best at each checkpoint, the German powered over the course 1:15 faster than the Briton. Martin overtook David Millar (Great Britain) and Mikhail Ignatyev (Russia) and almost reeled in Taylor Phinney (United States), who started 4:30 before the German.
Only Cancellara was left on the course. The four-time champion was second at each checkpoint and appeared to have a lock on the silver medal until he took a right-hand turn too fast. He came to a stop and nearly crashed into the barriers. The error cost the Swiss the silver medal.
Martin said that the conditions for a world championship ride were not perfect but manageable. "The course was pretty flat," said Martin. "I normally would prefer a few climbs, but I was able to find a good rhythm and really push myself at every opportunity to accelerate. It was cloudy, looking like it could rain at any moment, but we were lucky the road stayed dry and I could hit the corners faster."
Tomorrow will be a rest day, but the competition will resume on Friday and will climax on Sunday with the elite men's road race. Check in at www.roadcycling.com to get in on all of the action!