Tony Martin wins Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco time trial
Team Omega Pharma-QuickStep's time trial world champion Tony Martin (Germany) earlier today powered to victory in the final stage of the 2013 Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country) - a 24 kilometer individual time trial. Movistar's Nairo Quintana surprisingly took the overall race victory.
Martin won with a time of 35'05", despite a time trial course that featured three climbs which had to be charged under poor weather conditions. Martin bested eventual race winner Quintana by 17 seconds, and Benat Intxausti (Movistar) by 32 seconds.
Martin crashed during the first stage of this year's Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco, but the strong German battled through to the final time trial for the chance of obtaining an additional victory. He also managed to work for his teammates during the mountain stages.
"I'm very very happy with this victory," Martin told Roadcycling.com after being celebrated on the podium in Beasain. "I was here for the general classification, but I crashed the first day and the general classification dreams went away because of the pain I had in the wrist. I was really disappointed. I was here to make a good general classification result. I don't know If I could have made it until the finish, but the truth is that I was here for a top five."
"Together with the team I then maintained the focus on this time trial. I was riding with pain the entire week but I kept going on thinking about this time trial. I knew it wasn't an easy parcour for me with a lot of up and down stretches. But I was really committed. This morning it was also snowing and then we had the rain. But when I'm focused I can keep it out of my mind."
"This morning I went to see the parcour before by car than by bike. I really knew the parcour 100 percent and I have to thank Specialized for their tires. On the wet road they have an unbelievable grip and they really permit me to go full gas, even in the corners and downhill sections without fear."
Overall race winner Quintana said "I'm super happy with this victory and this time trial, that went quite much better than I'd expected. I've been fighting for such a victory since Paris-Nice, felt really good all these days and was able to confirm my strong form today."
When asked to comment on today's time trial route Quintana told RoadCycling.com "It was quite a good route for me. It had flat sections, where I don't do bad at all and also some slopes and several turns. As it was also a short time trial it suited me well."
"I rode with calmness and confidence, distributing my strength equally over the course, and it went well. The roads were slippery and I had to take some risks on the descents. Actually, I was close to crashing once, but on the final descent I already knew I had a good gap and could take things easier.
"It's my first victory in such a big race. It's something wonderful, it makes me really happy. I don't know yet how far I can reach. I'm relatively young and we've yet to see how well my body progresses."
For our USA-based readers we have 2013 Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco video highlights from