Germany's Tony Martin Powers to Time Trial Victory in Criterium du Dauphine 2011 and Bradley Wiggins Takes Overall Race Lead
Germany's Tony Martin of Team HTC-HighRoad earlier today managed to power through the rain masses in southern France to claim the stage victory in Criterium du Dauphine 2011 (previously Dauphine Libere) for the second day in a row for his team. Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) secured the overall race lead.
Germany's Tony Martin of Team HTC-HighRoad earlier today managed to power through the rain masses in southern France to claim the stage victory in Criterium du Dauphine 2011 (previously Dauphine Libere) for the second day in a row for his team.
Martin claimed his sixth win of the 2011 season on a 42 kilometer time trial course which was identical to the individual time trial route which will be used in the 2011 edition of the Tour de France. Martin finished 11 seconds ahead of Great Britain's Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky, and 43 seconds up on Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen, also of Team Sky.
Already the winner of the time trial stages of Paris-Nice and the Tour of the Basque Country in 2011, Martin's victory in Grenoble came just one day after team-mate John Degenkolb had claimed first place in stage two's sprint finish.
"I found a good rhythm from the start and it all went really well," Martin told Roadcycling.com and our mobile sister site Roadcycling.mobi after being celebrated on the podium.
"It was a good test for me, and I'm feeling very confident now for the 2011 Tour de France time
trial, too. Of course there will be some other top names there but hopefully I'll be going a little bit faster, too," Martin continued.
"This win means a lot for me because it shows that step by step my build-up for July is going well. I've had four weeks of no races, so the first few days of racing here were really hard for me, but now I'm feeling really good."
2011 Tour de France favorite Cadel Evans of Team BMC Racing finished 6th, 01:20 after Martin, while Team RadioShack's Tour de France outsider Janez Brajkovic finished three seconds faster than Evans and Team Astana's Alexandre Vinokourov spent 2 minutes and 18 seconds more on the french tarmac than did Martin. Team Euskaltel-Euskadi's Tour de France hopeful Samuel Sanchez finished 03:27 back.
"It was good performance and I'm happy with that, but it's just ever so slightly tinged with disappointment that we didn't win the stage. But you get greedy and I knew at the top of the last climb that I was way clear of the GC rivals and that was the priority today," Criterium du Dauphine leader Wiggins told Roadcycling.com after the stage.
"I couldn't afford to take the risk on the descent and subsequently lost the stage but took the jersey by a considerable chunk which was the goal so it was a great day really."
"I'm obviously there to be shot at now and I'm sure they are going to have a good go at me so we'll just do the best we can. It's all about preparation for July and there's still more to come, but I'll be giving it everything through to Sunday to defend it and fight to the end.
"I've proved today that I've got the legs so we'll just take it day by day and enjoy the day in yellow tomorrow which should arrive in a sprint. And then Friday, Saturday and Sunday it's the real stuff," Wiggins concluded.
Team BMC Racing sports director John Lelangue after the time trial said he was pleased with Evans's performance on a technical course that was made more difficult by some wet descents. "When you look at all the stage race contenders, Wiggins is making a really good time, but the other ones are behind. So that's a good sign," Lelangue said.
"It is a disappointment because I thought that the route would be more favorable to me. But my legs weren't well after the first kilometers. It was difficult then to find the right rhythm. I was torn between the desire to save my yellow jersey and the wisdom not to take risks. I chose the second solution especially in slippery descents, were it became too dangerous," Vinokourov told Roadcycling.com after a wet day in the time trial saddle.
In the overall 2011 Criterium du Dauphine rankings Wiggins now leads Evans by 01:11 minutes and Janez Brajkovic by 01:21. Vinokourov is 01:56 behind.
Ivan Basso (Team Liquigas-Cannondale) completely fell off the radar today finishing an incredible 06:16 behind stage winner Martin.