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"To be prepared for the hard time trial in the best possible way, I will certainly have to continue to work on my climbing skills."

Photo: Sirotti

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TONY MARTIN

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17.12.2015 @ 08:30 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

With the yellow jersey in this year's Tour de France, Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) fulfilled a big dream. He even got another stage win, his fifth at the French race. But although he could look celebrate more success with time trial victories at the Volta ao Algarve and the Tour de Romandie, another German Championships title in the race against the clock and overall victory at the Tour du Poitou-Charentes itself, the 30-year-old was not totally satisfied with his season.

 

"My balance is mixed," Martin told radsport-news.com. The main reason is the disappointment at the Road World Championships in Richmond, where he could not do better than seventh in the time trial and thus clearly missed out on a fourth Worlds title. "I would have liked a better performance there. This casts a shadow over the season," said Martin.

 

And even the Tour de France was one of ups and downs. He started the opening time trial in Utrecht with the clear goal of taking the yellow jersey but he had to settle for second place. In Martin was beaten by Australian Rohan Dennis (BMC) in his favourite discipline. On the 2nd stage, Fabian Cancellara (Trek) then threw a spanner in the works as he took the yellow jersey by sprinting to third place and picking up a time bonus.

 

Martin’s finest hour came on the fourth day when he conquered the yellow jersey of the greatest race in the world for the first time in his career with an impressive solo victory in Cambrai. "In that way, I achieved a great goal for the season," Martin said.

 

However, the joy only lasted two days because the overall leader crashed in the final kilometers of the sixth stage into Le Havre and had to leave the race with a broken collarbone.

 

With the Worlds on the radar, Martin quickly returned to competition and even managed to win the Tour du Poitou-Charentes at the end of August. However, things didn’t go as planned in Richmond. First Etixx-QuickStep could only take second in the TTT despite Martin’s role as the locomotive. Then he failed to win a medal in the individual discipline when he was 1:16 minutes slower than new world champion Vasil Kiryienka from Belarus.

 

It was followed by participation in the road race in which Martin worked as a domstique for John Degenkolb and finished 88th. He ended the season with a 50th place in the Münsterland Giro.

 

To return to his best in his favourite discipline right from the start of the 2016 season, Martin has left nothing to chance during the winter. "We are just finding out where changes are necessary and sensible in order to still be competitive in the time trials," said Martin, who will of course have the Olympic time trial as his major goal.

 

"The Olympics is the most important highlight for me. The Tour and the Worlds will have less priority  in the coming year,” Martin said. Due to the hard Olympic course in Rio, Martin does not only have to hone his time trialling skills. "To be prepared for the hard time trial in the best possible way, I will certainly have to continue to work on my climbing skills," he announced.

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