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“The GC would have been a bonus but the guys rode incredible all day - all week in fact they’ve been incredible - it’s unfortunate to miss the GC. Obviously anything can happen tomorrow but, other than bad luck I think Phi...

Photo: Sirotti








13.10.2014 @ 14:41 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Daniel Martin managed to do what he failed to do 12 months ago when he won today's queen stage of the Tour of Beijing. However, he failed to take the leader's jersey off Philippe Gilbert's shoulders and admits that he will probably have to settle for second for the second year in a row.


It was the closest of finishes but Philippe Gilbert (BMC) has managed to hold onto the overall lead at the 2014 Tour of Beijing with Dan Martin reigning supreme on the mountain-top finish for the 157km Queen stage of the final WorldTour event of the season.
Martin crossed the finish line at Mentougou Miaofeng in a time of 4:12:14, just two seconds ahead of a charging trio of Esteban Chaves (Orica – GreenEdge), Gilbert and Rui Costa(Lampre-Merida).
Starting the day 11 seconds behind Gilbert in the General Classification, Martin needed real time plus the former world champion to finish further down the standings to take the red jersey.
“It’s the way it is,” said Martin at the finish. “I’m just happy to win the stage. I’ve been twice second in stages of this race and second overall last year so it’s just nice to be able to win a stage.”
Martin’s victory was set up by a long solo effort from teammate, Ryder Hesjedal who attacked with around six kilometres to go on the final climb after an early break was reeled in and the selections began to take place.
“I was a bit surprised when Ryder went but he’s had good legs all week as well and he had to try,” explained Martin. “With the headwind, it was the only way to do it.”

“I figured I’d try to take a chance because you never know until you get out there,” explained Hesjedal after the finish. “I could do an effort and force the other guys to work and not just give them a free ride and from the looks of it, that really helped Dan. He could be relaxed and put the race on everyone else.”


“Unfortunately there was a lot of guys willing to ride the front and get him back,” explained Martin. “It did make my life easier because it made me relax and it was a lot different race to last year where everybody was just attacking and stopping.”
Gilbert’s form has been on show for all to see this week with the Belgian claiming victory on Stage 2. Martin explained that he was not surprised that Gilbert was able to make the final selection on the definitive climb.
“I knew it was going to be a headwind on the climb,” Martin said. “It’s not that hard of a climb. It’s a big chain ing for a lot of it and we’re going at 30km/h so it’s not really a climber’s climb at all.”
“The GC would have been a bonus but the guys rode incredible all day – all week in fact they’ve been incredible – it’s unfortunate to miss the GC,” the Irishman admitted. “Obviously anything can happen tomorrow but, other than bad luck I think Philippe’s got the GC. I’m still happy with second place [overall].”



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