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"Last year was a lot of fun. I rode more as a domestique. I think that I am ready to take on leadership in the coming season, and to get some results for myself."

Photo: Sirotti

TONY MARTIN

RIDER PROFILE
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NEWS
06.12.2016 @ 14:06 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The change from blue to red is completed. Tony Martin showd himself in the new Katusha-Alpecin jersey at the team meeting in Benidorm (Spain). "After five years at Quickstep where I felt very comfortable, it's funny to have a red jersey," admitted the four-time world champion in a live interview with Eurosport.

 

Martin arrived on the Costa Blanca with a few days delay after the birth of his daughter. "It was very difficult to leave. I'm very happy. I enjoyed the days at home. I'm glad the kid is doing really well. It's very nice to have this unique experience," the 31-year-old said regarding the "unique experience". The first days he was distracted from the program of his new team. Now is afraid of calmness. "If I'm lying here alone in bed, I think of my two women home at. That is very difficult for me.”

 

With a gold medal in the individual and in the team time trial at the Worlds, he has left his bad years behind him. After his "hardest season", he is looking forward to the new tasks at Katusha-Alpecin: "I am super motivated to experience new things and also give my input to form the team. I hope I can have some influence.”

 

Martin is surprised how "German" the team which now has a Swiss license, is. "For me it is a change to speak so much German. I never did that at HTC or Quickstep. It feels like every second person speaks German here, be it the sponsors, the riders or the staff. It is a nice atmosphere for me. In German I feel more comfortable, of course,” confessed Martin. "You can see that the team has opened up. It has become more international and has probably gone away from the Russian character, and I feel very, very good about what I have seen so far.”

 

Although this year's attempt at the classics failed, Martin does not want to change his program much. "Last year was a lot of fun. I rode more as a domestique. I think that I am ready to take on leadership in the coming season, and to get some results for myself," he said before adding modestly. “That’s the theory. Whether this is possible in practice is another matter. But that is my goal. I will be preparing for that.”

 

He will probably not be quite as slim for those races. "There is both an upper and lower weight limit. I noticed this year that I was one or two kilos too light, because I just lacked the power on the flats. I was glad that I found a way to lose weight. This is not always easy. But there is a limit where I say that it is enough. I will never be a climber, there must always be a healthy balance. It is important that I keep the power that has marked me as a rider.”

 

He has an open approach to the proposals to reduce the team sizes in the races. "I am very pleased with the debate and the suggestions and I would be delighted if the teams would be smaller and the races more open. That would give more surprises. The races would be more aggressive. I am a rider who likes to attack before the actual finale. Then it makes a difference whether the team tries to catch me with seven or eight riders,” he said.

 

Martin also believes that safety can be improved by smaller field. On the other hand, he does not believe that jobs will disappear. "Some teams are already at the limit. There are weeks of the year when the teams have to go through a triple program, and you can see that there are more and more WorldTour races. The calendar always gets busier. I think it will take off some of the pressure.”

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