Sunday, October 14, 2012
Specialized's Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) didn't need a time trial to defend his title at the Tour of Beijing.
The German ace, along with his S-Works Tarmac SL4 and S-Works Prevail helmet, won the five-day WorldTour race for the second year in a row thanks to a thrilling, risk-all breakaway in the second stage to gap the chasing pack by nearly a minute.
"I knew I had to risk something to win this race again because I am not so fast in the sprint and there were time bonuses," said a happy Martin after securing overall victory Saturday.
"When I attacked, I never expected to gain so much time. When I defended my jersey at Badaling, I knew it was more secure," he continued. "Today's stage was hard. My team supported me to the end and without them I could not have won."
The victory is a great way for Martin to cap his up-and-down 2012 season that was marked by bad luck and injury throughout the first half of the year.
After abandoning the Tour de France with a broken bone, Martin recovered to win the Olympic silver medal in the time trial before helping Omega Pharma-Quick Step power to the world team time trial title and then defending his world time trial title in Valkenburg.
"I kept training hard after the worlds and came to China motivated to defend my title. I did not things to go as well as this," he said. "I like racing in this country. The roads are good, the people are friendly. It is an adventure for us to come here."
The week also saw Specialized's Francesco Gavazzi (Astana) win up the Badaling climb along the ramparts of the Great Wall of China in stage 3 and Specialized's Rafal Majka (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) win the best young rider's jersey and finish in the top-10.
"These are my first WorldTour points I've earned, so I am very happy," Majka said after Saturday's final stage. "I have been getting better since the Vuelta a España. I wish I could keep racing!"
The Tour of Beijing marks the end of the road for most riders in 2012, though a handful of riders, including Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank, are heading to the Japan Cup in a few days.
For more information, photos, and videos of Tony and the rest of Team Omega Pharma-QuickStep please visit www.i-am-specialized.com