Tour de France 9: Tony Martin

I couldn't write. I couldn't think. What was Tony Martin thinking head down on the handlebar? Blabling blabling. Telly about the cronoman on the climbs, his body still, strong legs pedaling. Can he win a big Tour? can he try the hour record? Tony Martin, Panzerwagen, head down till the line. Rain again and a miserable riding behind.
German telly stopped showing the Tour some years ago after the doping scandals. Germans rule on the Tour. Maybe Tony Martin was thinking  of that: show them, show them where is the show. Maybe he was thinking of nothing.
It was a large break-away with a large gap. In there Tony Gallopin who was going to wear Yellow - at least for a while. In there De Marchi, Il Rosso di Buia: fighting so hard for the KOM points and so disappointed when he lost the chance to grab that Polka because Purito Rodriguez had dashed in front. For the first time in the race! In the bitter rain. Down the face, inside the jersey. Cold and angry, miserable rain.
Vincenzo Nibali had let it go. That heavy jersey he's taking easy. Yellow like the sun that was supposed to shine but does not. Not on Tony Martin's large open face. He's smiling. He always seems so sure, so solid and assertive. He's used to pull, for himself and for others. He's used to be alone up on the road. But you see how they are close after the finish, friends, more than mates the OPQS guys.
Listen to what he said. I see it now, when it's all cold, done and dusted. Listen:

"I think there are not so many guys in cycling who can do it like this" Martin said "But I have to do it this way because I am not a guy for the big attacks and playing games. When I have the space, when I have a gap, I know I can make a good race and go really fast. I can do an effort like that in more than a one hour time trial. I can put out this kind of effort in a three or four hour mountain stage. Today everything worked perfectly. I had good legs and condition. It was my kind of weather and with only one rider with me in the breakaway it suits my skills. We didn't play any games, we just were going and cooperating well. It was just a perfect day."
"I think I'm known for some crazy gambles such as today, going into the breakaway so early in the stage with just one rider. It doesn't always work out, but today it did. There was also some strategy behind it. I knew when the original 28-rider group directly behind us was chasing us down, that it could maybe work. For me the chance outside of the break would be really difficult. It was a flat finish and I'm not the fastest guy in the sprint. So, it was all or nothing. Uphill most of the time everybody goes fast, but on the descents and the flats you can really make up time. Because, everybody in the big break is too busy watching each other. That happened behind us. Uphill we maybe did the same speed, but on the top of the climbs and the descents we made really good time. I knew there would be a point where the chasers give up. We had 1'30", 1'40" advantage, but then the advantage grew to more than three minutes. I knew we broke the morale. So, I knew at that moment if I went alone and did a good time trial performance I could make it today.
"For sure the victory from Matteo Trentin took off the pressure on the team a little bit. But before that win we already showed that we never lost morale when Mark Cavendish crashed, and could not continue the Tour. We always were really active in the race. We stayed constantly in front. We could stay out of trouble and crashes and also try something in the crosswind. Maybe the morale was down temporarily when we found out Cav was out. But afterwards we decided to immediately make an aggressive race here. The first win of Matteo alleviated the pressure and we knew we could make some aggressive tactics. We tried today with Jan Bakelants in the original breakaway, and the second choice was me. It worked out, and we are all happy. We will celebrate our second stage victory tonight. I am happy that I was able to improve our morale even more with the first Tour de France road victory of my career."

1Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step4:09:34
2Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek Factory Racing0:02:45
3Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
4Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano
5Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
6José Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team
7Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling
8Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
9Brice Feillu (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement
10Tiago Machado (Por) Team Netapp-Endura
11Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale
12Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
13Rafael Valls (Spa) Lampre - Merida
14Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar
15Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Tinkoff-Saxo
16Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Belisol
17Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar
18Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
19Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team
20Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha0:02:51
1Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Belisol38:04:38
2Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:01:34
3Tiago Machado (Por) Team Netapp-Endura0:02:40
4Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team0:03:18
5Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky0:03:32
6Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:04:00
7Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team0:04:01
8Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar0:04:07
9Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo0:04:08
10Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:04:13
11Rui Alberto Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida0:04:26
12Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling0:04:36
13Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
14Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar0:04:44
15Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr0:05:06
16Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team0:05:08
17Jean-Christophe Péraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:11
18Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky0:05:28
19Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin - Sharp0:05:56
20Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha0:06:12
1Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale267 pts
2Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar156
3Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano146
1Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step18 pts
2Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale17
3Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale17
1Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step38:08:38
2Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:13
3Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr0:01:06
4Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano0:04:08
5Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale0:16:11
6Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin - Sharp0:27:54
7Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team0:41:40
8Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:42:01
9Nelson Oliveira (Por) Lampre - Merida0:43:13
10Simon Yates (GBr) Orica Greenedge0:45:01
1Astana Pro Team114:22:53
2Belkin Pro Cycling0:00:22
3Ag2R La Mondiale0:00:53

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