SALAMANQUE, Spain (AFP) — German rider Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) continued his superb season on Monday by winning the tenth stage of the Tour of Spain on Monday, a 47-kilometer individual time trial around Salamanca.
Britain’s Christopher Froome (Sky) took the overall leader’s red jersey from Dutchman Bauke Mollema after the mostly flat stage, the only time trial of the race.
“I wasn’t really expecting that,” he said at the end of the stage.
“I was just trying to stay in contention and be there along with Bradley Wiggins, the team leader. I just had a fantastic day and somehow I’ve ended up in the leader’s jersey. It’s a dream come true.”
Froome finished the stage in second place, 59 seconds behind Martin. Wiggins — who is bidding to make up for the disappointment of crashing out of the Tour de France after breaking his collarbone — had the fastest time at the first check point at 13 kilometres but gradually lost time to finish third, one minute and 27 seconds behind the stage winner.
Switzerland’s Olympic and four-time world time-trial champion Fabio Cancellara disappointed, finishing in fourth place, one minute and 27 seconds behind Martin.
Martin, a German national time trial champion and 2010 world bronze medalist, won the Tour of the Algarve in Portugal in February and has clocking up time trial successes in a number of races including the prestigious Criterium Dauphine.
The riders will enjoy their first rest day of the race on Tuesday.
The Tour resumes Wednesday with a 167-kilometer ride from Verin and La Manzaneda which finishes on a mountain pass that can shake-up the general classification.
- 1. MARTIN Tony, HTC-Highroad (thr), in 55:54
- 2. FROOME Christopher, Sky Procycling (sky), at 59
- 3. WIGGINS Bradley, Sky Procycling (sky), at 1:22
- 4. CANCELLARA Fabian, Leopard Trek (leo), at 1:27
- 5. PHINNEY Taylor, BMC Racing Team (BMC), at 1:33
- 1. Christopher Froome, Sky Procycling (sky), in 38:09:13
- 2. Jakob Fuglsang, Leopard Trek (leo), at 12
- 3. Bradley Wiggins, Sky Procycling (sky), at 20
- 4. Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas-Cannondale (liq), at 31
- 5. Fredrik Kessiakoff, Pro Team Astana (ast), at 34