COPENHAGEN (AFP) — Germany’s Tony Martin ended the long reign of Switzerland’s Fabian Cancelllara by winning the time trial gold at the road world championships here Wednesday. Martin claimed his maiden world title in the discipline, with Britain’s Bradley Wiggins finishing second to take the silver.
Cancellara, who came close to missing out on a medal in an error-strewn performance, won the bronze.
Americans Taylor Phinney and Andrew Talansky were 15th and 16th, respectively.
Martin, a time trial specialist who rides with the HTC-Highroad team, had finished runner-up in the event the past two years to Cancellara. The Swiss had won the title four times in the past fives years, deciding not to compete in 2008, when Germany’s Bert Grabsch won in Varese, having just won the Olympic title in Beijing.
Martin, however, had signalled his form by relegating Cancellara to over a minute and a half behind him on his way to victory in the recent 10th stage of the Tour of Spain. And the German proved that he was fully deserving of the title after speeding his way over two laps of a flat but technical 27.8 km course to post a winning time of 53min 43.85sec.
Having set a time of 54:59.68, Wiggins had looked set for a third place finish but he secured the silver thanks to errors on the part of Cancellara. Twice he was forced to slow down to avoid hitting the barriers after tight turns.
On his second mishap, the Swiss came to a standstill after he had rounded a right hand bend, losing the precious seconds which almost cost him a medal. In the end he stopped the clock in 55:04.44. Germany’s Bert Grabsch, who won the world title in Cancellara’s absence in 2008, came fourth at just 11secs behind the Swiss.
Please check back soon for a complete report by Andrew Hood.