GERMANY’S TONY MARTIN today successfully defended his world time-trial title, beating US rider Taylor Phinney by five seconds over 45.7km in Valkenburg, the Netherlands.
The race between Martin and Phinney was the highlight of the competition and saw the German clock an average speed of 46.8 kmph. After his narrow victory, he lay flat out on the ground to recover.
The 27-year-old caught Alberto Contador around the 30km mark after starting two minutes behind the Spaniard, who recently won the Tour of Spain. He eventually finished in ninth spot.
Third place went to Belarus’ Vasil Kiryienka, 1min 44sec back, while Tejay Van Garderen, of the United States, was fourth and Kazakh champion Dmitriy Gruzdev, a virtual unknown at this level, was fifth.
Italy’s Marco Pinotti had been on course for a medal but fell on a bend over a slippery part of the course and abandoned.
Martin on Sunday won the team time-trial with his Omega Pharma outfit. The individual title is his fourth since 2009 in world against-the-clock races. He won in 2011 and 2009.
At the London Olympics, he won silver behind Britain’s Bradley Wiggins on the roads around Hampton Court palace.