Tony Martin wins 2013 Volta ao Algarve
German powerhouse and national time trial champion Tony Martin earlier today rode to a solid victory in the final stage of the Volta ao Algarve - a 34.8 kilometer time trial near Portugal's attractive and popular Algarve coast.
Martin was the favorite to take the victory after having succeeded at maintaining strong form during the winter, which followed his return to form late last season after a crash that nearly robbed him of his chance of renewing his status as time trial world champion.
Martin was so dominant in the final time trial that he finished 01:07 minutes ahead of his Omega Pharma-QuickStep teammate Michal Kwiatkowski of Poland and 01:15 ahead of RadioShack-Leopard's Jesse Sergent.
In the general classification Martin was tailing race leader Sergio Henao (Team Sky Pro Cycling) by 28 seconds before today's time trial, but Martin's strong performance on his time trial bike catapulted him onto the top step of the final general classification podium in the town of Tavira.
Martin said he was very happy about his overall Volta ao Algarve victory and in the individual time trial, which he had had such high hopes for. "I was really looking to have a good day and I had a good feeling immediately this morning during the route reconnaissance. The parcour was really hard, with a lot of technical parts and little climbs where it was necessary to re-launch the action every time."
"Fortunately, it didn't rain during the time trial. It rained a little bit before, but it stopped before, so we had good conditions on the course during the time trial. I really pushed a lot and everything was perfect. There was a perfect approach to the race and the result came because of all of these things."
"I also think I built my victory in the GC yesterday on the climb," Martin said about Alto do Malhao, the summit finish of Stage 3. "My condition is better than last year at the same point."
"Today I was really motivated to go for the GC. I already won this race in 2011. I won the time trial and the general classification. I have to say this kind of race, with an uphill finish, a time trial, and sprint stages in the beginning is perfect for me. It's the kind of race I like and I am always looking for."