Tony Martin Wins Individual Time Trial World Championships
Martin completed the winding, hilly 45.7 kilometer course in 58 minutes, 38.76 seconds at an average speed of just under 30 mph. Phinney finished 5.37 seconds behind and Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus was third.
Phinney was agonizingly close to a medal at the London Olympics, but finished fourth in both the time trial and road race. Phinney explained he wasn't aware of his progress, which had him fastest at the first intermediate checkpoint (14.3 km), 13 seconds down on Martin at the second (29.7 km) and trailing by eight seconds at the third (37.9 km).
"This is a season with a lot of near misses. If you had told me this morning I would win the silver medal, I would’ve been excited," Phinney commented. "Tony is a great champion, but I got so close."
"I don't like to use a radio and I cover up my wattage on my SRM so I wasn't quite sure how I was doing. When you look at my time checks and my power files I was certainly hitting my marks. I knew I was on a good time when I could see (Fredrik) Kessiakoff as I was climbing the Cauberg," Phinney continued.
"This definitely makes me hungry to work really hard in the offseason, especially when you look at my performances at the Olympics. To be so close to a career and life-changing moment makes me want to work even harder next year to reach my goals," Phinney concluded.
Bradley Wiggins, the Tour de France champion who won gold in the London Olympic time trial, did not compete in today’s race.
Martin, who fell and broke his wrist on the first stage of the Tour de France, went on to win the Olympic silver medal.
"Taylor was more amazing because everyone knew that I am strong, but not so many people knew about Taylor," Martin said.
Phinney looked like catch him on the tough closing climb up the Cauberg, but Martin had just enough energy left to hold on for his second straight world champion’s rainbow jersey.
"Even the last 200 meters were so long because we had a full headwind at the top of the Cauberg," Martin said. "It was really, really hard."
"There was a lot of pressure on me to win again. I said I just have to ride, but it was not so easy to win. Sometimes you have the power in your legs and sometimes you do not for a race like the World Championship that is just one day. I happened to have good legs."
"This course was harder than I expected, but I did my best to win for the team despite such a hard final. I had nothing left at the end. I also have to give credit to Taylor, who rode the perfect race today. I am so happy for my victory and to be World Champion again," Martin concluded.
Alberto Contador, who won the Spanish Vuelta after completing a doping suspension, was considered a contender but didn’t pose a threat. He rode cautiously on a course slicked by rain in some places. The Spaniard started two minutes before Martin, but the German powered past him around the 18-mile mark.
Contador said he had a hard time finishing the race after being reeled in by Martin.
"Psychologically, it is hard to continue when someone overtakes you. But I knew he was going to be very strong here," Contador said.
Watch video highlights from the 2012 road cycling world championships in our videos section (U.S.-only due to geo broadcast rights restrictions).