Tony Martin nails ninth German TT title despite early mechanical

An early mechanical couldn’t stop Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) from nailing down his ninth German time trial title Friday in Spremberg. The 34-year-old has now won eight-consecutive titles going back to 2012. He won his first title in 2010 but was beaten in 2011 by HTC-High Road teammate Bert Grabsch.

Martin covered the 35km course in 39:11, 17 seconds better than runner-up Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) and 59 seconds faster than third-placed Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar) despite suffering a mechanical in the early kilometres of the course. Martin’s wheel was knocked askew when the rider clipped a pedal in a corner and his wheel hopped violently. The rear wheel locked up before Martin was able to safely bring the machine to a stop.

“Thanks to his riding skills he managed to stay on his bike,” said sports director Grischa Niermann. “He changed bikes and our mechanic Dirk pushed him really hard. In the end, he lost 15 to 20 seconds.”

Despite the interruption and blow to his morale, Martin was able to regather himself and maintain his advantage to the finish.

“After two or three kilometres, I found my rhythm again and I became mentally stronger,” Martin said. “I fought until the end, and I’m very happy with this performance.”

The win is Martin’s first for Jumbo-Visma and his first win since the German time trial championship in 2018.

“It’s a very nice victory,” he said. “Beforehand, I knew Politt would be a strong contender, so I had to fight hard. I’m very proud I can wear this jersey for another year. It was my last race before the Tour de France, so this was a good test. I’m going to the Tour with a lot of morale.”

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