1t4i squad confirms ongoing interest in Tony Martin
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

1t4i squad confirms ongoing interest in Tony Martin

by Shane Stokes at 7:13 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
German rider had been in talks with Dutch squad

Tony MartinAlthough it missed out on closing a deal to sign him this season, the Project1t4i squad has made it clear that it would like to bring Tony Martin on board if the chance crops up another time. “Tony is definitely a rider that we are interested in for the future,” team manager Iwan Spekenbrink told Radsport News.

“When it became clear that HTC will be dissolved at the end of season, we tried [signing]Tony. He is a first class rider and as a personality, he would suit us very well. He also has a background similar to Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb…he was formerly at the Thüringer Energie Team and comes from the school of Jörg Werner.”

The two were in discussions but Martin ultimately opted for the Omega Pharma Quick Step team, where he will join up with several others from the HTC Highroad setup and also continue to ride Specialized bicycles. He said this was a factor in his choice of teams.

Martin had the best season of his career in 2011, winning the world time trial championships, taking TT wins in the Tour de France, Vuelta a España, Critérium du Dauphiné, Volta al Pais Vasco, Paris-Nice and Volta ao Algarve and also taking the overall victory in the latter two.

He closed out his season with TT victory and overall success in the Tour of Beijing, then triumphed in the Chrono des Nations. The 26 year old has signed a three year deal with Omega Pharma Quick Step.

The Project 1t4i squad, which was previously called Skil-Shimano, missed out on consideration in the list of UCI ProTeams by just six points. It was ranked 21st in the UCI’s hierarchy of teams, with only the top twenty being considered.

Had Martin been signed, his high WorldTour ranking would have moved the team far higher. Spekenbrink and his riders will once again ride at Pro Continental level, but the strong lineup makes it likely that it will have a stronger chance for 2013.

The team is certainly one on the up, and may find itself in a much stronger position to chase riders like Martin in the future.

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