Tony Martin vows to fight climbers on their terms in Tour of Beijing
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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tony Martin vows to fight climbers on their terms in Tour of Beijing

by VeloNation Press at 6:55 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Beijing
Defending champion accepts lack of time trial makes things tougher for him

Tony MartinTony Martin has pledged to do his utmost to try to defend his Tour of Beijing title despite the fact that the race against the clock, which was the key to his success last season, will not form part of this year’s edition. The world time trial champion is consequently starting without his strongest weapon against the other riders.

“It will be really hard to defend my title because there is no time trial,” the Omega Pharma Quick Step competitor admitted. “That was my advantage last year. This year it will be much harder, but I will of course keep that in mind.”

Twelve months ago he grabbed the yellow jersey on the first stage when he beat David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) by seventeen seconds and Alex Dowsett (Sky) by 24.

He maintained the same gap over Millar until the end of the event, with his HTC Highroad team controlling things in its final WorldTour stage race.

This time round, the race is more mountainous and he will be up against flyweight climbers. Still, he feel he’s ready to fight them on their terms. “I did a really good preparation in the Vuelta which I think would give me a good advantage in the mountains,” he said. “We will see.

“I am really looking forward to the race. I am really motivated and I will have a good team with me. So we will do the best we can and I hope I can maybe repeat the win.”

Martin will be backed by Italians Marco Bandiera, Dario Cataldo and Francesco Chicchi, Belgian duo Iljo Keisse and Julien Vermote, the Czech Frantisek Rabon and the Briton Andrew Fenn.

The race had its inaugural edition last year and while it was a new event, it made an impression on the German. “When I arrived in China last year I immediately realized that it was a nice race,” he recollected. “So I was totally focused on the race at one moment. I think everyone realizes now it's a big race. For sure every year it will get bigger and bigger. They have a nice race organization.”

“It's also a sign of the future in cycling. We have to get more international. Not just in Europe, also in the US and in Asia and places like that. I really am looking forward to Beijing.”

Omega Pharma Quick Step for the Tour of Beijing:

Marco Bandiera (ITA)
Dario Cataldo (ITA)
Francesco Chicchi (ITA)
Andrew Fenn (GBR)
Iljo Keisse (BEL)
Tony Martin (GER)
Frantisek Rabon (CZE)
Julien Vermote (BEL)


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