Pinotti, Wiggins say Martin deserved silver medal
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Friday, September 25, 2009

Pinotti, Wiggins say Martin deserved silver medal

by Conal Andrews at 9:18 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
 

Both Marco Pinotti and Bradley Wiggins have generated up an element of controversy, saying that they think that Tony Martin would have been a more worthy recipient of the silver medal in yesterday’s Elite time trial. The pronouncements came despite the fact that the German was one minute and three seconds behind the Swedish runner-up Gustav Larsson.

While the rider did not slipstream Fabian Cancellara once he was passed by the flying Swiss, Pinotti and Wiggins suggested that having the rider in front of Larsson gave him something to chase.

"When I saw the start sheet I thought [the time gap] was a bit close for the last 10 or 15 guys. Perhaps it is too close, especially if you have Fabian behind you,” Wiggins is quoted by the Guardian as saying.

"I don't think Larsson is a worthy silver medallist. Tony Martin for me is the silver medallist."

Pinotti echoed this, saying that he had beaten him ten days ago in the Tour of Missouri time trial and felt that the Swede had benefited yesterday. The Italian finished fifth, losing three minutes 2.88 seconds to the winner and just over a minute and a half to Larsson.

“It is true that having Cancellara as a reference point helped him,” he told Italian television station RAI. “Certainly in the first lap when he raced by himself, his lead was much less. I think Martin deserved silver more – he raced alone and did a great time.”

Wiggins was potentially on course for the bronze medal, but had mechanical problems when lying in fourth place. He lost a lot of time waiting for his spare bike and eventually finished 21st.

Like Larsson, he was also caught by Cancellara and stated that it was of benefit. "I had moments when I thought, sod this, just sit up, this is no way to win a bronze. I felt I was cheating a bit even though I was 150m behind him. You're still getting pulled along.

“I wanted to win a medal, but I wanted to win one due to my own merit. I'd have felt funny standing here as a bronze medallist having sat on [Cancellara] for a lap, saying what a wonderful performance it was. It would have been a bit false."

Cancellara and Larsson are both team-mates on the Saxo Bank squad, and took first and second in last year’s Olympic time trial. Larsson followed all the rules once he had been passed, keeping the required distance.

Pinotti is currently on the Columbia HTC team with Martin. Wiggins was a team-mate to both last year but has since moved from Columbia HTC to Garmin Slipstream.

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