Martens has successful comeback in GP Stad Geraardsbergen after three months away
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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Martens has successful comeback in GP Stad Geraardsbergen after three months away

by Bjorn Haake at 4:20 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
 
First race for the German since he crashed out of the Dauphiné Libéré

Pau MartensPaul Martens of Rabobank has not raced since he crashed heavily in the Dauphiné Libéré's first stage in June. His first race since was today's GP Stad Geraardsbergen. While not a heavy-hitter race, Martens was quite pleased with his form.

He finished seventh, with the win going to Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator's Michael van Staeyen. "I know now where I stand and it is much better than I expected," he said on the team's website. The course did not go up the infamous Muur van Geraarsbergen, but still took the cobbled climb over the market square to make it a true Flanders classics race, over 166.6 kilometers.

"That was a quite a climb. But it went really well. Going up, there were only two or three others better than I and that is a good feeling," Martens said. He was in the first break of the day, with four other riders. Martens was really riding for himself, but when he found himself in the next break of 24, he connected with Wesley Kreder from the Rabobank Continental team. "We talked then," Martens said. "Wesley rode strong as always and in the final he attacked with Van Marcke and Leukemans."

Martens did not like the finish. "A pity that it was on the cobbles, as I am no hero there." He was unable to deal with the best in the final 100 meters, but was still quite happy. "It is like a kermis race, but they fight for every meter," he said. "It was not like a typical pro race. They were riding like in the amateur races - it was all out right from the start and that continued throughout the race," said Martens. "I felt the limits of my body, but that was the idea."

Martens, who was second in a Tirreno-Adriatico stage earlier this year, will continue these kinds of lower-level races for now. He is also on reserve for Paris-Brussel, before hitting the final phase of the season. "With the ProTour team I will head to the Italian fall races. They suit me really well."

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